Classroom Story

Kyleigh Lewis uses CS First to launch computer science in her K–12 school

Kyleigh Lewis uses CS First to launch computer science in her K–12 school

Kyleigh Lewis teaches business and technology at Dorchester Public School, a small, K–12 attendance center in rural Nebraska. She brought computer science (CS) to her school with Google’s free CS curriculum, CS First, to give students a competitive edge for their futures through coding.

? Why did you decide to use CS First in your classroom?

As a teacher in a very small, rural school—with only 55 students in Grades 9–12—my personal mission is to keep my students competitive and up-to-date. After hearing about CS First at a Nebraska technology conference, I decided to bring it to our school. I had no CS background prior to the conference, but with CS First, Google has done all the work. They give you lessons, materials, and the confidence to share CS with your students for free and with little set-up time. CS First gives us the same opportunities that larger school districts have.

If it weren't for CS First, our small, rural school wouldn't be leading the way in introducing students to computer science in Nebraska. CS First makes it easy to expose our students and community to the infinite opportunities created by computer science.

? Why does CS First work for you and your school?

The first time I taught CS First, I was nervous I wouldn’t know what I was doing. The curriculum videos and resources, like lesson plans and solution sheets, gave me the confidence to introduce CS to our students. I have presented and shared this resource with tons of teachers, and they can't believe how easy it is. As an educator, time is valuable. With CS First, you don’t have to go through months of training or hours of lesson planning. Showcasing students’ excitement about coding to the community has helped us increase our school’s investment in CS.

Why does CS First work for you and your school?

? What is your favorite thing about CS First?

Since we launched CS First at Dorchester, we have students competing in state and local competitions, increased enrollment in high school technology classes, and many upper-level students enrolling in dual-credit technology and CS classes through the local community college. CS First is a great way to expose students and show teachers, the administration, the community, and school board members the value that CS provides to a school district.

? How does CS First help you accomplish your instructional goals?

CS First helps me teach computer science to students at different ability levels. As they watch the videos and code each activity, novices work on mastering the main objectives, while more advanced learners can complete the optional add-ons. If students need to, they can rewatch the videos and have visual examples to assist them in completing the activity. Unlike a classroom lecture, each student is receiving an individualized lesson that is pushing them to the best of their ability. CS First provides help along the way to ensure that all learners are successful.

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