August 24, 2021
CS is Elementary and Infosys Foundation USA have launched Kode5, a program offering any elementary school in the United States a free K-5 computer science education program for every grade, student, teacher and classroom—with no teacher training, experience, cost, or special facilities required. A Quick-Prep Guide provides classroom teachers with discussion questions linked to each lesson. The new program is available to any school at Infosys Foundation USA’s Pathfinders Online Institute.
"Elementary school computer science education is a prerequisite to equity and equal opportunity,” explained Infosys Foundation USA Executive Director Kate Maloney. “This digital literacy is essential to nearly every career path, and experience shows that introducing it at a young age is the best way to keep students engaged and spark an interest for the long-term."
The Kode5 breakthrough is a direct result of the Covid education emergency, and builds upon the success of National Family Code Nights, which reached tens of thousands of families via distance-learning livestreams offered through nine state partners and nearly 700 schools.
"During Covid, we showed we can effectively teach K-5 computer science via distance-learning livestreams, and that children and families love the experience,” explained CS is Elementary Executive Director John Pearce. “Now we are offering a set of five Kode5 on-demand courses using this model. Each Kode5 Course provides any classroom with an expert Virtual Co-Teacher that provides the instruction, while each classroom teacher supports and manages the students’ classroom experience, often learning along with the children."
Kode5 addresses the key reasons most elementary schools do not provide computer science education today: a lack of trained teachers, lack of funding and budget constraints, the impossibility of demanding more of overwhelmed K-5 teachers – or quite often, even knowing how to begin. Kode5 provides 20 hours per grade of CS instruction, using the best of free online learning activities and curricula from all sources, and provides a clear scope and sequence for getting started with CS education.
Initial Kode5 courses include:
"Our baseline program gives every school a place to start, now, and free,” continued Pearce. “Any school can now provide baseline CS education to every child. It really is that simple."
Interested educators and families can stream any Kode5 Course on-demand at infosys.org/pathfindersonline.