Sunday, March 23, 2014

A new season, a new set of problems

Finally Spring has arrived! Along with the new season came new obstacles for me with regards to my project. These past two weeks have been pretty busy for me, I was finally able to get in contact with the director of cirriculum and sent him this email: 

Dear Mr. Johnson,

I am currently working on a project where I am learning programming/coding. It has come to my attention that the Grosse Pointe Public School System does not have any programming classes (with the exception of the high schools). I wanted to discuss the possibility of integrating programming into the curriculum at the middle and elementary schools. It could start off only being a small amount of time, say 20-30 minutes per week or have one designated day per week that it is taught. With the GPPSS being one of the best in the state of Michigan, it makes sense that the students that live in the district be prepared for college and ahead of the game. In order to do this, I firmly  believe that programming is a skill everyone should know. It is a skill that everyone will need to have within the next 15 years.

Integrating programming into the curriculum would be very easy. It would only take 30 minutes every Friday where the students will play various coding games. These are not only fun, but very beneficial because they will be learning how to program in the process. They are also very easy games that take little to no instruction.  There are different games for all different age levels, the more basic ones being for younger children. Code.org is an organization that with my help can help us to organize all of the lessons for the class and will handle almost everything.. If we were to integrate coding into the curriculum it would make the GPPSS ahead of all of the schools in Michigan and increase our rating. I would love to meet with you and discuss if this would be possible and even present it to the Board of Curriculum.

He responded asking if I had a teacher who was in support of it and that I may want to begin a club to build up interest. I feel like if I were to start a club for programming, it would have to be at the elementary school level because my school already has a class for it and wouldn't benefit from it. Yet, if I were to start a club in the elementary schools, who is going to send their child after school to learn programming? I don't feel like there will be a huge amount of interest even though this is something that all kids should learn. I think that I might just have to go straight to the school board sometime this month/next month and present this to them instead. Once the parents at the meeting realize that this will prepare their child better for college and give them a whole new skill set, I think this will gain a lot of support from parents. And we all know that once parents get involved, anything is possible. I am thinking of just reading the email to the board and seeing if I am able to get anyone to support it. 

I also did a little bit of coding last week, except because I don't have time to do it everyday, it's hard to keep having to stop and then start again because I forget a lot of the previous lessons. I am still learning HTML and CSS and it is slowly getting harder and harder because there are so many tags and commands that it's hard to keep track of. In terms of my project, I am definitely going to stick with what I discussed in my blog a couple of weeks ago, it is something I feel really strongly about and I think it brings up a good point. 

Happy Spring! 




1 comment:

  1. Brenna, great to see that you connected with the Director of
    Curriculum. I understand your concern about his after school club suggestion. Did you think about replying to his email and voicing your concern. It's possible he either didn't think of the issues you're concerned about or did think about them but has a thought about why it might still work. Scott

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