Valley View School Adds Coding to the Academic Curriculum
Many students arrive at Valley View School burdened by some version of digital overuse or even addiction. Often, these youngsters have forsaken broad real-world engagements and taken refuge in video games, YouTube, or social media. Valley View’s response is to “detox” these boys from digital devices and help them build a robust repertoire of real-world interests and skills. However, eventually, they will return to a world that is awash in digital opportunities. It is therefore important to help boys learn to modulate digital behavior and perhaps turn it into more productive uses.
It is with this in mind that Valley View has developed a training program for coding. A pilot project was run during the summer and was a striking success. There was considerable student interest and participation. Starting this fall, coding will be offered as a year-round elective.
Matt Sloan, a Valley View math teacher, has spearheaded the coding initiative. He was already working with students on 3D printing and saw this as an opportunity for students to gain an introduction to coding languages and computer science concepts. In addition, Matt points out that the process of coding improves patience, logical reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Finally, the coding platform in use enables students to continue their development after they graduate and even work toward certifications that are valued in the computer science field.
Matt states, “Many of our students had a positive response to this program over the summer and many expressed their desire to continue working on coding during the school year. I am pleased to introduce this valuable activity, which serves to broaden our students’ academic interests and provide them with valuable skills for the future.”
It is a strongly held belief at Valley View that students have to negotiate their relationship with technology in their own personal ways; hence, programmatic flexibility and individualization are essential. For a certain group of Valley View students, embracing the intellectual part of the digital process holds great promise for a healthier relationship with the online world.
About Valley View School
Valley View School is a small, private therapeutic boarding school serving boys in grades 6-12. Our campus is situated on 215 acres of forests and rolling hills in the heart of New England, just 90 miles outside of Boston.