I met Tanya earlier this fall when I attended one of her free full-day Code.org PD sessions for teachers. I learned so much, had such fun, and was so impressed by the quality of the instruction and experience, that I couldn’t wait to encourage my educator friends and colleagues to attend a workshop. Atlanta International School has partnered with Tanya and Code.org to host several FREE workshops that any educator can attend. Do it! You'll love it :) (Upcoming dates are February 12, March 5 and March 19, 2016).
I asked Tanya if she would share with us a bit about herself and her commitment to bringing coding to classrooms.
Can you tell us why you believe computer science and coding are essential for all learners?
Students of all ages should be learning computer science, which is a much broader field than coding. It involves learning how technology works, learning how software is changing our world, and how they can participate in the world around them. Computer science develops students’ computational and critical thinking skills and teaches them how to create—not just use—new technologies. Computing is not a goal in and of itself, but the means to an end, enabling students to take control, solve problems, and build futures based upon their imagination and creativity. This fundamental knowledge is needed to prepare students for the 21st century, regardless of their ultimate ﬁeld of study or occupation.
Tell us why Code.org is so awesome…
I have never, ever seen my students so excited about learning -- plain and simple. The enthusiasm for learning is contagious. The high level of engagement coupled with the obvious...“IT”S A TOTALLY FREE PROGRAM THAT IS AMAZING!!” is what continues to motivate me to teach computer science using the Code.org tutorials as well as recruit as many teachers as I can to do the same. Through problem solving, students learn grit, determination and perseverance. They look at failures as clues and they fix programs to get the results they want. Young coders learn to struggle through challenges while maintaining their self-esteem and this lesson transfers into other areas of life. Students learn that failure is an option… as well as an opportunity.
Tell us three things about you...
PS: Tanya holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and is a veteran elementary school teacher with 27 years of classroom experience. She currently teaches Gifted classes at a public elementary school in Forsyth County, Georgia.
We are excited to have Tanya bring Code.org to EdCamp Atlanta!
[Shelley Paul is Site Director for EdCamp Atlanta and Head of STEAM at Atlanta International School]
EdCampATL on Flickr