Idaho Public Television’s teacher ambassador, Kari Wardle, has developed an online, self-paced professional development course that is designed to teach elementary school educators how to code and how to integrate coding into the classroom.
Coding is a form of computer programming that can be used to create games, apps, webpages and instructions for electronic devices.
Wardle’s course, “Teaching Coding to K-5 Students,” is available online through the Idaho State University website. It can be taken individually or in a collaborative group.
“As a teacher myself, I know the need for high-quality professional development,” Wardle says, “but I also know the need for that PD to be flexible and work within the teachers’ schedule. Coding is a new type of literacy, and I knew it was an area where teachers, especially elementary teachers, could use some more training.”
Lisa Ramsey, a teacher at Wendell Elementary School who has taken the course and applied its techniques in her classroom, says, “I really enjoyed participating in this class. It has shown me new ways to enrich my lessons. Whenever my students are creating with PBS Kids ScratchJr [coding language] they have an excitement about them, and I know they are loving what they are doing.”