Introduction

Welcome to the Project Gnosis IT Academy for kids tech interfacing initiative. We have created a comprehensive and inclusive program to help foster a child’s technical skill set from early onwards in their educational development. Beginning in Kindergarten, we have put together a series of lessons and games that teachers can easily combine with their existing curriculum in support of teaching technical education. The end goal being that students graduating from high school will do so with solid and transferable skills necessary to navigate themselves in a world driven by technology.

We feel that it is important for students to gain an appreciation for Tech-Ed that is diverse, fun, creative, and not always having to be sitting in front of a screen!

Tech-Ed, should be a part of a holistic picture, integrated into our daily living in a way that supports a healthy and balanced approach to life. We promote this with a series of thoughtful lessons for students, teachers and their families to interact with, learn from and enjoy. We believe that a strong educational platform relevant to a person’s day to day living is vital. Thinking forward, and thinking globally, we also believe that learning to read and write programming languages is a must for the future. All children will eventually have to compete and excel in the global village that now dominates social, political and economic infrastructures across all societies. That is the cornerstone of our program.

One does not necessarily require strong math skills to learn how to read and write programming languages. However, there are developmental milestones that must be reached before a student can learn to code effectively. As with any literacy program, it takes time, diligence, and creativity. With a cohesive and structured program, students can learn to tackle the many challenges that learning to program can present.

12 or 13 years of age is typically when a student’s mind becomes ripe for learning the complexities of coding algorithms. Until then, there are several important steps necessary to lay the foundation for an individual to strengthen their analytical skill sets:

Exercises that build upon logic, visual, oral, and tactile programs that introduce students to hardware and software computer components are essential. As a student’s knowledge expands, they will be ready for the greater challenges that come with learning computer programming.

We began developing our courses in 2013. The goal was to create a step by step lesson plan that, upon completion, a student would be able to code proficiently and independently.

We went about our research and development using a hands on approach. It began working with control groups of students at various ages and stages of development. Eventually we put it to the test by teaching classes to the public. We have found that this tried and true method has rewarded us with a solid and universally friendly step by step program that works for kids and educators alike.

We speak with (and encourage educators to do the same) our students regularly looking for any feedback either positive or negative. We ask for criticism on both teaching methodologies as well as course content.  We find students and their parents appreciate being part of a bigger project knowing they are helping develop something other school aged kids will benefit from as well one day (it supports a modern day learning approach). From their bird’s eye perspective, regular feedback from parents is invaluable in the development of both teaching and learning Tech-Ed as well.

We welcome, recognize, and place a high degree of value on developing our teaching/learning processes from everyone involved be they direct or indirect. Transparency and open communication is a must in the development process. We know there is strength in numbers. Working together with families and the community is key in the success for our program.  One of the most important things we have learned is teaching Tech-Ed to kids is a work in progress. To date we have evolved considerably. We have found this tried and true method has rewarded us with a solid and universally friendly step by step program that works.

Project Gnosis is aware for the need to start building Tech-Ed skills for the primary school age. Understanding the complexities of coding doesn’t quite begin before a person’s analytical skills are developed (around 12-13 years of age). However, until such time, much work can be done in order to build valuable, transferable and necessary skills for success in learning to code later on. As such, this was the perfect platform to develop what we now refer to as a child’s “Interfacing” years.

Inspired in part by the Montessori Method of education (based on a real life method of sensorial learning) and fitting in with the Modern Learning Development teaching platform, we decided to name the elementary phase of our program “Interfacing”.

We have chosen as well as created a series of software applications to help students develop proficient user (interface) skills. By supporting the student in familiarizing themselves with both hardware and software applications we begin to build the bridge that will eventually lead them to learn computer literacy (coding).

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