Computer Science Class to Pilot and Build National CSA Curriculum
Whitfield’s computer science program brings practical applications of computer science topics into classrooms at all grade levels. The program, designed to inspire innovative thinking and learning, provides all students with a foundation in technological and computing principles. This foundation of knowledge and skills readies Whitfield students to meaningfully participate in our increasingly digital society, economy, and culture.
Computer Science Integration Specialist and faculty member Andrew Asikainen continues to strengthen and evolve Whitfield’s computer science curriculum by adding new courses and engaging in innovative professional development opportunities. Recently, Mr. Asikainen was selected from a nationwide applicant pool to be a pilot teacher for Code.org’s new Computer Science A (CSA) curriculum that will be launched in 2022.
“Code.org is well known for the rigor and established process of how they build out their curriculum for students of all ages,” said Mr. Asikainen. “This is the first time they have ventured into the realm of CSA which is what I teach in Whitfield’s Computer Science Language—a course that emphasizes object-oriented programming and design using the Java programming language. As a pilot teacher, I will include Code.org’s new CSA tools in addition to the curriculum and materials I have designed. I will share my feedback, along with that of my students, in bi-weekly conference calls.”
Mr. Asikainen describes the benefits of collaborating with fellow pilot teachers from across the country. “In addition to the real-world application this opportunity provides my students, this is also a great professional development experience. I am broadening my horizon by engaging in creative conversations with computer science teachers who teach in a wide variety of schools. Hearing multiple perspectives helps Code.org build a better program and it helps us grow as teachers.”