Schools

We help schools create relevant and meaningful education by providing a complete DigiTech pathway for all secondary students, developing teacher confidence to teach digital technology, and through creating industry connections with schools.

Our programmes are free! Learn more in this video:

How does it work?

We provide free professional development to teachers and support to school executives to transform digital technology education in schools. We do this using our strong partnerships with industry.

We help school leaders by:

  • developing teacher competencies to teach digital technology
  • providing a complete DigiTech pathway for secondary students
  • building a pathway to integrate digital technologies into all areas of the curriculum
  • helping students get ahead with unique industry opportunities
  • creating industry connections with schools
  • solving the problem of teaching the Australian Digital Technology Curriculum

For teachers, we share free and open teaching materials, offer industry-based teacher support, run workshops, and provide support through an online community.

We offer three modes of support to teachers:

  1. Partner mode. A volunteer computing professional partners with a teacher in the classroom to build the capabilities to independently teach coding. This mode is for teachers who are new to teaching coding, or who don’t yet feel confident
  2. Mentor mode. A volunteer computing professional regularly meets a teacher. In this mode, the volunteer doesn’t regularly visit the classroom. This is for teachers who have some experience and confidence in teaching coding
  3. Online mode. A teacher downloads and uses our materials, and receives occasional, ad hoc support through our online communities. This mode is for teachers who are experienced and confident in teaching coding

We work with schools and teachers to decide on the right mode for each teacher. We always begin our partnership with a school with our Year 7 programme, and together we build a pipeline of students who are interested in digital technology in later years.

To understand the programme in detail, we recommend downloading our schools and teacher brochure (PDF, 45Mb). If you’d like a printed copy sent to you, please email us.

Who is it for?

We work with secondary schools and teachers in Australia.

We support schools from all sectors and states, with a bias towards supporting girls’, rural, and regional schools. We support teachers with any background, not just those who’ve taught digital technology previously.

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.

How can a school get involved?

The next intake for CS in Schools is for the 2021 school year. If you’re interested in being involved, please contact us for an initial meeting by emailing Selina at selina@csinschools.com

We usually begin by helping schools add a coding course at Year 7, and then build towards Year 12 in subsequent years. If you’re interested in having CS in Schools support teachers at your school in 2021, you need to be able to:

  1. Find timetable space. Our Year 7 programme is approximately twenty hours in length and is typically taught at 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
  2. Find teachers. Find motivated teachers and give the teachers the opportunity to teach the course at least twice within a calendar year. We then work with you to determine what support mode is right for each teacher. Note that 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!
  3. Provide students with computers and Internet 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’d like to learn more, please email selina@csinschools.com.

Why did we create CS in Schools?

We established CS in Schools to transform Australia schools so that they can address the IT skills gap.

What does CS in Schools provide?

CS in Schools provides to each teacher:

  • Innovative lesson materials. The materials are open and free, perpetually available, and always up to date
  • (If needed) An expert volunteer computing 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 are always accountable for all aspects of teaching, student management, and learning outcomes.

Volunteers and Materials

We provide each school teacher with teaching materials, and with a volunteer if they’re participating in our Partner or Mentor modes.

Volunteers are computing professionals (most work as 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. In our 2020 programme, the two companies with the most volunteers in the programme are SEEK and Carsales.

CS in Schools provides lesson materials that have been developed by qualified teachers. 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. Volunteers are familiar with these materials.

The materials include videos for teachers and students, lesson plans, slides, worksheets, online exercises, 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.

We are delivering both a Year 7 and Year 8 programme in schools in 2020. A Year 9 elective is being developed for piloting in 2021, and a complete pathway from Year 7 to Year 12 will be built before 2023.

Professional Development

Before the year begins, we run a free compulsory training workshop for both volunteers and teachers. Most of the professional development is in the classroom as the teacher develops their content expertise with our support.

Microcredential from RMIT University

Every teacher who completes the programme can be optionally assessed and then 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 assessments. 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.

For Year 7, 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.

In addition, for Year 8, students need access to Edison robots. These are around AUD$50 each, and we recommend one robot per two students. The robots can be shared between classes.

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

Which schools are you working with?

In 2020, we are working with a broad range of schools in Victoria. These include:

  • Bialik College
  • Catholic College Sale
  • Dromana Primary School
  • Flinders Christian Community College
  • Genazzano FCJ College
  • Gippsland Grammar School
  • Greensborough College
  • Haileybury Berwick
  • Haileybury Brighton
  • Haileybury City
  • Haileybury Keysborough
  • Ivanhoe Grammar School
  • Kilmore International School
  • McClelland College
  • Mount Erin College
  • Mt. Eliza Secondary College
  • Newhaven College
  • Noble Park Secondary College
  • Parkdale Secondary College
  • Springside West Secondary College
  • St. Pauls Anglican Grammar School Warragul
  • St. Pauls Anglican Grammar School Traralgon
  • Toorak College
  • Wesley College

We welcome all schools and teachers to our programmes, but we have a bias towards helping rural, regional, and girls’ schools.

Ready to go?

If you’re ready to work with CS in Schools, please contact us for an initial meeting by emailing Selina at selina@csinschools.com.