Teachers Sharpen Skills as Computer Science Gains Popularity

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- The field of computer science continues to gain popularity. That’s why teachers across South Dakota and Minnesota are sharpening their skills, so they can teach students more about it.

This year is Jill Vincent’s first time teaching computer science with the Sioux Valley School District in Volga.

“Computer science is a growing field that we need to make kids aware of and have that available in our schools. So hopefully I can expand that in my school,” said Vincent.

Like many teachers, she attends workshops, so she can have the most up-to-date information to teach her students.  

“You get to touch the materials first hand and learn as a student. I think that’s a real benefit to coming to one of these because I can actually use them and manipulate it myself. Maybe I have some of the same problems that my students will have, so it’s easier to help them in the long run,” said Vincent.

In the Computer Science and Beyond Workshop held in Sioux Falls, teachers explored the world of programming, learning how to code.

“Like we turned on a light, so they built the circuit and then they wrote a program to instruct the microbit to turn on the light,” said Julie Erickson, Instructor and Learning Specialist for Technology & Innovation in Education.

It may sound complicated, but it is something kids in elementary through high school are able to learn.

“It’s also a really great way to expose kids at all ages to the fact that you can do this as a potential career,” said Erickson.

Potential careers like computer programmer, network security or a web developer. Nowadays, industries that utilize computer science are unlimited and include medical, education, technology and business.

So teachers will continue to learn all they can, so that their students can have the best education to prepare them for their futures. Teachers not only walk away with new skills from this workshop, but curriculum resources they can use in their classes.

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