Eagle's Eye

The Scoop on Innovation and Technology at KCDS

Why Your KCDS Student Has An Advantage

As I have mentioned before, KCDS is leading the way in technology and innovation in the community. With our 1:1 implementation and computer science curriculum in its second year, your student is already ahead of public school peers. After visiting a couple of high schools in our community, I discovered that most districts do not plan to start 1:1 implementation until 2017 or later, and do not find value in offering computer science instruction at all, other than an online course at the high school level. KCDS is looking forward, and has been for several years now, so your student can find the most success in the future. We believe these are necessary 21st Century skills that every student should have, along with skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, empathy, and global citizenship. Even our youngest students are learning beginning coding skills right along with their ABC's and 123's! Every student, in every grade at KCDS has had the opportunity to engage in hands-on computer science education this year. Not many schools can say that!

Not only are we incorporating computer science into our curriculum, but KCDS students are also taking an active role in the learning experience through Design Thinking. (https://www.smore.com/1rqf9) Again, when I mentioned this to an area public school principal, he said he was not familiar with Design Thinking. KCDS is again leading the way by giving our students meaningful and engaging experiences which teach and strengthen the 21st Century skills we know your students will need. I can't think of a better way to learn community citizenship, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills than by going into the community and taking on issues that need a solution. Our fourth graders have done just that! In a couple of weeks they will take their inventions back to the Oakland Center and present their solutions to the users.

This is the kind of meaningful, engaging education we value here at KCDS. All grades, Senior Kindergarten through sixth grade have had an opportunity to experience the Design Thinking Process this year. A process, that by nature, allows students to think analytically and intuitively, build and tinker, incorporate technology, and most of all, collaborate and build creative confidence, something that is truly lacking in most schools. Our students are arriving at a real solution that is meaningful and relevant to the students and the end-user. At KCDS, we are purposefully guiding and creating innovators of the future.

Big image
Big image
Photo Credit: Code.org

Looking Forward

Here are a few things we are looking into for next year:

  • Online Student Driven Portfolios for PK-8
  • 20% Time for Middle School with a possible Mini MakerSpace
  • A "Zines" class/elective for Middle School-an entrepreneurial magazine writing class
  • Coding Buddies (Younger and older students paired for coding projects)
  • Level Up Village STEM elective for Middle School (Collaborative course with a class in a developing country)
  • Two Wonder Workshop Robotics teams for grades 3-5 (Dash and Dot Robots)
  • Lego Mindstorm Robotics Club for Middle School (after school)
  • More Design Thinking projects involving our community