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The e-Professional by EGEA
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The e-Professional

Volume 14                                    January 2015                                         

 

The Hour Of Code Challenge


Computer Science is a growing field around the globe. As more and more careers require some knowledge of programming (or coding), the need for people who can fill these jobs is growing at an unprecedented rate. Research indicates that college graduates in computer science cannot fill the vast number of jobs that are, and will be, available in the future. Coding isn't just for programmers and computer geeks, in fact, it is catching on, even with young students. Code.org is leading the charge to bring coding to every classroom in America and to close the gender and racial divide that currently exists in the computer programing field.

Luckily, one of our own EGUSD Computer Teachers, Mike Gargiulo at Elliott Ranch Elementary, is at the forefront of this movement. Last year, he participated in the Hour of Code training and was able to see firsthand the impact it has on students. Mike continued to use resources from the code.org website and decided to apply for an affiliate position with the organization. He was chosen, out of numerous applicants, to work on getting computer science into elementary schools in Northern California. In addition, Mike has provided professional development opportunities this year, not only to EGUSD educators, but to those from as far as Los Gatos and Chico. Mike has also hosted trainings to target traditionally underrepresented groups in coding, with his "Mother Daughter Coding" event last October. This is part of the mission of code.org, to expose groups who otherwise would not participate in computer science activities. 

As people around the globe are participating in the Hour of Code, it is being called the largest education event in history. Even President Obama has been in on the action! Want to take the challenge?  Try it HERE.
  • Watch a short video about people who were impacted by using computers and learning coding at a young age HERE.
  • Find more stats about Code.org and their goals for the future HERE.
Read more about Mike and the "World of Coding" in the interview below.

Mike Gargiulo 

Elliott Ranch Elementary

  • For those of us who are new to the idea of coding, can you tell us what it is and why it is an important skill? Coding tells a computer what to do. A basic understanding of coding helps us all with our many daily interactions with computers (cell phones, grocery store scanners, home security systems, entertainment systems and the list goes on.) Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of computer science jobs that can't be filled due to lack of qualified workers. Many of these jobs have a starting salary of around $80,000.
  • How might coding tie in to vocational education or Linked Learning? I can't think of any careers that wouldn't benefit from understanding just a bit of computer science and coding.
  • I hear you have had a great response from fellow teachers about this program and professional development about coding.  Why do you think so many teachers are catching the coding bug? Computer science is fun, exciting, and a great fit into our curriculum. Seeing students' faces light up with pride after struggling to get a through a section is extremely rewarding. Code.org understands how hard we as teachers work and goes out of their way to make sure the workshops are fun and upbeat. Code.org provides workshop attendees lunch, swag bags, and manuals.
  • If teachers are interested in bringing coding to their site or classroom, what can they do? Sign up for a workshop (Click HERE to check out the code.org professional development site.) EGUSD professional development workshops are already approved for salary credit. You can sign up for one of these trainings via the EGUSD's ERO system after registering at code.org professional development page. Bringing workshops to individual sites or holding trainings at larger venues are also options.
  • Do you have any additional resources that you could suggest for someone who wants to learn more? Code.org is a great place to start. Dozens are resources are available. Code.org is continually updating resources as they become available. EGUSD elementary school teachers can also check with their Computer Resource Teacher--We have some of the BEST!
"The Educators of the Elk Grove Unified School District."

25, 30, and 35 Years of Service

 


A special "Thank-You", to our members who were recently honored for their 25, 30, or 35 years of service to Elk Grove Unified! We are so proud to have excellent educators who are committed to students, the community, and to each other. Your dedication is inspirational!
 
 

Celebrate fitness!

 


Check out THIS LINK to find some great ideas and sites for fun family activities, starting a fitness routine, and even local programs and classes for getting fit.
 

Coding is Fun!


Top right and bottom left: Attendees at the first "Mother/Daughter Code" Training.

Bottom right: Mike, with his daughter Sophia, who attend Kerr Middle School. She often attends the Saturday Coding trainings.

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