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Michigan Tech Apps and Coding

The Tech Apps and Coding course is a first year computer science course that is fully aligned to the CSTA 2 standards that Michigan has adopted for students in grades 6-8. This course introduces the basics of programming, web design, internet safety, and how information is represented digitally and sent over the Internet. Students learn to code with Tracy the Turtle, use the design process to create a website that addresses a community issue, and explore the impacts of internet-based innovations.

Overview & Highlights

Level
Middle School
Contact Hours
180
Timeframe
Year

Course Overview

To view the entire syllabus, click here or click to explore the full course.

Programming with Turtle Graphics
Students learn Python commands, functions, and control structures by drawing shapes on the screen and solving puzzles with Turtle Graphics.
What is Computing?
Students review a history of computing and learn about the various parts that make up modern computers. Students also explore the impact computing has had on today's world, and consider the impacts computing could potentially have in the future.
Intro to micro:bit
Students go through the basics of the micro:bit, such as how to light up and change the brightness of LEDs, and learn how variables can be used to write more versatile programs. Students will build circuits to control external LEDs with the micro:bit and explore how pseudocode can be used to structure programs from the start.
Digital Citizenship and Cyber Hygiene
Students learn about Internet etiquette and how to stay safe on the world wide web. Students explore the potential effects of our digital footprints, how to protect information from online risks, and the implications of cyberbullying.
The ABCs of Cryptography
Students dive into the history of cryptography systems, the motivation behind using encryption systems, and basic cryptography systems. Additionally, students explore topics on how to use cryptography, cryptology, and cryptanalysis to decode a message without the use of a key.
Web Design
Students learn the basics of HTML, CSS, and the processes involved in viewing web pages on the internet. Students create several simple web pages using the CodeHS online editor to gain practice using the various features of HTML and CSS.
Project: Designing for Impact
Students go through the design process to develop a website that solves a problem in their community. Students learn what makes an engaging and accessible user interface and employ an iterative design process that includes rapid prototyping and user testing to design and develop their website.
Digital Information
Students learn about the various ways we represent information digitally. Topics covered include number systems, encoding data, programmatically creating pixel images, comparing data encodings, compressing and encrypting data.
The Internet
Students explore the structure and design of the internet, and how this design affects the reliability of network communication, the security of data, and personal privacy.
Project: The Effects of the Internet
In this project, students choose an innovation that was enabled by the Internet and explore the effects of this innovation.

123
Lessons
111
Videos
121
Exercises
26
Challenges
240
Offline Handouts

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