Amgen Foundation Donates $25K to Curriki

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

2000px-amgen-svgI am delighted to announce that Amgen Foundation, the primary philanthropic vehicle of the biotech leader Amgen, has pledged $25,000 to help Curriki further its mission to provide quality Open Educational Resources (OER) to students worldwide.

The Amgen Foundation’s generous grant will help Curriki offer even more innovative science education options to teachers and students. This kind of corporate support makes a huge difference in creating a community of learners who will be able to use their education to go out and have an impact on the world.

Eduardo Cetlin, president of Amgen Foundation, told us that he feels “Curriki is clearly making a difference for students and teachers across the globe. We are proud to support Curriki to strengthen access to quality science content for its growing community of learners.”

Curriki, a non-profit organization, hosts a free library of 83,000+ educator-vetted learning materials in all K-12 subject areas and in many formats—from individual lesson plans, instructional videos and units, to games and simulations. All content contributed by educators and select partners is available to others to use, adapt and share at no cost. In addition, Curriki curates resources into course-sequenced, standards-aligned units to enable educators to easily find materials.

Curriki recently released a new High School Physics Collection and launched a new array of custom services to give educators access to Curriki’s curriculum resources on their school’s own websites.

About Curriki

A 2016 SIIA CODiE Award finalist, Curriki’s mission is to eliminate the gap between those who have access to high-quality education and those who do not. Curriki’s online community of educators, learners and committed education experts works together to create quality materials that benefit teachers, parents and students globally. A Computerworld Honors Laureate for 2012, Curriki was selected as the 21st Century Achievement Award winner for Digital Access. With more than 485,000 members and 83,000+ learning assets, Curriki has reached more than 12 million users worldwide. Join today www.curriki.org.

About the Amgen Foundation

The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators, and to invest in strengthening communities where Amgen staff members live and work. To date, the Foundation has donated over $250 million to local, regional and international nonprofit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. The Amgen Foundation brings the excitement of discovery to the scientists of tomorrow through several signature programs, including Amgen Scholars, Amgen Biotech Experience and Amgen Teach. For more information, visit www.amgeninspires.com.


Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki.Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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Open Educational Resources:  A Powerful Means for Educational Equity

By Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member

OER logoEducation provides families and communities the opportunity to thrive. However, educational systems and curricula differ across communities, states and even nations. These inequities can prevent many children from having adequate opportunities to learn.

According to the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, almost one-third of the U.S. population is living in poverty. Coupled with additional barriers such as under-resourced schools, societal and cultural expectations, teacher shortages, illiteracy and lack of access, gaps in education are severely challenging to address. As a consequence, generations of young people are slipping through the cracks and their potential for contributing to society is diminished or lost. The impact of inequality is even heavier on gender and minorities. We simply cannot sit back and wait, perhaps for decades, for these inequities to be resolved.

OER to the Rescue!

With the exponential growth of technology and the Internet, Open Educational Resources (OER) give communities around the world the ability to meet their educational needs. UNESCO coined the term “OER” in 2002, describing it as teaching, learning and research resources in the public domain or with license that permits free use and re-purposing.

Curriki seeks to fill in instruction gaps by providing a free global OER platform for educators, parents, and students to access and share courses, curriculum, textbooks, videos, assessments, lesson plans, simulations and a multitude of other teaching and learning resources.

Computer learningHere are some ways that OERs can foster educational equity:

