California Charter Management Network Wants Students to Learn Coding Fundamentals

California Charter Management Network Wants Students to Learn Coding Fundamentals

This school is looking for an enrichment tool that supports its 3rd graders to gain exposure to and learn coding concepts and practical application. The network hopes to use the tool with this group from 3rd grade through their 5th grade year.

State: California Number of Students: 6,766
School Type: Charter Management Organization Free and Reduced Lunch: 85.0%
Grade Level: K-5 English Language Learners: 55.0%

School Context

This school is part of an influential blended learning network with over 10 schools in three different states. The network support elementary age students, a majority of of which are English Language Learners and Free and Reduced Lunch status. The school has developed a very stable model for blended learning over the past 10 years and students leave the school with a high level of exposure to technology.

State of Technology

This year they had more enrollment in 3rd grade class than expected. In order to give each cohort of 3rd graders enough time with their teachers, they have built a rotation into their schedule for 45 min of enrichment time 4 times a week. However, since the Middle School they will feed into teachers all its students computer science, they would like to spend that enrichment time helping students build a good foundation and exposure to coding.

Currently, students do not have any exposure to coding curriculum. They have tried to support code each year using Khan Academy materials, but it has not taken off like they would like and it’s entirely up to the teacher. This new year, 3rd graders will have an entire block devoted to coding and they need a more robust tool that can support student learning during that time.

Tech Needs & Requirements

They are looking for a tool that students can engage in for 45 minutes, 4 days a week that will give them exposure to coding and teach them coding concepts. During this time, students will all work on the tool at the same time, with some small group pull outs when needed. Ideally, the tool does most of the facilitation so that the teacher does not have to be very involved and can spend most of their time supporting the small group. The tool should be able to teach students a conceptual understanding of coding, it does not need to be too rigorous about the languages it teaches. If it allows students to create things in the program, that would be great! If the game was 80% game based or activities and 20% of it had some component of instruction that would be ideal. For instruction if it could redirect the student to a specific tool and give them time to practice that would be ideal. Also, ideally, but not non-negotiable, would be some aspect of customer support, whether a phone number, email or chat on the website. They would like to be able to reach out if they have any bumps along the way.

Students do not have much background in computer science, so it is important that the program guide them through each level. They do not want students picking their own level. It is better if the tool starts them from the beginning and then lets them go as fast or slow as they want.

The teacher will be able to do simple redirection. If there are any additional resources that teachers can use in the class with small groups, that would be a bonus but is not a non-negotiable.

The school provides student with 1:1 Chromebooks. The tool should provide content that needs to be appropriate for a 3rd - 5th grade audience, needs to be self sufficient, so students can work independent of a teacher and must have enough content or activities for students to play 45 minutes / 4 days a week. Because this is enrichment focused, data is not going to be necessary for classroom instruction. If there is some data for support staff to look at to track progress, that would be great, but it is not a non-negotiable. They use the EdElements portal. If the tool can link up to that hub that would be great, but not a non- negotiable at all.

*Content From 2015

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