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codeSpark: Coding for Kids and Coding PD for Teachers

Coding in the classroom is more than a hot topic. It’s an opportunity to introduce students to essential problem solving and literacy skills needed beyond the walls of the classroom. At ISTE this year I had the chance to learn more about codeSpark and a new professional development opportunity for teachers. This popular tool designed to make coding for kids of all ages a reality, now has a program for teachers too!

codeSpark Academy with the Foos

coding for kidscodeSpark Academy is a coding program for students in Kindergarten through fifth grade. Totally free for teachers and librarians, codeSpark is popular around the world! Students can use codeSpark on almost any device. As soon as teachers sign up for an account, they’ll receive access to a free coding curriculum, activities to use offline and lots more. With the Teacher Dashboard, you’ll also find an easy way to manage students as they dive into coding activities.

Coding for Kids

I had the chance to talk to fellow Apple Distinguished Educator Kristen Brooks at ISTE this year. She is a big fan of codeSpark and uses it with students. She wrote an article for SmartBrief early this year, and I love this quote from her: “Learning to read requires developing sequencing skills, forming words with letters, forming sentences with words, all in the proper order. This is exactly the skill set which is developed through coding.”

codeSpark aligns with Math, Science, and Computer Science standards. It is based on the curriculum developed at MIT and UCLA. Since codeSpark is entirely word-free, it’s a perfect choice for pre-readers who can start coding right away. Students can make their own games as they learn how to code!

Coding Professional Development

codeSpark is an easy-to-use tool for students with lots of free resources for educators. This includes the Teacher Dashboard I mentioned above and also instant access to games for students. If you’re looking to take your professional learning to the next level, you’ll want to check out this special online course from codeSpark.

The team at codeSpark has developed a 5-module course delivered through online and mailed materials. You can work through the course on your own, or collaboratively with a group of educators. Everything you create in the course is connected to the work happening in your classrooms. So all projects, activities, and content are designed explicitly with K-5 educators and their students in mind.

Discounted Coding Course

This codeSpark professional development program usually comes at a $249 price tag. They’ve created a discount page just for ClassTechTips readers and taken the price down to $149.99. You can now access this course and also receive your certificate of completion, all at a significant discount!

Learn more about codeSpark Academy for students and the special discount on professional development by visiting their site!

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Blog Author and EdTech Consultant Dr. Monica Burns

Monica Burns

Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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