Last year, the district began a district-wide technology curriculum revision in an effort to better sequence our technology curriculum and to make sure that we are providing challenging, relevant coursework. A significant component of the new curriculum focuses on the STEM field of computer science, particularly software programming. Students in the upper elementary grade levels begin learning to program using the MIT-developed Scratch programming environment (http://scratch.mit.edu/).
Middle school students continue to use Scratch and also learn to program applications for Android mobile devices, the first set of which are shown at right and were made possible through funding provided by the district’s voter-approved Physical Plant and Equipment Levy. Beginning next year, ADM high school students will have the opportunity to take PLTW Computer Science, wherein they learn Java and a handful of other languages, and in 2015-2016 the district will begin offering AP Computer Science, wherein students can learn advanced programming skills.
We will continue to revise and tweak the programming offerings that we are making available to students, and feel strongly about continuing to improve and develop these offerings. All students will need technology skills in future education and employment environments, as well as in their daily lives. Computer science in particular – a field where many entry-level jobs start at wages of $50/hr and up – is a growing field that we would like to position ADM’s students to become a part of, should they so choose.