Project-Based, Python Coding Lessons Build Computer Science and Computational Thinking Skills
PORTLAND, Ore. – April 17, 2017 – Ed tech company Learning.com announced a new partnership with Codesters, a leading platform for K-12 computer science instruction, to develop EasyCode Pillars, a powerful online interactive curriculum that incorporates coding challenges and game design into the classroom to cultivate students’ coding skills. This engaging digital literacy resource offers students a dynamic, hands-on coding experience, while providing teachers with an effortless, turnkey instructional solution for use in the computer lab or the classroom.
“In today’s world, technology is part of nearly everything we do. Yet, we find that many of today’s students are lacking in even the most basic tech skills necessary for success in school, college and careers,” said Learning.com CEO Keith Oelrich. “Through our partnership with Codesters, we are extending our commitment to providing students with opportunities to develop powerful computer science skills with the launch of this new project-based, interactive and engaging curriculum.”
As an extension to Learning.com’s EasyCode computational thinking and coding curriculum for grades K-8, EasyCode Pillars takes a project-based approach and gives students hands-on coding experience via small coding challenges, debugging practice, game design and short quizzes that test comprehension. Students learn how to animate objects, play sounds and use their mouse and keyboard input, building real-world Python coding skills. Self-paced EasyCode Pillars allows teachers to easily identify and work with struggling students, while more advanced students can move on to increasingly complex projects.
“At Codesters, we share Learning.com’s commitment to expanding coding and computer science learning opportunities for students,” said Codesters CEO Gordon Smith. “We are thrilled to work together to bring the excitement and challenge of learning to code to young learners around the country through this new curriculum.”
Among the dynamic features of EasyCode Pillars is The Drag-to-Text ToolkitÔ, which simplifies syntax and seamlessly takes students through the transition into full-text coding from block-based coding. Using Python, an industry-leading programming language, students are able to see how the skills they are learning are applicable to real world careers, increasing their level of engagement and interest. By building new projects from the ground up, they deepen their understanding of the concepts they are learning while demonstrating mastery over the core skills they have developed.
The step-by-step activities in EasyCode Pillars are designed to help teachers with little to no computer science experience immediately provide quality classroom instruction. The detailed lesson plans expertly guide teachers through each concept, including answer keys for each activity, ensuring instant solutions for in-class exercises. Sample projects and metrics, along with in-lesson progress monitoring, make for easy student assessment and quality classroom interactions. As students code their way through a series of activities, they receive feedback on the spot, which allows them to customize the program to fit their specific learning needs and demonstrate proficiency.
EasyCode Pillars aligns with Learning.com’s pledge to support Computer Science for All (CSforAll), the Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Education’s call-to-action for more computer science opportunities for all K-12 schools. CSforAll empowers K-12 students to learn computer science and develop the computational thinking skills necessary to spur the transition from consumer to creator in today’s digital economy. Codesters is a founding content partner of CSForAll Consortium, which supports the mission of expanding access to computer science education.
To learn more about EasyCode Pillars and to get a sneak peek, register here for the “Bring Coding to Your District” webinar at 12:00 p.m. PST on April 27, 2017.
Founded in 1999, Learning.com currently partners with one in six school districts and serves five million students nationwide. Learning.com provides K-12 solutions to help students, teachers, and schools excel in a digital world. Districts equip their students with the technology and 21st century skills needed for success on online assessments, college, and the workforce using Learning.com’s digital literacy solutions. Learning.com’s digital content tools help districts build and share custom digital curriculum helping them meet their instructional goals, facilitate personalized learning, and address budget challenges. Through implementation services and professional development, Learning.com serves educators as they integrate technology and digital content into instruction.
Codesters (www.codesters.com) is on a mission to make it fast, easy, and affordable for any school or district to launch a computer science program. The Codesters platform and curriculum provides teachers with everything they need to quickly and seamlessly integrate coding into their school day. Codesters teaches kids Python, a powerful industry programming language, using an innovative coding platform that makes it simple for teachers to transition students from block-based to text-based coding. And since Codesters runs in a web-browser all student work is automatically saved to the cloud so students can log in and learn to code from any computer. Founded in 2014, Codesters is helping hundreds of thousands of K-12 students learn to code.