Computer Science Education Week is right around the corner, and the InkSmith team is super excited to share some amazing STEM lesson resources with you!
CSed Week is celebrated during the first week of December and is an annual call to action to inspire students to learn Computer Science, advocate for equity in CSed, and celebrate the contributions of students, educators, and partners in the field. This year’s theme is #CelebratingProgress and aims to highlight the progress computer science education has made in the past decade.
To celebrate CSed Week this year, we’ve compiled a handy list of our favourite coding resources for educators. Each resource is full of fun activities and lesson plans that will inspire, excite, and engage your class in all things Computer Science.
Here are 6 resources and activities you can use to get started coding in your classroom during CSed Week:
1. Mission on the Moon Course Bundle
Starting off the list with a personal favourite of ours is the Mission on the Moon bundle of courses. Developed in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Education, Mission on the Moon is the perfect introduction to coding and robotics.
The six space-themed modules are the perfect resource for CSed Week, regardless of your classroom hardware capabilities. Every module has been adapted so that the coding activities can be completed either virtually or with hardware components.
To learn more about how to get started with Mission on the Moon with your class read the blog here.
2. micro:bit Tutorials
The micro:bit Educational Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that inspires young people to develop skills through hardware and software that gets them excited about technology and the opportunities it creates. The organization’s flagship product is the micro:bit – a physical micro-computer that allows students to interact with their code in the real world. When paired with learning accessories like the InkSmith Climate Action Kits and k8 Modular Robotics Kit, the micro:bit expands coding opportunities and hands-on robotics experiences for students.
With lots of curriculum-linked units and design challenges ranging from computational thinking to digital arts, music, history, and more, the micro:bit website is a great resource to teach coding in primary and secondary schools.
3. Microsoft MakeCode
For the avid gamers and future Game Developers MakeCode Arcade is one of the most popular programs to start developing retro arcade games. Students can design and program their own games to download onto a gaming console to play.
MakeCode offers free curriculum and projects for educators with no Computer Science background. The downloadable course materials include hints, tutorials, and projects that systematically introduce coding concepts.
Think you need access to all kinds of robotics hardware and micro:bits in order to teach coding? Think again!
Scratch is a free programming language developed by MIT and all your students need to participate in a lesson is a laptop and a web browser. The user-friendly platform uses a drag-and-drop block-based coding interface to create animations, games, interactive stories, and so much more.
The educator guide is a great place to start using Scratch in the classroom. The guide equips teachers with everything they need to lead a lesson, including a preparation checklist, step-by-step activity guide, and problem-solving prompts.
Code.org is an education innovation nonprofit platform dedicated to increasing opportunities for students to learn Computer Science in their K-12 education. With their curriculum, the organization works to expand access in schools with a unique focus on increasing participation among young women and underrepresented groups.
Every CSed Week, Code.org celebrates CSed Week with Hour of Code, a series of one-hour tutorials available in over 45 languages. Students from around the world participate in introductory Computer Science activities with either an internet-connected computer or tablet, or completely offline and unplugged. The best part of this event is that it’s easy to join and implement in your school or classroom, even for beginners. There are a variety of student-guided tutorials, lesson plans for teachers, and resources to help plan an event.
Tinkercad is a free online computer-aided-design program for 3D design, electronics, and coding. The platform is beginner-friendly and designed to equip users with the foundations to progress to more advanced programs, making it the perfect tool for the classroom.
The Codeblocks workspace is a simple introduction to drag-and-drop coding for 3D models. Users stack and snap blocks of code together to create and manipulate shapes, then run an animated simulation to see the code in action.
For teachers new to Tinkercad, the website features a Learning Center with starter projects and step-by-step design projects. Tinkercad Classrooms has everything an educator needs to get started in the classroom. The classroom portal is where teachers can manage assignments and monitor student progress, find lesson plans that span all subjects and are aligned to educational standards, and find a range of helpful resources used by millions of educators.
Training & Professional Development for Educators
Looking for more support in introducing coding and STEM-based technology to your students?
At InkSmith, we aim to make teaching with technology a joy, rather than a chore – for educators. We offer Educator Training sessions on a variety of topics relating to education technology, designed to help educators learn the skills and strategies needed to transform their teaching practice and increase student learning outcomes.
Our sessions focus on building teacher capacity and understanding around future-focused skills and cognitive frameworks which help enhance curriculum connections. Sessions are available in half or full day workshops, and include the following:
Concepts & Frameworks
- Computational Thinking
- Design Thinking
- Universal Design for Learning
- UN Sustainable Development Goals
- 3D Printing & CAD Design
- Logic-Based Coding
- Laser Cutting & Engraving
- Hands-On Kinetic Learning