Stichting NewTechKids has published a report about our experiences teaching computer science and technological literacy programs to primary school-aged children in Amsterdam Southeast.
Amsterdam Southeast is a largely low-income, minority community. We describe the children we taught as ‘Rising Technologists’ because we believe that with opportunity and access to computer science education, they have the potential to become future technologists and leaders who can help their communities.
Thanks to a Google RISE Award, Stichting NewTechKids taught two free, after-school programs from January to April 2017 in Amsterdam Southeast. Our teachers taught 42 students ages 7-10 who attend local primary schools. Girls comprised 50% of one program and 60% of the other.
During these programs, we taught fundamental computer science concepts and technological literacy and studied how these students learned in order to adapt our pedagogy, teaching approaches, curriculum, and lessons.
Our major conclusions which are based purely on our experience and observations of teaching a 10-week ‘Intro to Computer Science’ program to 42 Rising Technologists in Amsterdam Southeast:
- Focus on Computational Thinking and 21st Century Skills
- Develop Customized CS Programs for Rising Technologists
- Teach Fundamental CS Concepts, Rather Than Specific Programming Languages
- Teach With Tangible Objects as CS and coding programs based exclusively on on-screen programming are not suitable for Rising Technologists
We developed this report for teachers, schools, CS program providers, curriculum developers, researchers, technology companies and local governments. We are sharing our observations and recommendations in the hopes of drawing attention to the importance of diversity and inclusion initiatives and expanding CS education for Rising Technologists in Amsterdam Southeast and similar communities around the world.
In August 2017, Stichting NewTechKids will publish a follow up report based on our experience of teaching an older group of students, ages 10-12.
Read the complete report here.