  • Access to Free Quality Resources. OER resources exist in the public domain or are released with intellectual property licensing that allows the public to use them for free for educational and personal purposes.  Therefore, anyone can access these resources, use them in their classrooms and disseminate among staff and educational peers.
  • Ease of Accessibility. OERs are readily available wherever there is internet access, via computers, laptops, mobile devices and cell phones. This can happen at school, at home, or even at a library, restaurant, or even a mall where public Wi-fi is available. Public domain and permissible content can be downloaded onto USB drives and continue to be shared.
  • Provide Personalized Learning Experiences. Differentiated instruction to meet individual needs of students is a cornerstone of effective teaching. In addition to the unique qualities and interests of every student, legislation requires the customization of instruction to meet the needs or defined groups such as gifted and talented and special needs students.
    OERs allow educators, homeschooling educators, parents, and students to search for topics and complementary teaching materials. Imagine being able to find engaging videos, simulations, units, and activities targeting unique interests ranging from NASCAR to Harry Potter and the Hunger Games.
  • Curated collections of resources also help provide targeted materials at all levels. Curriki offers standards-aligned collections on Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Physics, Computational Thinking and more.
  • Fostering a Diversified Curriculum. Effective education is no longer viewed as a “sage on stage” scenario where teachers lecture and students rely on textbooks for learning. But challenges for adequate curriculum development and limited planning time make it difficult to meet the needs for 21st century learning. The Framework for 21st Century Learning emphasizes creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration. Research and investigation are the prime vehicles for learning, and OERs hone in on this with valuable resources on problem-based learning, flipped classrooms, technology integration and inquiry.
  • Collaboration on Successful Practices. Curriki’s large repository of high-quality materials — shared by educators, parents and students — can be linked or uploaded to share around the world. Teachers have shared their personally developed units, lesson plans, videos and more to create an abundance of classroom-tested instructional materials.  Curriki makes it easy to find these resources by keyword searches, subjects, grade level, resource type (unit, lesson plan, video, assessment, etc.), and even by standard (Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards).

In addition, Curriki’s platform allows its community of users to rate and review each resource. Teachers, parents and students can also create their own groups, public or private, and participate in forums on a variety of topics to advance collaboration.

Education for All

Educators, parents, and students don’t have to be restricted from limited resources, geography or their current learning environment. The global community is working through OERs to help provide quality education for all. Curriki is proud to be a prime facilitator of this educational progress!


LaniLani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.

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Help Stop Bullying During Bullying Prevention Month

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki

bullying-tactics

Bullying is one of the most pervasive – and damaging – aspects of life in middle and high school.

It’s linked to problems with mental health, poor grades, low self-esteem, substance abuse and even suicide. It can be blatant – a group of kids pushing a smaller one up against his locker – or insidious – a whispered lie spread around the school.

Either way, bullying can hurt and it can kill. It has no place in school – or in society.

Let’s take advantage of Bullying Prevention Month to shine a spotlight on bullying and brainstorm ways to make it stop in our schools!

What is Bullying?

Bullying is when a person or group repeatedly tries to harm someone who is weaker. It can involve direct attacks such as hitting, name calling and teasing, or indirect attacks, such as spreading rumors or trying to make others reject someone.

People often dismiss bullying as a normal part of growing up, but it is harmful, and its effects can last a lifetime. In severe cases, its victims bullied may feel they need to take drastic measures or react violently – as we have all seen in the stories behind some school shootings – and some even commit suicide.

Here are some grim stats about bullying, from the Stop Bullying Now Foundation: http://stopbullyingnowfoundation.org/main/

  • 60% of middle school students say that they have been bullied, while only 16% of staff believes that students are bullied.
  • 160,000 students stay home from school every day due to bullying.
  • 30% of students who reported they had been bullied said they had at times brought weapons to school.
  • A bully is 6 times more likely to be incarcerated by the age of 24.
  • A bully is 5 times more likely to have a serious criminal record when he grows up.
  • Two-thirds of students who are targets become bullies.
  • 20% of high school students say they have seriously considered suicide within the last 12 months.
  • 25% of students say that teachers intervened in bullying incidents, while 71% of teachers say they intervened.
  • Bullying was a factor in 2/3 of the 37 school shootings reviewed by the US Secret Service.
  • In schools where there are anti-bullying programs, bullying is reduced by 50%.

Cyber Bullying

bullying-infographicIn the 21st Century, the Internet has become a bullying weapon of choice, so parents and teacher must be vigilant to help prevent cyberbullying. Here are some tips from Curriki on how to stop it and how you can use technology to battle its effects.

How Can You Help?

It’s clear that educators need to step up and be more vigilant about preventing and stopping bullying – because that can truly make a difference in children’s lives and long-term outcomes.

Curriki’s course Kindness, School Climate and Bullying Prevention offers a number of resources for educators to promote awareness of bullying behaviors among students and prevent bullying behavior in schools. It includes tips on how to respond to bullying, whether you’re a parent, a teacher or a bystander.

Here are some other anti-bullying resources offered by Curriki:

Make a Difference!

Parents and educators – step up and make a difference during Bullying Prevention Month. Share this blog post with your friends on social media and spread the word on how to stop bullying!


