(If you’re new to CS in Schools, I recommend reading this page before this update.)
Term one is under way, and our volunteers have been in the classroom helping teachers and students throughout February. It has been incredibly smooth sailing so far — we are pleased to report that the teachers and volunteers have helped our first cohort of students from across Victoria successfully write their first Python programs!
Prior to term, we had a successful training workshop for our volunteers. Our goal was to equip them with skills to explain coding to students, understand how a classroom operates, offer tips on how to work with teachers and schools, and develop their presentation skills. Kristy Kendall from Toorak Collage brought together an experienced team of school educators to help our volunteers, and the feedback from the workshop has been extremely positive.
Just in time for the workshop, Toan Huynh and I completed a “beta level” version of the lesson materials. Since then, we’ve been refining them, and we’re getting close to what we’d call a v1.0. Another amazing volunteer, Jacqui Shadforth, has been building a visual style guide and applying it to our materials, and we’re thrilled with how they look too. Thanks Jacqui!
Selina and I have just begun visiting schools to learn from teachers, volunteers, executives, and students about how our programme is going. We were in Sale this week visiting the Catholic College Sale and the Gippsland Grammar School. It was an amazing and humbling experience to see students soaking up the materials, teachers developing their skills in coding, and our volunteer Zach in action. We’re looking forward to personally seeing all of the classrooms in action.
I’ve been working with RMIT University on the evaluation of our programme. We need to know that the programme we’ve built actually helps teachers become competent and confident in teaching coding. To that end, we’re helping RMIT design a study into the efficacy of our programme, and they’ll be starting their work soon. I’ll share an update on that topic next time.
Last, if you’re up for some merch, you can grab our logo on a ton of different products at Redbubble. You can choose black, white, or our coloured robot. All of our artists’ cut goes back into the programme. (Disclosure: I am a member of the board of directors at Redbubble.)
Thanks for reading all the way down here. We’ll have more next month!
Cheers, Hugh (on behalf of Selina too).