Since the introduction of the desktop computer more than 30 years ago, public education has struggled with how — and why — to integrate computers in classrooms. In those early days computer classes primarily focused on programming. Basic programming language was widely offered in schools nationwide. Then came education’s love affair with productivity software. Applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint transformed the workplace. And they transformed the purpose of computers in the classroom.
Today the classroom computer is the new pencil. The new calculator. The new slide projector. The new textbook. The new standardized test administrator. The new poster board. By assigning the computer all of these amazing new roles, we ironically diminish its power to teach. Computer programming — even a course teaching only basic concepts — frees students to develop critical thinking skills and to create.
It’s easy to equate computer literacy and computer science with flashy PowerPoint presentations. PowerPoint is important, but it’s not a 21st century career.
CodeVA is made up of classroom teachers committed to expanding public school computer science offerings all across Virginia. Based in Richmond, our teacher training efforts and outreach to districts, parents and policymakers assumes a statewide footprint. We are grateful for the partnership we have developed with Code.org, a national organization with a similar mission. We look forward to making computer science education a reality for all Virginia children and for all Virginia communities.
How can I get involved?
I want to teach my students computer science!
I want to learn computer science!
I want all Virginia students to have access to computer science!