Janet Pinto - Curriki CAO/CMOJanet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience, and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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Curriki Unveils New Personalized Services

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

OER logoCurriki has created a new array of custom services to give educators direct and personalized access to its high-quality curriculum resources on your school’s own website.

I’m really excited about these tools, because they will make a huge difference for educators by putting Curriki’s curriculum directly into their hands so much more conveniently than before! But the real beneficiaries will be your students, who will have more direct access to Curriki’s wealth of high-quality educational materials.

Here’s what we are offering:

Customized OER Collections

Curriki’s Custom OER Collection Curation team, comprised of curriculum development and subject matter experts, now offers the ability to curate vetted Open Educational Resources into customized collections tailored to meet the needs of any organization. Curriki can even develop Sponsored Collections with the branding of its educational partners, providing personalized, collaborative instructional materials that empower teachers to make a greater impact on student success. Learn more or email partners@curriki.org.

Custom Search Widget

With the Curriki Custom Search widget, organizations can add a Curriki Advanced Search box to their Learning Management System (LMS) or school support site to make it easy for staff to find high quality Open Educational Resources in the Curriki library without leaving their school website. Learn more or email api@curriki.org.

Search API

Curriki-logoCurriki is now offering a Search API (Application Program Interface) that can be integrated into any organization’s application to search Curriki’s library of open educational resources (OER). Searches can be conducted by text-based query, type, subject, subject category, grade level, review rating or standard. To learn more about Curriki’s API, visit www.curriki.org or email api@curriki.org.

Curriki, a 2016 SIIA CODiE Award finalist, hosts a free library of 83,000+ educator-vetted learning materials in all K-12 subject areas and in many formats—from individual lesson plans, instructional videos and units, to games and simulations. All content contributed by educators and select partners is available to others for use, adapt and share at no cost. In addition, Curriki curates resources into course-sequenced, standards-aligned units to enable educators to easily find materials. Curriki recently released a new High School Physics Collection.

The mission of Curriki, a nonprofit organization, is to eliminate the gap between those who have access to high-quality education and those who do not. Its online community of educators, learners and committed education experts works together to create quality materials that benefit teachers, parents and students globally. A Computerworld Honors Laureate for 2012, Curriki was selected as the 21st Century Achievement Award winner for Digital Access. With more than 470,000 members and 83,000+ learning assets, Curriki has reached nearly 12 million users worldwide. Join today at www.curriki.org.


Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki.Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world.

Sign up for Curriki’s enewsletter!

The Value of a Foreign Language – C’est Formidable!

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki

European langaugesEuropean Day of Languages is this month, a timely reminder of the immeasurable value of foreign language study in education and in life.

The first day  – or rather, year – celebrating language diversity was European Year of Languages 2001. Organized by the Council of Europe and the European Union, it involved millions of people across 45 countries in activities that celebrated linguistic diversity in Europe and promoted language learning.

After that inaugural celebration, the Council of Europe declared a European Day of Languages to be celebrated each Sept. 26. The EDL website has a host of fun activities, quizzes, trivia and more to celebrate foreign language study.

In the United States, language learning is less of a priority. Less than 10 percent of Americans are bilingual, while well over half of Europeans speak two languages fluently, according to the California State University, Fullerton.

Benefits of Learning Languages

Hello bonjourSpeaking a foreign language has countless benefits for personal development. Here are just a few:

  • It increases understanding of other cultures.
  • It encourages lifelong learning.
  • It improves employment potential, since many businesses are marketing their products and services in other countries. A second language is now becoming a crucial element for an increasing spectrum of careers.
  • It helps businesses compete in a global economy, by giving them a better understanding of the cultures with which they are dealing.
  • It improves chances of entry into college or graduate school, as most colleges and universities require a minimum of two years of high school foreign language instruction for admission.
  • It helps you better appreciate international literature, music, art and film.
  • It makes travel easier and more enjoyable.
  • For college students, it expands study abroad options.
  • It increases your potential pool of friends.

(Sources: OurEverydayLife.com and VistaWide.com.)

The list goes on and on. The College Board has even found that students who have taken 4-5 years of a foreign language have higher verbal scores on the SAT.

Children who excel at a foreign language at a young age usually have better musical skills, according to a study conducted by professors at the University of Turku, Finland.

