Unit 3: Applications in Each Content Area


Return to: ETAP 623 Fall 2020 (Zhang) | Brooke Ebersold | Incorporating Computer Science K-12

Title graphic - unit 3

Introduction to Unit 3

CSDF Thought Bubble.svg

Warm Up

What content area do you think would be the most difficult to incorporate computer science and digital literacy? Why do you think that content area would be most difficult?

Objectives for Unit 3

At the end of this unit, YOU will be able to:

  • Identify specific activities and content within content areas that can be applied to computer science and digital literacy.
  • Connect specific grade level content to the activity examples given in this unit.
  • Explain how using interdisciplinary approaches to implementing computer science and digital literacy will provide the groundwork for the K-12 curriculum.

Lesson 1: Computer Science and Digital Fluency in Math

Mini Lecture

Modern day computers have a variety of uses from social connections, research information, and playing games to name a few. When first created, computers were used to complete extensive mathematical equations in a shorter amount of time compared to the human "computer", a person whose occupation involved solving computations for a variety of projects.

In the mathematics content area, students are exposed to the problem solving mindset that connects to the computer science realm based on the programming concepts of assigning variables, using truth statements and logic, and focusing on the math required to program a computer to complete an action.


WATCH: In this video produced by Code.org, an explanation of how computers work is combined with the connections to logic which is a mathematics content area subject, often explored in a variety of grade levels.

Lesson 2: Computer Science and Digital Fluency in Science

Mini Lecture

The area of science covers a vast amount of information in the subjects of physics, chemistry, biology, and Earth science to name a few. Within this content area, there are many connections to computing and how we manipulate the natural world to create technologies to solve human needs and wants.

Computers function as other electronics do, through the utilization of electrical impulses that control the circuits and power the components inside the computer and monitor (screen). Electricity and the theory behind how we use different chemical elements based on their insulation and conduction properties heavily influences the ability to operate a computer.


WATCH: This video explains the science behind quantum computing, which is on the forefront of computer technological advancements. The news channel NBC operates the YouTube channel, "NBC News Learn" creates videos supplemental to news broadcasts produced by the company.

Lesson 3: Computer Science and Digital Fluency in English

Mini Lecture

Within the English language or any given language, there is a concept called "syntax" which explains how we organize letters, numbers, words, and phrases to communicate a message. This message could be saying "hello" to your friend, writing an email to a colleague, or in the computer science world, writing a program in a specific language to control the outcome of a computer. In computer science, languages allow us to communicate with a computer at different levels to accomplish specific tasks.


WATCH: This video explains how the concept of "syntax" in computer programming relates to other languages outside of the computing world. Devmountain is a YouTube channel and company that focusing on creating courses based on web development, iOS development, user-experience design, and software quality assurance.

Lesson 4: Computer Science and Digital Fluency in Social Studies

Mini Lecture

The evolution of humans and technological advancements have directly influenced the history of our society. Within social studies, students observe the history of events that occur over a vast timeframe and identify how these events have related to each other and the future of the human race. Along with history, the ethics behind our actions is also discussed within these courses. When we look at computing, we need to take into account if doing something because it can be done is different from if we should be doing something at all. An example of this could be artificial intelligence and the idea of giving computers the most humanistic traits including emotions. As we delve into the world of computers it is also important to view the history of where we have been and where our society is headed.


WATCH: In this video, the history of computers is briefly described with examples leading back to ancient China and the initial creation of the computer. The YouTube channel, "Technology: Past, Present and Future" focuses on different types of technologies and how the development, evolution, and predictions of the future are described.

Lesson 5: Computer Science and Digital Fluency in The Arts

Mini Lecture

When looking at the content area "The Arts", we are focusing on music and art as forms of expression. Within the content areas of music and art, students are able to learn different mediums such as a new instrument to create sound or using different types of paper and paint to create a new form of art that students have not experienced. Connections to computer science and digital literacy can be made through the use of graphic design software, music composing and editing software, and the ability to use computers to generate these new mediums of expression for students and teachers to utilize.


WATCH: In this news broadcast from KPBS, a YouTube channel based on the news company based in San Diego, an art teacher incorporates digital fluency and programming to create art based on social issues and expression of student beliefs and feelings.

Lesson 6: Computer Science and Digital Fluency in Career and Technical Education

Mini Lecture

Career and technical education focuses on preparing students for life through facilitation of skills that can be applied in a variety of settings. Within New York State, students will take part in courses within technology education and family and consumer sciences based on the middle school level mandate for career and technical education (CTE). In both of these subject areas, students connect information from all content areas and apply their knowledge to "real life" scenarios/projects that give opportunities to learn skills that can be used throughout life, regardless of the career path a students chooses.

Progressing to high school gives further opportunities to learn in career and technical based courses to prepare for career pathways of the student's choice. In each of these content areas, the students will have opportunities to utilize computer technologies to produce different project outcomes that relate to career skills needed to thrive in the 21st century.


WATCH: This video describes the 4 main skills required to be successful in any career path, along with steps to achieve the path to the career and place a student wants themselves to be in the future. This video is produced by Kevin J Fleming Ph.D. and his YouTube channel focuses on "His message encourages the everyday education leaders (teachers, counselors, policymakers) to support America's talented high school students to make informed career decisions through the development of the 4 skills necessary for a great start: academic skills - life skills - employability skills - technical skills."

Assignment #3 - Pick a Content Area and Apply to the Standards

In our previous unit, we talked about the NYS Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards and how they apply to certain grade levels. In this assignment, we are going to take another look at the standards you chose and apply that standard to a specific content area from the 6 main content areas listed in this unit. Your goal for this assignment is to bring the standard you "unpacked" in unit 2 and connect to one of the main 6 content areas listed. In your connection post, make sure to include information based on the curriculum of the specific grade level your standard is targeting along with the information required to learn based on the standard.

Here is the link to the NYS Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards: http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/curriculum-instruction/draft-nys-k-12-computer-science-digital-fluency-standards.pdf

Here is the link to online experience board where you will share your experiences with other students: https://padlet.com/brookeebersold97/wvvaay69k51yclt7

Course Navigation

Course Home: Incorporating Computer Science K-12

Unit 1: What is COMPUTER SCIENCE? And Why Should We Teach it K-12?

Previous Unit: Unit 2: Grade Level Expectations

Next Unit: Unit 4: Integration With An Example School Model

Unit 5: Resources and Key Instructional Technologies