At EPMS, both 7th and 8th grade computer technology courses last one term. The major focus of Computer Technology 7 is productivity. Students focus daily on building correct touch typing skills (correct fingers on the correct keys without looking). Microsoft Word, Excel and Publisher are also major instructional units during the term. Other units include procedural and financial literacy. Procedural literacy is understanding the programming steps necessary to have the computer complete a desired outcome. The students used code.org to learn the beginning procedural literacy steps of Java coding language. For financial literacy, the students work through an online simulation. The winning goal of the simulation is to save $2,000 to start college. The simulation requires students to budget their monthly expenses and manage their paychecks. The students also use Google Drive and Google Classroom to work collaboratively. The 8th Grade Computer Course major focus is Robotics. During this nine week course students will refresh their typing skills and work with LinkBot robots and 3D printers. I have collaborated with the UC Davis C-STEM program. It is a hands-on integrated learning of math and computer science through robotics. Students will start to code with blockly style code using RoboBlockly, then transition to ChIDE, a user-friendly C/C++ interpreter. Through computer programming based problem solving and engaging activities, students develop critical and computational thinking skills. The students will use a 3D modeling application to design and print accessories for the robots.
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