- A corporate grant from Capital One Bank has sent more than 6,000 California principals free digital kits from MV Gate that make organizing a Family Code Night relatively easy if schools can secure access to an internet connection and a computer for every parent-student participating pair.
- EdSource reports the kits have forms for parent invitations, an event timeline, to-do lists, instructions, a facilitator script, handouts, and badges for student coaches, leaving schools to manage the event prep.
- Family Code Nights, like the popular Hour of Code events, include an hour-long activity that teaches parents and students coding basics by helping them drag and drop coding commands to control game board pieces.
This is Computer Science Education Week and schools and community organizations around the country will be hosting coding events to commemorate it. The backdrop for the events this year is an increasing focus on computer science and coding education in schools. There is some tension between teaching students simple coding commands and actually helping them learn computer science fundamentals, however. The former can be interesting and engaging, but it doesn’t actually prepare students for STEM careers.
According to Code.org, 33 states now allow students to count computer science courses toward their high school graduation requirements. Interest in such courses is high, though. AP Computer Science Principles launched this year as a course that offers a broad introduction to computer science, extending well beyond coding. More than 2,500 teachers submitted syllabi for the 2016-17 school year — the greatest number since AP World History launched in 2002.