Code Savvy Connections
Our newsletters highlight a variety of people, organizations, and resources that are doing work to broaden participation and expand equitable and engaging computer science and STEM opportunities. We are honored to work in this space along with so many talented and passionate individuals and want to help bring attention to their work.
This Week’s Spotlight and Project-Inspiration Theme: Social-Emotional Learning + Coding
This week’s focus is Social-Emotional Learning + Coding
Computer Science is often thought of as its own subject to study in school, however the skills students learn and develop while programming can often help in other subject areas as well. Computer science can be a very social activity, and can help students develop their Social-Emotional skills to help both in and out of the classroom.
Anytime students practice computer science, they are working with a set of skills commonly known as “Computational Thinking Skills”. These computational thinking skills help students to learn things like identifying patterns, or decomposing problems to break them down into smaller parts. To see a graphic of computational thinking skills, check out the image below from www.barefootcomputing.org. Computational thinking skills help students learn how to think and solve problems, which are great skills that are used in any area - including social-emotional well being! Mental health and social-emotional learning are critical for students to help them develop healthy life skills. Why not use computer science as a means to do so? How can students apply computational thinking towards social situations, or to help solve conflicts? Could any of these computational thinking skills be used when students are making tough choices or navigating difficult situations? Helping to identify connections between computer science and social emotional skills can be a great way for students to build their own toolbox of skills!
Another way computer science can help with mental health and social-emotional skills is by offering new tools for students to use. Imagine how powerful it would be if a student was getting frustrated or upset, and was able to use a simple app that they created themselves to help them calm down ! Computers open up a variety of new tools and ways students can monitor their own well being and check in with their own mental health. Let’s also not forget that often these apps and tools can be created by working alongside others providing even more opportunities to work on their social skills.
Computer science doesn’t have to be an isolated subject area to explore. By integrating computer science with other areas such as social-emotional learning and mental health wellbeing, we can open the doors for students to build and develop all kinds of new skills, tools, and resources.
This week as you are building your own computer science skills, why not try to create an app to help yourself calm down or take a mental health break. You could use Thunkable to make your own app that can help you take a brain break, or you could use Scratch to help make an interactive game with relaxing colors and sounds. Be sure to share anything you create!
Share Your CS to Go Projects!