Today I had the amazing opportunity to host a workshop in collaboration with the Tiger Woods Foundation at the DC STEM Fair. This was GirlsComputingLeague’s first time collaborating on an event geared towards teachers, not students.
However, there were so many similarities– both teachers and students had limited coding experience, were personally motivated to learn, and had the same excitement when their programs first worked. The goal for this professional development seminar was to introduce teachers of all educational and professional backgrounds (we had english, history, math, biology, and CS teachers in attendance who taught elementary, middle, and high school).
We used a very simple coding platform that had both block and code syntax options– Code.org’s App Lab! This was GirlsComputingLeague’s first time using this platform, and it was definitely very simple and intuitive. The structure of the workshop was simple, as we introduced the field of CS using a few videos, introduced programming languages and why computer science is vital in our developing, technological world, and then introduced the App Lab through a one-hour, hands-on tutorial.
In that short time, the teachers had a great time creating a “choose your story” application using simple buttons and linking pages together. Among the applications were social causes (an app to help those who are being bullied, and an app teaching students about respect) as well as a “day in the life of a teacher app”, and a “welcome to my school” app. Below are a few screenshots of 3 of over 25 apps created today!
The best part about Code.org’s App Lab is that you can text the “app” to a phone and try it out for yourself on your phone. The user can also develop apps as simple as the ones that were created today to complex games. Below are a few screenshots of 3 of over 25 apps created today!
We’re hoping to do more workshops like this professional development workshop in the future. If you ask anyone in a CS field how they got into the subject, 9 times out of 10 they’ll tell you that their inspiration was a teacher or mentor. These individuals, with their passion and will to spread knowledge, impact hundreds of students every year and are the key to turning the tide in CS.