Curriculum and Instruction

SOCSD’s K-12 Technology Leadership Team, facilitated by Instructional Technology Coach Mark Eckert, worked together in our new TZHS Makerspace to focus on final preparations for our School Maker Faire, the upcoming SO BOTZ FIRST Robotics Competition tournaments, and computer-aided manufacturing. We read “Sparking Student Agency with Technology,” a recent article by Will Richardson (Educational Leadership February 2019 | Volume 76 | Number 5) that argues that students shouldn’t have to wait until after school to do amazing things with technology. Richardson states, “As with many entrepreneur stories, it’s not so much the product that’s interesting, but the journey behind the creation of it. In this case, that journey is a model for how our students are making and learning in the modern world.”

The team celebrated successes, highlighting that over the past few years we have provided students with opportunities to learn essential technology skills such as coding, 3D printing, and robotics, beginning in kindergarten. WOS Technology Teacher Randi Nerkizian commented, “When I introduce students to Scratch Jr. (A coding program developed by MIT Media Lab for young children) they like it mostly because it’s like coloring in a digital format, but they don’t really grasp the cause and effect of block programming yet. By second grade, students understand coding, cause and effect, and are able to be more creative with their projects.” SOMS Technology Teacher Andrew McIntosh added, “Each year I notice that students are all coming up with these skills and can take it to the next level when they are introduced to more sophisticated coding platforms and projects. They really work on debugging when something doesn’t work and to keep trying. This is the most important skill we teach.”

Our makerspaces and curriculum combine transformative new technology that allows students to work on projects of high interest that they initiate, design, and share with an authentic audience.

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