Do you want teachers at your school to be able to successfully teach students how to code?

If yes, all your school needs to do is:

  1. Commit to the CS in Schools programme in a meeting between CS in Schools and your school
  2. Timetable a compulsory one term, approximately twenty hour in total subject for all Year 7 students. Timetabling must be done in collaboration with CS in Schools
  3. Assign one or more teachers to the subject who are motivated to learn how to teach coding, and give the teachers the opportunity to teach the subject at least twice in two or more terms within a calendar year. We encourage schools to put several teachers in the programme at the same time!
  4. Ensure each student who will take the subject has access to a computer with a modern web browser, Internet access, and their own email address

Beyond that, CS in Schools will do all the work of providing lessons, a volunteer computing professional to coach and mentor the teacher, and resources to work with your school. The programme is free to schools and teachers.

Overview

RMIT University wants the next generation of Australian students to have the foundational computing skills that will help them succeed in a world that is being changed by software and hardware. To achieve this goal, RMIT has established CS in Schools to help with the professional development of today’s teachers in Australian secondary schools.

CS in Schools is committed to investing in and developing computing teachers. It is a professional development programme developed by software engineering experts, teachers, and RMIT University.

CS in Schools aims to work with 100 teachers in 2020. If you’re interested in support from CS in Schools for your school, please contact us.

What does CS in Schools provide?

CS in Schools provides to each school:

  • Innovative lesson materials that can be used to deliver a twenty hour programme over one school term
  • An expert volunteer software engineering professional (a volunteer) to support a secondary school teacher (or teachers) within your school to develop the skills needed to become confident in teaching coding to Year 7 students

CS in Schools may be able to provide additional hardware and software where required. The programme runs at no cost to schools, and is funded by philanthropic support.

How does it work?

The goal of CS in Schools is to help teachers become competent and confident in teaching coding. This goal is achieved by providing each school teacher with a volunteer mentor, teaching materials, and the opportunity to practice and repeat the delivery of coding classes to students.

Each school must commit to scheduling a compulsory Year 7 computing subject that is approximately twenty hours in duration over one school term, and commit to repeating the subject again within the school year. The school must work with CS in Schools to timetable the subject at a time that works for our volunteer base.

Each school must assign one or more of their teachers to the subject. The teachers must be willing to commit substantial time to developing coding skills, and be willing to support and mentor a volunteer who will support them in the classroom. Each teacher must be assigned to the subject at least twice in the school year over a minimum of two terms. We’ve worked with schools who put between one and six teachers into the programme at the same time — we encourage schools to put more than one teacher in the programme.

Each participating school is assigned one or more volunteers. Volunteers are professional software engineers, or have equivalent qualifications or experience. Volunteers are not qualified teachers and do not intend to become teachers, and are provided to help teachers develop their skills in confidently and competently teaching coding. Volunteers have basic training in classroom scenarios, and can explain coding concepts to students with support from the schools’ teachers.

CS in Schools provides lesson materials that were developed by qualified teachers, and are designed for a Year 7 level (a pilot Year 8 programme will launch in 2020). These materials are designed to help teachers who are learning to code to successfully, confidently, and competently deliver a fun, engaging, and industry-relevant programme for Year 7 students. Volunteers are familiar with these materials.

The teacher and school are responsible for understanding and meeting any or all curriculum requirements, and are responsible for all aspects of teaching, student management, and learning outcomes. CS in Schools does not warrant that the materials are fit for any purpose or meet any specific Australian curriculum requirements. CS in Schools emphasizes that volunteers are provided only to support teachers in their professional development.

How does the Professional Development Work?

CS in Schools requires that the same teacher repeat the subject at least twice in two different terms. In most cases, the teacher will be supported by the same volunteer each time.

In the first delivery of the subject, it is expected that the teacher is new to coding, and that the volunteer will take a more active role in mentoring the teacher and explaining coding concepts to students. In the second delivery of the subject, it is expected that the volunteer will be focused on observing and providing coaching feedback to the teacher. Beyond the second delivery of the subject, CS in Schools will not usually provide in-class support but will be on call to provide ongoing support as required.

A review at the end of the programme will be conducted. Schools and teachers will be required to participate fully in the review and provide constructive feedback on the programme. Teachers and schools must participate in any programme assessment as needed by CS in Schools at any time.

What Materials are Provided?

CS in Schools provides lesson plans, slides, worksheets, online exercises, how-to videos, and other materials.

All materials are provided under the most open of the Creative Commons licenses, and schools are encouraged to use, adapt, and share the materials. There’s no catch!

What do Schools need to provide?

Beyond motivated teachers, students, and a scheduled class, we don’t need much to be successful.

Schools need to provide each student with a computer with a modern web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. They must provide access to the Internet, and each student must have an email address (for sign-up to use web-based educational materials). It’s sometimes required that schools make changes to their firewall setup (for example, we’ve worked with schools that have a default configuration that doesn’t allow students to watch our lesson videos).

If the school is unable to provide computers, CS in Schools may be able to help.