PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Cathedral School has become a virtual model for how to integrate technology and programming into the classroom.
Fourth graders at the school learn to program as part of the curriculum.
“So this is a game where you just hit space bar to change your gravity and go to the different platforms,” Conner Jensen, a fourth grader at the school, tells KOIN.
He’s already programmed more than 50 games with knowledge acquired during tech class and the technology integration at the school.
“What they’ve done here is brought it to every year from K through 8 so students have a consistent experience to learn tech at their appropriate developmental level,” Shawn Daley, the Chief Innovation Officer at Concordia University and an Apple Distinguished Educator, tells KOIN about the program.
Daley says technology fuels learning rather than being added onto academics. From pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, students are taught how programming works and are given tools and toys to put it into action with the help of a tech coach.
“What I see in programming is critical thinking, collaborative, innovative, problem solving,” Liane Rae, the Middle School Science and Tech Coach and Apple Distinguished Educator says.
Rae works in the tech lab with the students and in all of the classrooms integrating technology into daily learning.
Students learn everything from how to make a robot move to how to set up an interactive game, and even how to read and write code.
“I would say middle schoolers in general, they’re not afraid of manipulating code and they don’t have the fear that some adults have when they see something that’s new and strange,” Rae says.