Computer curriculum (Grade school)
So originally I was going to aim this just at Rim and Scott, but I realized there are probably a bunch of you out there that would have some interesting input here.
I'm advising at a grade-school on computers and computer science, and will be helping to build a curriculum for the students. Not so much day-to-day lesson plans, but more benchmarks and specific target skills. There has been a lot of talk in the show, and a fair amount here on the boards (though I don't lurk as much as I should these days) on the necessity of computer skills in early learning. I wondered if there was anything specific that y'all had I'n mind.
To be specific, this school covers grades K - 5, and the students only get about an hour a week with the computer lab, so the time constraints are pretty limited. The first couple of grades (K-3 generally speaking) have concentrated mostly on computer use (Keyboarding, navigating a program, some educational websites) and the later grades (4 and 5) have used the computer lab mostly for project research on the net.
It is my opinion that by the time they're done with 5'th grade there should be at least some rudimentary understanding of computer engineering (this is how a microchip works, this is what RAM is, etc) and maybe the basics of a general compeer language, even if it's just the basics of language logic like the old LOGO program. What skills do you think kids should have by the time they're moving on to middle school?
Do you think that there should be more computer language, should I suggest something like Unix (which seems to me to be more generally helpful today than an object oriented programming language like C), a markup language like HTML for better understanding of the internet, or maybe a simple language like Ruby? The teachers do not have any experience in programming, and are only basically computer literate, so anything that they teach would have to be heavily supported by outside programs, websites, and resources like that that are kid-friendly.
Really I'm just throwing this out there to see if any interesting ideas or resources come up, but if you have any opinion to add I'd love to hear it. Thanks!