Educator Spotlight in CS: Meet Meaghan Martin & Julie Keaney!

16 November, 2022

Educator Spotlight in CS: Meet Meaghan Martin & Julie Keaney!

“Introducing computer science to students inspires us as educators to collaborate and create language-rich hands-on activities for all learners, especially our English Language Learners (ELLs). We are able to integrate technology to differentiate instruction like never before! As we prepare our students to be future-ready, we give them the opportunity to think critically, work collaboratively, and integrate technology.”

“All students can apply basic CS skills, either plugged or unplugged.”

“Our younger students are able to retell stories using basic sequencing algorithms. We’ve used BeeBots for simple coding activities with our KG groups to foster academic vocabulary development in language arts and math. Students are actively engaged in their own learning as they program the BeeBot to academic pictures, words, and numbers. Partner activities give students the opportunity to apply listening and speaking skills in a low risk environment.”

“We also provide students with opportunities to connect with their community. For example, our 4th graders recently began a research project related to social media use and kids. They are collecting evidence related to the impact of kids on social media, by conducting online research and even interviewing experts in the field. As we cultivate digital citizenship in our school community, we foster conversations about digital footprints and being aware of our online presence.”

“Our students also benefit from the ability to express themselves on our Roadrunner Radio podcast, where they have the ability for a redo if they make mistakes, so it lowers their affective filter and increases their language skills. Additionally, the students build their pride in their culture and language, for example with sharing their experiences about the advantages of being bilingual. They gain academic language by using sentence starters and get time to practice with a partner before recording their podcast. This podcast raises cultural appreciation throughout the school.” – Meg Martin, Instructional Technology Coach and Julie Keaney, ESOL Teacher, Coles Elementary School