As computer technology has surged in the last decade, educators realize the importance of teaching computer science. Since 2016, 35 states have implemented Computer Science standards for their educators and 5 more are in the process of implementing standards.
The standards vary state-by-state, but are designed to ensure K-12 learners are receiving clear and equitable instruction on the technology that shapes our day to day lives. Code.org has a fantastic resource for finding the most up-to-date information about coding and computer science standards in your state.How familiar are you with your state’s standards? Many states have implemented suggestions directly from the Computer Science Teachers Association standards, which include, but aren’t limited to:
For students aged under 7:
Understanding basic computing systems, selecting age-appropriate software, learning relevant terminology, explaining the need for passwords and online security as well as introductions to simple algorithms and basic programming.
For students aged 8-11:
Examining the connection between hardware and software, determining potential solutions to basic hard and software problems, modeling how information can be broken down and transmitted online as well as discussing computer technologies that have impacted the world.
For students aged 11-14:
Recommending improvements for hardware design and software features based on user experience, systematically identifying issues within devices, applying methods of encryption and secure transmission of information as well as comparing accessibility and ethical trade offs when new technology is developed.
For students aged 14-16:
Creating prototypes using algorithms to solve problems, evaluating reliability and scalability of networks and servers, recommending security features to address possible trouble scenarios as well as designing and developing programs for broad audiences.
For students aged 16-18:
Categorizing the roles of various operating systems and issues that impact network functionality, efficiency in data analysis through CS tools and techniques, use and adapt classic algorithms to solve problems as well as evaluating the global impact of equity, access and distribution of computing resources.
As part of our series on Computer Science and Coding, we’d love to hear from you about how you meet CS standards in your classroom. If there are ways you’ve succeeded or struggled to engage your learners about CS, let us know in the comments below! For more information on Computer Science standards, we recommend Code.org and CSTeachers.org. We also recommend exploring Engineering and Computer Science Essentials: An Integrated Program.