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‘Code with Google’ helps bring coding into the classroom

The company unveiled a new resource for teachers.

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Most American students aren't learning how to code in elementary or middle school -- and if they are, it's likely they reside in an affluent school district. Google hopes to bridge the gaps in computer science education with Code with Google, a free coding curriculum that teachers can use to introduce their students to the basics of coding.

"Code with Google is the next step in our ongoing commitment to closing equity gaps in computer science education. With the right tools and resources, more teachers can help their students unlock their potential with code," wrote Google Vice-President of Education and University Relations in a blog post. The resource wraps in the company's existing free coursework and tools to learn coding, including the Grasshopper app that teaches novices how to use Javascript. Teachers can access video-based activities through CS First (Google's free CS curriculum), with different themes like game design, storytelling, sports and art. Along with the launch of Code with Google, the company also announced a $1 million grant to the Computer Science Teachers Association.

One activity called "An Unusual Discovery" has students sequence dialogue in a story using the programming language Scratch. Students program their characters with event blocks, such as "flag when clicked" or "wait two seconds." Designed to be aimed at beginners, the activity will likely give students a look at the thought process behind computer programming and exercise their skills in logic and problem-solving.

All of Google's Code with Google lesson plans are free and available in English and Spanish. The activities cover a broad range of age groups (from elementary to middle school) and skill levels vary from beginner to advanced. The idea of teaching kids computer science if they're just beginning to grasp the fundamentals of pre-algebra or chemical equations may seem daunting to some teachers, but the game-like approach of the activities will likely appeal to many students. For teachers looking to refresh their curriculum with some computer science, Google's resources will be an attractive option.

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