CS in Schools is a free industry-supported programme that helps teachers learn how to successfully teach coding.
Watch our video to get started:
Who is it for?
We work with secondary school teachers who want to develop their skills in teaching coding at schools and want to build an effective Digital Technology programme at their school.
Teachers should have at least three years of teaching experience and at least one year of experience in their current school. Teachers with any background are welcome.
The programme is for Australian schools.
What are the steps to getting involved?
If you’re interested in having CS in Schools support teachers at your school in 2020, you need to be able to:
- Find timetable space. The first programme is for Year 7 and it is an approximately twenty hour subject that requires around two classroom hours per week for ten weeks. CS in Schools can share timetabling models that have worked for other schools, and help with ideas on how to create timetable space
- Find teachers. Assign teachers to the subject and give the teachers the opportunity to teach the subject at least twice within a calendar year. Teachers need to be able to attend a weekend training workshop. We encourage schools to put several teachers in the programme at the same time!
- Have student computers with web access. 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
If you’re ready to take the next step, please apply for an initial meeting by emailing Selina at firstname.lastname@example.org. CS in Schools will be working with 100 teachers in 2020, and we are filling up fast.
Beyond the above requirements, 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.
Why did we create CS in Schools?
We established CS in Schools to help with the professional development of today’s teachers in Australian secondary schools, so that those teachers can help build digital technology capabilities in students. We are committed to investing in and developing new and existing digital technology teachers, and we work with teachers from all backgrounds.
What does CS in Schools provide?
CS in Schools provides to each teacher:
- Innovative lesson materials that can be used to deliver a twenty hour Year 7 programme over one school term (or half of a semester). The materials are open and free, perpetually available, and always up to date
- An expert volunteer software engineering professional to support the teacher in developing the skills needed to become confident in teaching coding
- Training through a weekend workshop, and ongoing online support through email and Slack to build community, engagement, and provide help to teachers
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.
The teacher and school remain accountable for all aspects of teaching, student management, and learning outcomes.
Volunteers and Materials
We provide each school teacher with a volunteer and teaching materials.
Volunteers are professional software engineers who are giving something back by helping teachers develop their skills and helping them get started with coding in the classroom. Volunteers have basic training in classroom scenarios, and can explain coding concepts to students with support from the schools’ teachers. In almost every case, volunteers aren’t teachers.
CS in Schools provides lesson materials that are developed by qualified teachers, and are designed for a Year 7 level. 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 materials include lesson plans, slides, worksheets, online exercises, how-to videos, and other materials. All materials are provided under the relaxed Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, and schools are encouraged to use, adapt, and share the materials.
A Year 8 programme is being trialled in 2020. A Year 9 elective will be developed for 2021, and a Year 10 elective will be developed for 2022.
CS in Schools requires that the same teacher repeat the subject at least twice in a calendar year. In most cases, the teacher will be supported by the same volunteer each time. Before the year begins, we provide a free training workshop to both volunteers and teachers; this is compulsory for all participants in the programme.
In the first delivery of the subject, we find that the volunteer typically takes 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 does not usually provide in-class support.
Microcredential from RMIT University
Every teacher who completes the programme can optionally submit an assessment piece at the end of the programme and, on passing the assessment, receive the Coding for Teachers microcredential from RMIT University.
The credential is equivalent to one course in a Masters programme, and is resume-building evidence that a teacher can teach coding. For 2020, as with the rest of the programme, this is completely free.
Receiving the microcredential requires that the teacher submits a final assessment piece. This is necessary to receive the microcredential, but it isn’t a requirement of being a participant in CS in Schools. Teachers are welcome to be part of CS in Schools without completing the microcredential.
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.
Ready to go?
If you’re ready to have CS in Schools, please contact us for an initial meeting by emailing Selina at email@example.com.
CS in Schools will be working with 100 teachers in 2020, and we are filling up fast!