JQS Computer Specialty

NEW: TGH SUMMER Distance Learning Sessions

Due to COVID, TGH will deliver a brand new FREE chromebook to your home. You must complete 18 hours free computer skills training. 
Please do NOT sign up if you already got a chromebook from TGH in the last two years. Also, only one chromebook per household: if you have more than one kids in your house, only one can get a chromebook at this time. 如果你在两年内参加过TGH电脑班,不可以报名。每个家庭每次只允许一个小孩参加。

Great News!  TGH (Tech Goes Home) approved JQES for two more SUMMER TGH Distance (zoom) classes:
  • TGH11 FULL Weekday Evenings 5:30 - 7:30 pm  7/13 M - 7/23 Th    (7/13 M, 7/14, 7/15, 7/16, 7/17 F, 7/20, 7/21, 7/22, 7/23 Th)

  • TGH12 FULL Weekday Evenings 5:30 - 7:30 pm 7/27 M - 8/6 Th

  • [SORRY, CANCELLED TGH13 Weekday Mornings 10 am - 12pm   8/10 M - 8/20 Th  ]

Families can sign up here:  https://forms.gle/sJhWTjxRRQ6jaMq96
You might be wondering if you got a spot. It's a lottery, NOT first come first serve.  If you did not get a text message or phone call from  Ms. Blake or Ms. Su, then unfortunately you did not get a spot.

TGH07 FULL  1st grade (9 zooms, 2 hours each, 10 am - 12 pm 6/22M - 7/2 Th  
TGH09 FULL  Grades 3-5. (6 zooms, 3 hours each, 5-8pm)  6/10 W, 6/12 F, 6/15 M, 6/17 W, 6/19 F, 6/22M  
TGH10 FULL  2nd grade (9 zooms, 2 hours each, 5:30 - 7:30pm)  6/29 M, 6/30, 7/1, 7/2, 7/6, 7/7, 7/8, 7/9, 7/10

TGH_06 FINISHED 03/06/2020 - 06/08/2020

Students, click THIS WEEK to see what you can learn for computer specialty at home, while school is closed. I also recommend you practice touch typing twice a week on Typing.com, or find something fun to do on my Links for Students page.

Comcast offers free Internet Essentials program (March-May 2020) so that families can get internet access to stay connected during this time:  https://corporate.comcast.com/press/releases/internet-essentials-low-income-broadband-coronavirus-pandemic?utm_campaign=IEAccess (The offering does require starting a subscription which does start charging after the 2-month promo period but subscribers can cancel at anytime without a penalty.)

  • Tech Goes Home - get a chromebook or iPad for only $50! Current chromebook Session is for 5th grade 3/6F, 3/13F, 3/16M, 3/18W, 3/20F, however afterschool activities were cancelled in our building for 3/16 and 3/18. Come pick up your chromebook on 3/20F 3:30 - 4pm, if school is cancelled. We will send registration forms home with students. If you get accepted I will call you on the phone on February 28th, to confirm your attendance. Student and Parent must attend all 5 sessions in order to qualify for buying a discounted device. Student must wait 2 years before getting another device.
  • Tech Committee Meeting 3rd Tuesday of each month at 8:15 am in the JQS library, parents are welcome to join
Computer Specialty at JQS
At JQS we teach students 21st century digital literacy and computer science skills.  

"In the last decade, changes in technology, communication, and the information life cycle have contributed to significant changes in our world. Increasingly, people are becoming technology creators as well as technology users. Meaningful participation in modern society requires fluency in the uses of, impact of, and ability to manipulate technology for living, learning, and working. Given this context, knowledge and skills included in the Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DLCS) standards are essential for all students. Student of all backgrounds should be prepared for personal and civic efficacy in the twenty-first century and should have the opportunity to consider innovative and creative technology-based careers of the future."  - 2016 Massachusetts Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DLCS) Curriculum Framework.

Our students get to use chromebooks and iPads regularly at school. Students in K2 and 1st grade learn to take care of the chromebooks and iPads, learn to use the keyboard, learn computer science fundamentals with structured lessons on Code.org, program BeeBots and play educational games that support our English and Math curriculum. Students in 2nd and 3rd grade learn touch typing and google tools (google docs, slides). Students in 4th grade learn Scratch coding and in 5th grade we use FINCH robots. We also have computer specialty and a Maker Space in the library, stocked with educational technology learning toys.   5th graders can choose to be in computer club or robotics club on Fridays during last period.

What is computer science?
Code.org has an excellent short video on what computer science is:
"Computer science is the field where people use the power of computers to solve big problems. Is there a difference between computer science and coding? Yes. Coding is a set of instructions you give to a computer.  Computer science is a more holistic view which includes coding, but also includes things like what to do with a really big set of data, how the internet works and it's societal impacts, and how to prepare and break down problems for solutions that use coding."...

What computer skills do we learn at school?
- Log in on a chromebook (or another device) with your school account, so you can access your BPS provided gmail account, collaborative google tools and many educational tools, all packed in your so called "digital backpack" and accessible to you with a one-click login via Clever (an educational portal).
- Explore what's in your digital backpack and how to use these resources at school and at home. For example if you need a book to write a book report on, you can read one on tumblebooks.com (login via clever)
- Keyboarding skills: We use Typing.com in grades 3-5 (and sometimes in 2nd grade) and dancematetypingguide.com for students who can't easily follow written instructions yet in 2nd grade. Typing.com has the advantage of keeping track of progress.
- Digital Citizenship
- Internet safety and etiquette
- Research skills on BPS approved sites that will give you safe and age appropriate results. Go to our school website jqselementary.org, click JQS Library, click Encyclopedia Britannica or Kids InfoBits.
- Google docs: Practice writing notes in a google doc, editing, formatting, inserting images, special features, citation, sharing the document with your teacher.
- Read books on tumblebooks.com and write book reports.
- Sometimes we play educational games to complement our ELA, Math and Art curriculum. Mostly in younger grades.
- Computer science:  We learn how to break down problems into solutions that use coding, based on code.org resources and curriculum. This includes learning the logic of how to write computer programs, like how to repeat instructions or how to make the computer decide between two instructions. It also includes implementing those solutions using computer coding.
- Computer coding includes the logic and the syntax of writing programs. Syntax is the set of rules on how to combine  instructions so the computer can understand them. Different programming languages use different syntax, but they all follow the same logic. At the elementary school level best is to use visual block style programming (drag and drop programming) which helps the students focus on learning the logic of coding, instead of struggling with typed syntax. It helps, because all commands are presented as choices in a menu, therefore it eliminates the easy-to-make mistakes of typed languages, such as forgetting a semicolon or the closing parentheses of a statement and then not being able to run your program.  Once you get the logic of the programming, you can chose to move on to a text based language - such as Java or Python - which can be more powerful than  visual programming.
- Visual programming languages we use at school:  Scratch Jr (in K2 & 1st grade), Scratch on Scratch.mit.edu and Blockly on code.org (in 2nd - 5th grade)

The ASEP (JQS after school enrichment program) offers further opportunities for JQS students to explore technology: Scratch coding, website design, lego club, digital art and more.  To register for the ASEP programs please email the coordinator helen.wong@boston.gov