Our BCIT curriculum at the middle school level (current classroom teaching and plans for the 2015 – 2016 school year) is STEM-like.
Emerging Technologies and Skills: The course begins with identifying and explaining the district’s Acceptable Use Policy and applying it to technology devices. Content promotes personal safety and protection from online and offline reputations, as well as the need to consider ethics and societal factors for decision making. Programming with Scratch begins. Students learn the details of design and execute scripting programs. They design with parallelism and sequencing concepts. Students practice encoding and decoding through the debugging process. Students also learn MS OneNote and utilize the application for notetaking, questioning and decision-making. Students use MS OneNote to create a digital journal that assesses the influence technologies have on daily life.
Business, Computer and Information Technology: The first semester of the course centers activity around a Pizza business operated by students. The following skills are developed through assignments relating back to the business. Students research and interpret data using technology, create an electronic portfolio in Google Docs, demonstrate use of presentation software, demonstrate MS Publisher layout and design skills, use Google Docs collaboration and file conversion skills. Google Spreadsheets are used for tracking and charting data, plus multimedia tools for advertising. The second semester is entirely focused on developing coding and programming skills for students. It takes students further into Scratch, will teach basic HTML coding and will connect students to programming with Alice. There are numerous computer science student learning outcomes expected from these programming units. Some of these skills include: practicing computational thinking strategies, filtering information, solving authentic problems, and innovating to reach higher depths of knowledge.
BCIT Curriculum: In September the BCIT Department presented a recommendation for curriculum. There were three components; a keyboarding unit, a software applications unit and a unit teaching the fundamentals of computer programming. Department faculty will plan the 5th grade 36 day curriculum rotation during workshops and in-service days.
All three middle schools are actively coordinating an after-school Computer Club. Sandburg and Maple Point are in the early stages but plan to follow Poquessing’s success.
The teachers have thoughts of a district competition among clubs and hope to share guest speakers with their webcams.
Poquessing students have joined a 20-hour Introduction to Computer Science course through http://code.org/, using lessons as a 15 minute warm-up during meetings. There are guest speakers and student demonstrations with interesting hardware. Students have disassembled computers to identify parts and to see how they work. Students are now using those parts to make robots.
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