Teaching young children how to speak a second language is good for their minds, report two Cornell linguistic researchers. They say learning a second language does not cause language confusion, language delay or cognitive deficit, as feared, but rather makes it easier for them to maintain attention and be ready for school.

Convinced Yet?

Visit the European Day of Languages website. Take the languages quiz, learn some trivia, try some activities and find out why languages are important.

Curriki Language Resources

Au revoir. Adios. Auf Wiedersehen. Arrivederci. Good bye!


Photo of Janet Pinto

Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org.

Sign up for Curriki’s enewsletter!

Promote Worldwide Reading on International Literacy Day

Literacy Day posyterBy Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member

Did you know that 1 in 5 people in the world can’t read?

It’s true – the World Literacy Foundation says close to 20% of the world’s population is illiterate. Literacy skills are essential for lifelong learning, and can help elevate global education and progress for the future.

On Sept. 8, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrates the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day. The day will be marked by a two-day conference in Paris on Sept. 8 and 9 where experts in the field, private business, learners, and educators will meet to discuss the progress of promoting literacy as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

But worldwide, schools, communities, and organizations are also encouraged to help spread awareness and increase accessibility to education in developing nations.

How can you help?

There are many opportunities for teachers, homeschoolers, parents and students to get involved in promoting literacy.

Put Up a Poster – UNESCO provides a downloadable poster to celebrate the 50th anniversary and spread awareness around your classroom and school.

Join the Campaign – The World Literacy Foundation is hosting a 2016 International Literacy Day campaign themed “The Sky’s The Limit”  If you register your school by Sept. 7, the Foundation will provide materials to help your school run a school community fundraising campaign toward global literacy.

BooksPromote Literacy Within your Classroom and School – Start the movement for strengthening reading and writing skills by participating literacy activities right in your classroom and school.  Here are some ideas from the Curriki community: http://www.curriki.org/oer/Kindergarten-Literacy-Centers/)

  • Do your students need a reference card for themselves or posted in the classroom?  Here’s a Reading Strategies Poster that covers the eight reading strategies and offers phrase starters to get students started on creating meaning from text.
  • Karen Fasimpaur offers collections of fiction and nonfiction decodable reading passages for early readers that include PDFs, PowerPoint presentations and interactive Voicethreads for students to record themselves reading.
  • Anna Batchelder offers this collection on Literacy Resources for Early Childhood Educators filled with reading lists, early readers suggestions, and activities reading comprehension.
  • ReadWriteThink offers ideas for your class to celebrate International Literacy Day, including a class read-a-thon, creating a cross-grade reading buddy program, or making original books to share with community members.
  • Wonderopolis can help get students start thinking about literacy with activities on the different ways to read and exploring why we read from left to right.
  • Literacy Tips for Parents offers strategies for parents and families to promote a literate household.
  • Teach Kindergarten or early primary grades?  Here are ideas for creating literacy centers in your classroom .

How do you plan on celebrating International Literacy Day?

Share your ideas! Don’t forget to follow along on social media (#LiteracyDay and #50ILD) with your students and children to find out the latest on events and activities!


Lani

Lani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.

Curriki Joins Forces with the Constitution Center

constitution day logoBy Janet Pinto
Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki

In anticipation of Constitution Day on Friday, Sept. 16 – and, of course, the upcoming presidential election – Curriki is delighted to announce a timely and exciting new partnership: the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia!

The Constitution Center may be physically located in the birthplace of our nation, but its website, ConstitutionCenter.org, reaches around the world as the only virtual place where people can come together to learn, debate and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history – the U.S. Constitution.

Curriki’s Constitution Center Collection

You can find the Constitution Center’s always relevant collection on the Curriki website, with fascinating units such as:

  • The 13th Amendment – examine the Primary Source,  the handwritten congressional copy of the amendment that banned slavery, signed by President Lincoln, Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, and over 150 members of Congress, for a vibrant discussion guide on the abolition of slavery.
  • Lincoln: The Constitution & the Civil War – a lesson plan on this fascinating period n US history, featuring an online game featuring an animated Abe Lincoln
  • The Bill of Rights – a multi-faceted lesson that helps students learn about the rights and freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights, translate the document into student-friendly language and make connections with real-life scenarios by playing Bill of Rights Bingo.
  • Students will also dive into the legacy of Martin Luther King, the history of Thanksgiving, the separation of powers and so much more.

