Three high schools offering coding
Florence educators are making headway in preparing students for jobs of the future. Research indicates that software application developers, computer user support specialists, computer systems analysts and web developers are all jobs that show projected growth, and they all require a knowledge of coding.
Florence School District One is one of two school districts in South Carolina offering coding courses at its three high schools this year. The only other district offering coding to high schools in South Carolina is in Lexington County.
Florence One officials explain that coding is what makes it possible to create computer software, apps and websites. The computer browser, the OS, the app on a mobile phone, Facebook, and websites – are all made by coding.
Stephanie Rogers-Samuel, Florence Career Center; Cynthia Harrison, West Florence; and Tasha Davis, Wilson, are computer instructors who have been tapped to teach the first level of four coding courses now offered in Florence One. For the past few years, each of the teachers has been teaching Florence One’s computer science courses, such as Exploring Computer Science, Digital Multi-Media, Web Design, and Dual Credit Courses with Florence-Darlington Technical College. They all have a combined total of 20 years in Florence One.
“Coding is programming a computer to solve problems and to take responsible risks,” said Tasha Davis. Davis added that as a prerequisite, students must have completed Algebra I and/or must be recommended by a teacher to take the course. “It will also help if the students who take coding have analytical skills,” she added.
Coding is the new literacy,” said Cynthia Harrison. “I am excited about teaching the coding course because it will help to stimulate students’ critical thinking as well as team-working skills.” It (coding) is where our future is headed.”
“Coding teaches students how to deal with real-life problems. It is also a career-related course that will appeal to students’ interests, particularly the gaming app. It also teaches students different ways to solve problems,” said Stephanie Rogers-Samuel.
In addition to their expertise as computer science teachers, Rogers-Samuel, Harrison and Davis all received professional development and preparation this summer through Discovery Education. The initiative came about through guidance from Florence One’s Director of Secondary Education Dr. Kelvin Wymbs.
In the coding program, a course is designed each year for freshman, sophomore, and junior year students at the high school level with an internship experience required for the senior year. The internship is planned through Florence One’s Instructional Technology Department, as well as with partnerships with local computer technology firms of Hill-South, ACS Technologies and possibly others.
1. Coding terminology
a. a browser is a program with a graphical user interface for displaying HTML files, used to navigate the World Wide Web.
b. An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. All computer programs, excluding firmware, require an operating system to function.
c. App - Apps are similar to the applications installed from a CD. They are like the desktop software programs installed on computer, except that they are used on the web directly within your browser. Sometimes they can even be shortcuts to websites.