How can school leaders ensure scaffold integration of coding in their schools?
Once the school leaders have decided to introduce coding, they can face many hurdles during implementation. Following are some points school leaders can keep in mind to ensure scaffold integration of coding in their schools.
- Need and Means Assessment
Various schools may have varying requirements and resources at their disposal. School leaders should first identify the need to introduce coding at different grade levels. Secondly, they should consider constraints like infrastructural availability, teacher’s capability, parent’s affordability, and other administrative and structural requirements while selecting a coding program.
- Outsourcing to experts or training in-house teachers
In the initial stages of introduction, a school might need help designing a curriculum framework, delivering instruction, monitoring the growth of students, etc. This can be done by: (a) hiring experts from outside who will directly engage with students or (b) providing professional training workshops to in-house teachers or (c) Creating an in-house team to gather and curate resources available in the open domain and implement it. School leaders can choose a program that best suits their needs and means to facilitate effective integration.
- Interdisciplinary learning
There is a need to design the curriculum in such a way that it is context-driven and embedded in mainstream subjects like English, Mathematics, Social Science, and Science. Children should be taught to think of coding as a tool to be explored and utilized across multiple disciplines. For eg., in an English classroom students can code a program in scratch that tells the user which article (a, an, or the) to use before a particular noun. They can also recreate an important event in history using Scratch in the Social Science classroom.
- Milestone Planning
To ensure scaffold integration, schools need to plan milestones to be achieved in advance. It is equally important to continually check for understanding and gain insights into students’ progress. This exercise can be undertaken thrice a year and any changes in students’ needs can be incorporated before moving to the next level.
- Ensuring parent’s involvement
It is also important to include parents at every step of adopting a coding program. Presenting demos through seminars and workshops is a great way to engage parents and spark students’ interest in the new course. Schools can also organize showcase opportunities where students present their projects and learnings.
Taking note of these points and planning meticulously can pave the way for scaffolded integration of coding within the schools in a hassle-free manner. This can ensure a wonderful experience for all the stakeholders involved.