Primary sources of some of the most fundamentally important historical material, including the Bill of Rights and the Articles of Confederation, are also offered in this special collection.

What is Constitution Day, Anyway?

Constitution Day commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution, the most influential document in American history, by the Founding Fathers on September 17, 1787.  Celebrating Constitution Day presents an awesome opportunity to inspire students to actively learn about the founding of the United States.

Find Curriki’s curriculum provided by the Constitution Center here.


Janet Pinto - Curriki CAO/CMO

Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience, and academic direction. Follow Curriki’s Blog at www.curriki.org/blog/.

Computational Thinking: Part 2 – Additional Resources from the CSTA

Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki.By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

In a blog titled “Computational Thinking: Free Professional Development Resources” posted last month, we discussed the concept of computational thinking, its definition and the benefits of teaching computational thinking to students. In essence, Computational Thinking (CT) means solving problems and designing systems by drawing on concepts developed in the field of computer  science. Importantly, CT can be used to solve problems in any subject area.

The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) have created a Computational Thinking Task Force and have produced materials to support computational thinking in K-12 education.

CSTA_logo

You can find their operational definition of CT hereYou can download their document “Computational Thinking Teacher Resources” here. These illustrate CT methods in conjunction with material for other subject areas.  And their Leadership Toolkit for CT is located here.

 CT-TeacherResources-2ed-Cover

Free professional development training

And from Curriki, the Open Educational Resources Library and Community, we offer a self-paced professional development course for K-12 teachers interested in learning how to infuse Computational Thinking into their classes. The course was developed with support from AT&T.

• The CT professional development course is free and available on the Curriki website: www.curriki.org/oer/Computational-Thinking-Resources.

• The course has been created primarily for teachers at the middle school and high school levels, all K-12 educators will benefit from taking the course.

• Any teacher can take the course, including homeschool teachers.

• The self-paced online course provides teachers with a comprehension of CT and with the tools they need to get started right away.

• The course provides flexible professional development opportunities for educators who can work at their own pace and time frame.

• Teachers will examine the components of CT and explore how to introduce CT skills to their students.

• The concepts of CT may be applied to current curricula, project-based learning (PBL) projects, and STEM classes.

• CT can be used to solve problems in any area or field.

• Problem solving through CT is such a critically important skill it is directly or indirectly addressed by several sets of educational standards including:

o Computer Science Teachers Association K-12 Computer Science Standards

o Next Generation Science Standards

  AT&T generously funded the development of this course.

We encourage you to take benefit of this free professional development course in Computational Thinking from Curriki

Oracle Academy Expands in India

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Oracle CEO Safra Catz

Reblogged in part from https://www.oracle.com/in/corporate/pressrelease/oracle-expands-commitment-in-india-20160212.html, which discusses Oracle’s expanded commitment in India, including Oracle Academy Expansion; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDagd9cMCD4

Oracle CEO Safra Catz met with Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi (12 February 2016) and announced three major investments that support the country’s global digital leadership. Catz unveiled a massive, state-of-the-art campus centered in Bengaluru, 9 incubation centers throughout India, and an initiative to train more than half a million students each year to develop computer science skills.

“Oracle has been in India for over 25 years and during that time we’ve grown our investments tremendously,” said Catz. “In fact, India now represents our second largest employee base outside of the United States, with nearly 40,000 current employees and an additional 2,000 current job openings. We are investing over $400 million USD in Bengaluru, opening 9 incubation centers, and training half a million students each year during this expansion phase to support India’s tremendous growth. We ‘Make in India’ for the rest of the world.”

“I’m particularly excited about the incubation centers which will house substantial software and technology capabilities, tools, and training to help launch new technology startups built utilizing Java and the Oracle platform,” said Catz.

“Increasing diversity and creating opportunities for women in technology starts with investing in STEM and computer science education for girls,” said Catz. “Student learning and training has been a focus at Oracle for more than 20 years, and we are expanding our curriculum to include girls-only programs.”

Nine Incubation Centers

To contribute to India’s “Start-up India” and “Make in India” initiatives, Oracle is opening nine incubation centers throughout the country. These centers will support entrepreneurship and development of innovative start-ups by providing software, tools, and training to new software and technology companies utilizing Java and the Oracle platform. These centers will be located in Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Noida, Pune, Trivandrum and Vijayawada.

