Computer Science is not the next big thing. It’s the thing we need now.
At the beginning of 2016 President Obama announced a proposal for a $4.1 billion dollar initiative to expand K-12 CS. The U.S. is not alone. The U.K. and Australia have announced computer science initiatives as part of their national curricula.
State and local governments are already increasing computer science spending, some making computer science classes a graduation requirement including the states of Arkansas, Washington and the cities of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Think about the world we live in now. Hundreds of thousands of good jobs will be accessible to those with coding and other essential skills… Fewer than 5% of all public school students have an opportunity to learn Computer Science… And when you do find students in computer class, they’re learning word processing or typing.
Computing makes up 2/3 of projected new jobs in STEM and are among the highest paying jobs for new graduates. To ensure that they remain competitive in the future, companies like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and even Disney and Cartoon Network are weighing in with millions of dollars towards computer science education.
Computer science, computational thinking, and design thinking are key components in preparing students to solve the problems of the 21st century.
Bridging the gap.
Somewhere between that first taste of computer programming kids get with the Hour-of-Code and tools like Scratch and the A.P Computer Science class in Java, students are getting lost. Whether you call it middle school, junior high, or intermediate school, there is a gap.
How do you keep that spark going after that first Hour of Code? How do you engage students who can't imagine a career in computing? Not all kids learn to code and stick with it, they can frustrated by lack of progress.
To build confidence, you need something that lets students create sophisticated software quickly. To build competency, you need something that teaches fundamental skills of computational thinking and programming. And to keep students engaged, you need something that inspires them to create.
I have been teaching Coding and CS to middle-school students for the last 6 years.
I found GameSalad to be the most effective at teaching computational thinking to young minds. GameSalad makes coding accessible and engaging in ways that other tools do not.
GameSalad is the best way to teach programming in middle school. Our game development tool has an easy to learn drag-n-drop interfaces. It's perfect for students looking for the next thing to learn after getting started on a system like Scratch, but aren't quite yet ready to code. GameSalad's middle school computer science curriculum teaches programming and computational thinking without the frustrations of typos and syntax errors. Student can focus on concepts and intent, which lets them build momentum as they complete their creations quickly. The excitement students experience while building games with GameSalad is the perfect stepping stone to traditional coding or interactive art and design. GameSalad bridges the middle school gap.
My classes are really enjoying GameSalad. They are choosing to work on their projects at home, even though it is not assigned. I polled the class today and 100% of them wanted to continue work in GameSalad. Thank you for such a great product.
Professional power at your fingertips.
Your students can use the same tool used by professional and hobbyist game developers to create over 65,000 games, including over 80 top-100 hits in the US App store, multiple #1 overall titles, and even a BAFTA winner! GameSalad is a commercial grade tool that is powerful enough to create complex, professional-grade games, yet simple enough to allow for creativity and self expression. Kids can build apps with the potential for release on mobile app stores!
Ready for the classroom.
With GameSalad for Education's comprehensive game development curriculum and easy drag-and-drop interface, anyone can teach fundamental computational thinking skills and computer science concepts, no CS background required! The curriculum makes it easy to integrate into digital design, media production, technology classes, computer education and after school programs. Your game design curriculum is also a computer science curriculum.