We are happy to announce our newest Educator Certification, Introduction to Computer Science with VEXcode VR. The Computer Science with VEXcode VR Certified Educator program is free and can be accessed at certifications.vex.com.
At VEX, we create products and solutions that educators and mentors will use to shape the learners of today into the problem-solving leaders of tomorrow. We envision a world where every student has the opportunity to be inspired by the excitement of hands-on, minds-on STEM learning and knows the feeling of creating something with technology. Learning Computer Science plays a large and important role in giving students of all ages and backgrounds the ability to create, not just consume, technology.
Now comes the challenging part. In 2017, only 36 teachers graduated from universities with Computer Science degrees. To help fill in this gap, we created the Computer Science with VEXcode VR Certified Educator program.
This program was designed to help novices that are completely new to teaching CS. First, the program assumes no prior Computer Science knowledge. Next, the course provides many opportunities for formative assessment so you can check your understanding throughout and have the opportunity to take practice exams–ensuring that you are completely prepared for the certification exam. Finally, the course was designed for understanding, not coverage. Like any discipline, there’s a lot to learn with Computer Science. We don’t try to teach/cover everything in this course. Instead, we focus on important concepts and dive into each thoroughly.
For more experienced educators, this program also provides new insights. Coding with sensors and the physics of a robot presents new ways to explore how Computer Science can be integrated into STEM. By the end of the program, you will be fully prepared to implement introductory Computer Science concepts and skills. Listed below are some of the things that you’ll have learned:
- What is a programming language?
- What are behaviors?
- What is an Algorithm?
- How do I use Loops and Conditional statements to change the flow of my project?
- How do I use feedback from multiple sensors in an Algorithm?
A Look Inside the Units
Each unit begins with an introduction to the learning objectives for that unit and the unit’s coding challenge. This creates a shared goal around the creation of a solution to the unit’s coding challenge, which requires an understanding of the CS principles from the unit. Next, each of the skills needed to complete the challenge is decomposed into individual lessons. The individual lessons then contain step by step instructions on the new CS concepts.
What to Expect of the Assessment Questions
Each lesson also contains formative assessment questions so you can gauge your progress. Additionally, the lessons contain a mini-challenge where you can iteratively test coding solutions in VEXcode VR. The concepts build upon each other from lesson to lesson, acting as a scaffold for users as they gradually build their capacity. And all of this can happen at your own pace–the VEXcode VR Certified Educator program tracks your progress allowing you to learn where and how you want.
Designed with Scaffolded Learning
This scaffolding does not just occur within each unit but also applies between the units. The VEXcode VR Certified Educator program was carefully designed to ensure that the CS concepts are foregrounded between each lesson and then between each unit. The design of the VEXcode VR Certified Educator program aligns learning goals with the activities and the assessments, resulting in you not just memorizing facts but instead building an understanding.
We can’t wait for you to get started! Every year, more schools across the US and the world are implementing CS. Take your classroom to the next level by becoming a VEXCode VR Certified Educator!