Yolondalyn Murray uses CS First to advance young library users’ computer science skills

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As Educational Liaison Coordinator for the Memphis Public Library system, Yolondalyn Murray uses Google’s free computer science (CS) curriculum, CS First, to provide the city’s youth with STEM learning that sparks imagination.

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

CS First is a great choice for Memphis Public Libraries because we don’t have to worry about differentiation. Students can move at their own pace, and it's okay if a student is truly starting from the beginning. At the library, we don’t "pick" who comes to our programs, so we look for packaged content that is already leveled for us.

"CS First helps us remove barriers to technology and training to increase knowledge, learning, and access to the economy for all of Memphis."

Yolondalyn Murray

How does CS First help you accomplish your instructional goals?

CS First helps students make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Students learn how to deconstruct the steps needed to solve a problem into a precise sequence of instructions, and how to debug errors in a program. CS First helps us remove barriers to technology and training to increase knowledge, learning, and access to the economy for all of Memphis.

What do students enjoy about CS First?

Students get to see that CS involves imagination. They really enjoy CS First activities where they can blend their creativity with their prior knowledge as they learn new skills. Some of the students have even taken this concept back to their schools, and we will be going out to a few classrooms to run CS First as part of our outreach.

What advice would you give to a teacher who's using CS First for the first time?

My advice to a first-time teacher would be to relax, because CS First has truly thought of everything. Everything is housed on the CS First website and the teacher only has to keep up with the rosters, stickers, pamphlets, and student progress. CS First allows instructors to feel confident about facilitating a coding program.

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