There are new computer science standards for Virginia. Many teachers are nervous, but also excited to prepare students for the future. Below are a few takeaways from the recent presentation from CodeVA’s Rebecca Dovi which was posted on Youtube.
#1 The Need, and Virginia taking the lead!
It is really important to start with how Virginia has the highest number of jobs in computer science and cybersecurity in the U.S! Depending on the time of year there can be between 40,000-44,000 open computer science jobs, and 37,000-40,000 open cybersecurity jobs in Virginia. Wow!
#2 The strands for the new standards
Elementary teachers already have a lot to teach. The good news is that as the standards were developed into strands, the focus was to tie them into existing content that is taught in classrooms currently. An easy example is how Math teachers can incorporate instruction on programming loops when they are teaching about patterns.
#3 So how will all of this be implemented?
There will not be another standardized test! Whew! School divisions will have a number of choices. It is important to note that this is the first big change in terms of adding to public education since P.E. was added a century ago. That being said, you will see these standards implemented alongside of core instruction where they fit.
Again, the standards for elementary are designed to go along with the core instruction that teachers are already trained to do. Coaches, like me, are thrilled to help teachers get started.
In addition, CodeVa, an educational non-profit, provides training and outreach to support computer science in Virginia. You can learn more about CodeVA by visiting their website.
Written by Tim Bakner. Tim is an Instructional Coach with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. He uses student-centered and teacher-centered approaches in instructional coaching to transform education in K-5. Tim has written curriculum for Virginia Beach City Public Schools, is recognized as a leader in his division for developing and providing teacher professional development, and is a frequent presenter at the VSTE Conference.
You can follow Tim on Twitter @timbakner or visit his website at timbakner.com