Health and safety protocols have limited hands-on group projects this year, but Upper School students were provided with an array of tools to explore,including Scratch, Tynker, Codable, Swift Playgrounds, and other programming sites.
In the words of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai, “Every girl deserves to take part in creating the technology that will change our world, and change who runs it.” This belief is strongly held at Burke’s where under the leadership of the Library and Makery Team, coding has been fully integrated into our Lower and Upper School curriculum for years. Mike Matthews, Burke’s Director of Curriculum and Program Innovation, believes that teaching coding and computer science is directly aligned with our mission to Educate, Encourage, and Empower girls. “We’re not teaching code because we expect every student to become a programmer. Rather, we’re teaching code because we believe that in doing so we’re teaching transferable skills like logic and problem-solving that will empower our students in whatever career path they end up pursuing.”
At Burke's, students are given opportunities to learn, practice, and hone their coding skills through both ‘plugged’ and ‘unplugged’ coding. ‘Plugged’ coding refers to coding that takes place on a tablet or computer, while ‘unplugged' coding involves computer-free games and activities that teach coding-related skills like algorithm development, pattern recognition, logic, and other critical thinking skills. Also, by pairing ‘plugged’ and ‘unplugged’ coding activities, Burke's gives students real-world skills and experiences that they will be able to apply across a range of careers, not just those in coding and computer science.
The pandemic has immersed our world —and Burke’s students — in an ever-expanding technological world as people try new ways of collaborating and communicating from a distance. There has never been a better time to see the real-world impact of technological advancement. It will be exciting to see how far our students take the skills they learn from building video games, creating illustrations, coding apps, and more!
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.