We live in a digital world and our kids belong to the digital generation where digital technologies surround us. Students arrive at school with a varied array of experience using computers, Smart-phones, tablets, video games, and others. They use these devices almost confidently, but they may lack the knowledge of how they work and skills of how to control these devices to make them more effective. Over the last few years, education has shifted greatly where coding has evolved from learning programming language to include developing trends in the context of the real-world technologies that are affecting our kids’ lives such as abstraction, decomposition, design thinking and pattern matching. Geek Express prepares children to become digital citizens and offers a series of courses that provide students critical thinking and problem-solving skills with the opportunity to innovate through exploring, experimenting and creating.
Engaging in coding does not imply that students will become computer programmers; in fact, children learn skills to solve problems, think critically and logically while being empowered to take risks in a safe environment. In Geek Express, we believe that these skills are life-long skills that students apply to all areas of their life and use in any career they choose to pursue. Our tracks include projects and activities that are standards-based, high-quality, career relevant, and accessible to all students at all grade levels, K-12 and beyond.
Our trainers follow the CSTA and ISTE standards ensuring a student-centered learning approach where pupils design, create and implement their own project ideas. Our courses are designed based on the TPACK framework (Mishra and Koehler, 2006) that combines technology with our content and pedagogy using the latest applications suitable for our students’ age. Also, our sessions are offered following the engagement spectrum model (behavioral, emotional, and cognitive) for the best learning environment for our kids (Skilling, et al, 2016).
The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is a professional association that supports and promotes education in the field of computer science and related areas. CSTA advocates for k-12, higher education, and industry computer science teaching and professional development. As one of the participating organizations in the Code.org Advocacy Coalition, CSTA produces a set of recommended Computer Science Standards for public outreach to provide support for computer science in the core curriculum of education.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a worldwide community of global educators who believe in the power of technology to transform teaching and learning practices. ISTE advocates for the use of technology to inspire educators and innovate to reach their greatest potential while empowering learners with high-impact learning experience. ISTE publishes Standards that offer the skills and competencies for teaching, leading, and learning in the digital age. ISTE Standards are used as a framework for teachers, trainers, and coaches to implement digital strategies for an accessible and equitable education.
The technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) is a conceptual framework/model that enables teachers and trainers to implement ICT in their classrooms and workshops, to select specific features of hardware/software, and to use these tools pedagogically in effective manners and appropriate to learners’ age and needs.
According to Mishra and Koehler (2006, pp. 1026-1029), TPACK has seven components.
Skilling et al. (2016, p. 9) designed the Engagement Spectrum and highlighted three main types of engagement: "behavioral," "emotional," and "cognitive."
Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers college record, 108(6), 1017-1054.
Skilling, K., Bobis, J., Martin, A. J., Anderson, J., & Way, J. (2016). What secondary teachers think and do about student engagement in mathematics. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 28(4), 545-566.