Programming curriculum overview
- Using a computer to achieve goals, like being able to type, using a spreadsheet program, editing video, etc.
- Understanding how to program a computer using one of the many programming languages in the world, either to solve math and science problems or to create interactive apps, games, and experiences.
- Gaining a deep understanding of the science and engineering of computers, both on the hardware side (electrical engineering) and the software (algorithms).
- Basic statement syntax
- Math operators, assignment operators
- Logic and conditionals
- Object-oriented JS
- Talk-throughs: These are our approach to videos, the way that we teach new concepts. Like Khan’s videos, they’re around 5 minutes long and teach one concept at a time. We present the code on the left, output on the right, and narrate as we write new code, while the output updates live. The student can pause the talk-through at any point, change the code, and see the new output, which is one way we encourage more interactive learning. The talk-throughs have transcripts for deaf students, and are partially translated into Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
- Challenges: This is how we assess whether students understand the concept we just taught, and there is one challenge for every talk-through. Each challenge starts off with some code and has a series of steps with instructions and hint code for each step. We analyze their code as they type and offer messages to guide them in the right direction, when we see they’ve made a common mistake. When they complete the steps, they earn points and their progress is logged on their activity dashboard.
- Projects: The projects are our opportunity to give students to be very creative with the concepts they’ve just learnt. They have a general set of guidelines but students can take them in their own direction. For example, after learning how to make shapes, students do “What’s for Dinner?”, drawing their favorite dinner on a plate using the shape commands. Those projects are peer evaluated from fellow online students (if the student is 13+). Many teachers also like to do their own separate evaluation of projects.
- Review articles: These are a great way for students to review what they've just learned, both immediately after learning it and later on as a refresher.