- The Avondale Elementary school district near Phoenix, AZ, joins ranks with Chicago, New York, and San Francisco in a commitment to teaching computer science to students with one significant difference: an expedient game plan.
- Coding is already being incorporated as a mandatory staple of K-8 curriculum in the district, whereas New York, for example, has a 10-year rollout plan for its use of computer science content.
- Avondale district officials tell Education Week that the transformation has been smooth due to the fact that they’ve “turned all of its technology instructors into computer-programming teachers,” equipped to teach students online classes via Code.org.
Given that only one “technology teacher” in the district had previous experience with computer programming, it certainly seems like the Avondale district has pulled off a success where other districts haven’t yet begun to make progress. The transition was aided by a staff technology coordinator, who Education Week reports “held weekly professional-development sessions, observed classrooms, and coached teachers individually throughout the year."
Avondale’s certainly not alone. Around the country, various schools have taken novel approaches to incorporating computer programming and coding into their regular curriculum. As of 2014, more than 60 school districts, including Houston and Los Angeles, had committed to offering computer science, and Arkansas and Washington state both require that computer science classes be offered to students.
Internationally, countries like Estonia, Singapore, and England already offer coding classes — some to students as young as five years old, according to the New York Times.