WEEK #1 REFLECTION
I have had a great first week! It has been great to finally get started on this project, because I have been looking forward to it for quite some time now. I have been in contact with my supervisor, and she has provided much useful advice and insight for which I am very grateful.
Because of the way the British education system is structured, the vast majority of people will never formally study computer science during school or university. It was at Duke where I was first exposed to coding, but many people will never have this opportunity. Further, while I am grateful for being able to study the subject at university, I am all too aware that I could have started years earlier, like some of my peers who grew up in different education systems were able to.
Consequently, computer science education has become something I am passionate about, and this is why I decided to undertake this project. Coding is a truly unique discipline that incorporates the logic and creativity of mathematics with the tangibility of engineering. It is applicable in countless fields because its possible applications are, quite literally, endless. I think it is a huge loss not to make computer science widely accessible in education. What I am most excited about, therefore, is introducing people to something I find so fascinating and, hopefully, sparking their interest in it too.
During this first week, I have been working through several important tasks. Firstly, I have been reaching out to local schools and other communities I am a part of so that I can reach interested students. I have had quite a lot of success so far, which has been great to see. Later this week, I plan to set up a website which will serve as the central hub of my coding course, with links to videos, assignment details, and a forum on which students can ask questions. I will also set up a YouTube channel, on which I will post the coding lessons. I have also been writing up a curriculum. There are many topics in computer science, but time is limited so I have been selecting areas that I think will be accessible to my students and most applicable for them.
I want to create lessons that are informative and engaging. It is important to me that when each of my students finishes watching a lesson, he or she has not only learned new concepts and information, but feels compelled to attend the next lesson and complete the assignments. I think this will be an ongoing challenge of this project, but it is one that I am excited to tackle because it will ultimately enable me to look at computer science from perspectives that I had not previously considered.