Oracle Academy Expansion

In support of the prime minister’s “Digital India” and “Skill India” programs, Oracle Academy plans to engage with local schools and universities to train more than half a million students throughout India in computer science each year.

Oracle Academy currently partners with more than 1,700 educational institutions in India, to advance computer science education and drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields. Through these collaborations, more than 3,000 India-based teachers were trained in Java and database last year alone. With today’s announcement, Oracle Academy aims to expand its partnerships to another 1,000 institutions in India, with a goal of reaching 500,000 students annually.

Worldwide, Oracle Academy trains more than 2.6 million students in 106 countries. In the past fiscal year, the program delivered nearly US $3.3 billion in resources globally to help prepare students for life and work in today’s modern technology-driven economy.

Computational Thinking: Free Professional Development Resources

KimJonesimageBy Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

Curriki has developed, with support from AT&T, a free professional development course in Computational Thinking.

In a 2006 article, entitled Computational Thinking, Jeanette Wing argued that “computational thinking …represents a universally applicable attitude and skill set everyone, not just computer scientists, would be eager to learn and use.. To reading, writing, and arithmetic, we should add computational thinking to every child’s analytical ability.”

While learning to code is popular right now, the thinking skills behind developing code are also critically essential for careers that don’t involve writing code. Computational Thinking is a set of skills and a process that can lead to a much better understanding of computing.

Computational Thinking defined

Computational Thinking (CT) involves some familiar concepts, such as problem decomposition, data representation, and modeling. CT can, but does not necessarily involve computers. When applied to computer science and coding, CT enables you to work out exactly what to tell the computer to get it to do what you want it to.
It means thinking logically, algorithmically and with the ability to apply mathematical concepts. And it means understanding concepts of scale and abstraction.

Benefits of Computational Thinking

If students are to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of how technology actually works, we should teach principles and theory, and how technology can be used to solve problems. CT means solving problems and designing systems in a way that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science.

CT is learning to think in ways which allow us to solve problems more effectively, and when appropriate, to use computers to help us do so. CT is important because it:

• Provides a framework to develop critical thinking across different fields

• Incorporates both creativity and efficiency into problem solving

• Allows students to interact with content-specific models and simulations (e.g., ecosystems, epidemics, molecular dynamics) to support learning and research

• Leads to IT fluency as opposed to IT literacy—moving students beyond being users of tools and information to becoming creators of tools and information (21st century skills)

• Develops job skills that lead to greater income

• Helps non-computer science people learn how to take advantage of the power of, and understand the limitations of, computers

• Applies to all subject areas—and allows students to advance

• Doesn’t require changing curricula or new technologies

A skill set in problem solving using Computational Thinking opens doors for anyone in any area. Curriki is making computer science education possible for all students regardless of zip code and empowering them will skills that will be critical to the jobs of today and tomorrow.

 

Free professional development training

Curriki is providing free professional development training in Computational Thinking for middle and high school teachers, with support from AT&T.

“We want to help all students develops the skills to succeed in school and the careers of the future. Ensuring educators have the resources and tools they need to teach those skills is a critical step in making this happen,” said Nicole Anderson, assistant vice president of Social Innovation at AT&T.

Curriki, the Open Educational Resources Library and Community, is offering a self-paced professional development course for K-12 teachers interested in learning how to infuse Computational Thinking (CT) into their classes.

• The CT professional development course is free and available on the Curriki website: www.curriki.org/oer/Computational-Thinking-Resources

• Created primarily for teachers at the middle school and high school levels, all K-12 educators will benefit from taking the course.

• Any teacher can take the course, including homeschool teachers.

• The self-paced online course provides teachers with a comprehension of CT and with the tools they need to get started right away.

• This self-paced course provides flexible professional development opportunities for educators who can work at their own pace and time frame.

• Teachers will examine the components of CT and explore how to introduce CT skills to their students.

• The concepts of CT may be applied to current curriculum, project-based learning (PBL) projects, and STEM classes.

• CT can be used to solve problems in any area or field.

• Problem solving through CT is such a critically important skill it is directly or indirectly addressed by several sets of educational standards including:

o Computer Science Teachers Association K-12 Computer Science Standards

o Next Generation Science Standards

•  AT&T generously funded the development of this course.

We encourage you to take benefit of this free professional development course in Computational Thinking from Curriki.