Blog Post

Finding Relevance with Current Events

JV_November1

 

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Bring high-interest topics into your computer science classes with CURRENT EVENTS.

News articles about computer science can spark meaningful discussions and reinforce the idea that computer science is EVERYWHERE. Exploration of current events can help students make connections between computational thinking concepts and their passions, and bring to light the tangible impacts of computer science. From scanning DNA for diseases to restoring historic art pieces to ensuring fair elections, computer science is shaping - and being shaped by - the world around us.

There are many great strategies for incorporating computer science articles in your classroom or coding club:

  • Students can find an article that interests them and lead a class discussion about the article, or keep an ongoing journal of reflections about news articles related to computer science.
  • Structure a student debate exploring multiple sides of an issue in an article.
  • Create a gallery walk in your classroom with images or articles and ask students to identify connections between the articles.
  • The New York Times Learning Blog shares these 50 ideas for teaching with current events.

Resources like Newsela help you filter content by topic and by reading level, so articles are appropriate for your students from elementary classes to middle grades and AP courses. Here are a few of my favorite sources for computer science articles:

ACM Tech News Science Daily MIT News
CNET Wired Scientific American

 

Have you tried incorporating current events in your classes? What has worked for you?

 

Jenn Vermillion is the Director of Innovative Learning at St. Catherine’s School, an independent school for girls age 3 through grade 12 in Richmond, VA. She teaches an introduction to computer science course for students in grades 9-12 and an 8th grade Creative Technologies course. She also coaches a 4th grade Robotics team and coordinates school-wide professional development. Jenn welcomes your comments and questions at jvermillion@st.catherines.org.