Worcester Public Schools | Worcester, Ma
Worcester Public Schools (WPS) is a district of 35 elementary schools serving students in grades K-5. In response to a teacher/department head request, the district introduced a coding program for grades 2-3 as part of their elementary technology special course. CodeMonkey was selected as the solution to fill a gap in the development of their K-5 technology course curriculum.
WPS understands that children who code from the beginning of their elementary school education achieved better academic performance throughout their education. When compared to children who don’t engage in coding-related learning, a higher percentage of children who start coding early gain interest in STEM, both in college and professionally. Implementing a Coding platform like CodeMonkey in WPS was paramount.
In today’s digital age, where technology is pervasive in every aspect of our lives, it is becoming increasingly essential for students to have exposure to computer science and coding from an early age. WPS’s elementary courses are including coding and computer science to help prepare students for future career paths and provide them with essential skills that are relevant in many industries.
One of the challenges faced by WPS in introducing coding into the curriculum was finding appropriate resources for students in grades 2-3. While they had hands-on, unplugged materials for K/1 and an established coding program in place for grades 4/5, there was a need for additional materials to support students in the middle grades.
It is insurmountably important to WPS’s staff and teachers that students develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. As students learn how to write code, they are challenged to think logically and systematically. They learn to break problems down into smaller, more manageable pieces and to think creatively about how to solve them. These skills are essential in many areas of life, from schoolwork to future careers.
Another advantage of introducing coding and other computer science classes in WPS’s elementary schools is that it helps to diversify the tech industry. Teaching coding to students of all backgrounds and genders can help to level the playing field and create a more diverse and inclusive industry in the future. School programs like CodeMonkey are helping the future growth of women in STEM for example. Once a male-dominated industry, women programmers are on the rise. WPS wants to help diversify the tech industry and taking the steps to make this happen.
CodeMonkey was selected as the solution to address the gap in WPS’s technology curriculum. The program was well-received by teachers and students due to its ease of use and accessibility. CodeMonkey’s gamified approach to learning coding was engaging for students, while its user-friendly platform made it easy for teachers to implement in their classrooms.
It was apparent from some of the previous grades that already tried CodeMonkey, that coding can be fun and engaging for their young students. CodeMonkey has gamified courses, with colorful graphics and interactive challenges that make learning to code more like playing a game. By making coding fun and engaging, students are more likely to be motivated to continue learning and developing their skills. The students and teachers at WPS were giving positive feedback that led to the decision to implement more courses in their K-5 technology course curriculum.
The introduction of CodeMonkey to WPS’s technology curriculum has had such a positive impact on both students and teachers. Students have developed new coding skills and enjoyed the interactive, game-based approach to learning. Teachers have found the program to be user-friendly and so easy to implement, which has helped to support their own professional development in teaching coding. Overall, the adoption of CodeMonkey has helped to enhance the district’s technology curriculum and better prepare students for success in the digital age.
The forward-thinking department heads at WPS believe that the early elementary years are the best age for a child to be introduced to coding. At this time, kids will use the ideal cognitive stage of development to sow seeds for more complex knowledge as they age and grow. The best of the best in coding often started taking an interest and learning to code around age 5 or 6. When children are taught logical-thinking skills and adopt a problem-solving mindset, they will comprehend more complex concepts of coding later in life. Much like a child who learns a language early and does not retain the language, even those children who do not maintain an interest in coding as they age will benefit from the understanding of basic technology concepts that will enhance other learning and be invaluable to their future success.
Introducing coding in the elementary technology curriculum of Wilmington Public Schools is crucial for preparing students for some of the most in-demand and high-paying jobs of the future. By providing access to the world of coding at an early age, WPS better prepares its students for future success!
We at CodeMonkey would like to hear your story and how coding in general, CodeMonkey in particular, helped your organization as a whole. We’d love to hear about the experience of students, teachers, school or district-level management.
We would like to share these stories with others so they can be inspired to bring the gift of coding to their organizations. We’d like to show that both large and small organizations have their own unique story. There are so many ways to educate the younger generation!
CodeMonkey offers educational resources suitable for different grades and experience levels.