The #CSinSF rollout has been a great success so far. In less than 3 years, we now serve over 50 schools in SF, reaching about half of K-8 students in SFUSD- about 10,000 students. Something that is clear- from feedback, surveys, and observation- is that we are not meeting the needs of our students equally, in particular girls and children of color, who report that they are less interested in Computer Science, and less likely to have a career in Computer Science or Technology. This is something we need to change, as all of our students need to develop identities as people who create with technology, not just consume it.
During Spring Break 2018, I travelled from the Bay Area to El Centro, CA (with a stop in Joshua Tree), where I encountered several teachers who have created and facilitate the most advanced and engaging technology curriculum Ive seen anywhere.
The Short Version
Day 1: Jesus Huerta
6th Grade – Hedrick Elementary – @jesush1979
I love technology and teaching so why not combine the two? My students are exposed to next level tech daily and I want to keep pushing them further- Jesus Huerta
Jesus’ class was a glimpse into the future of education: Personalized, Blended and Project-Based. Every one of his students was competent in using their touchscreen Chromebooks to access the multiple modalities he organizes to facilitate learning. He began class by masterfully utilizing collaborative quiz tools to refresh students learning in preparation for the days’ focus. To complement his literacy block, Jesus had students make a sketch of a character from their narrative writing, and modeled a multi-step process for rendering it in 3D, and then 3D printing it as a stencil to be used when they showcase their writing from that Unit. It was truly an inspiring day.
To learn more about Jesus’ classroom and passion projects, check out his blog.
Highlights from Jesus’ curriculum:
- Blogpost on 3D printing a stencil from a drawing
- Bloxels Game/Narrative Writing Unit
- Cardboard Arcade Project
Day 2: Ascension Reyes
STEM Teacher – De Anza Magnet School – @chonito928
I had the pleasure of visiting Ascension during De Anza Magnet School’s 4th Annual Robotics Day. Upon entering the school yard, I was greeted by a medley of the greatest science fiction soundtracks of the past 40 years blasting from large speakers- Star Wars, Star trek, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and Back to the Future. A highly effective way to set the tone for the event, which featured at least a dozen different exhibits showing off the power and creative potential of robotics.
Ascension coordinates much of the STEM education at De Anza, and has scoped out the curriculum to cover a different STEM theme every month: Think like Scientist, Engineering, Careers and Robotics, to name a few. He also works with a literacy specialist to create cross-curricular content for teachers. In particular, Ascension’s curriculum that teaches students to prototype with Arduino and 3D Printing is truly cutting edge.
Highlights from Ascension’s Curriculum:
Ascension developed the best and most comprehensive Arduino project curriculum that you will find, including Fritzing diagrams, code snippets, and step-by-step instruction slide decks.
Check out these amazing projects:
Bonus: David Venezuela
Tech Coordinator – Hedrick Elementary – @pctechdv
Shoutout to my boy David Venezuela- master of Epic, Cospaces.io, and Arduino.