Sic’ ‘Em Saturday: Google’s “CS First”

googlecs

Have you heard of “Google CS First”? Well, by the end of the anti CCSS “Sic’ ‘Em Saturday”, you’ll know plenty. Thanks to one of my avid followers, I was pointed to the program. Before we get too far the “CS” refers to Computer Science, but it could be code for Core Standards, too. What’s more, it’s a fun, free way to introduce us to those 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Hidden Message:

If you look at the wording of the very general description for Google’s CS First, you may not see the 21st Century Community Learning Center, but the intent is there. How? That line about increasing learning after school, weekends, etc. That leads to how do 21st CCLCs mean Common Core? P21 (Partnership for 21st Century Skills) has plenty on how. So does Knowledge Works “Strive Together” programs. I’ve written about both before (as have others). The idea behind 21st CCLCs is to do away with local schools, school control and replace them with community centers where health care, education, job training, and more are completed. Of course, this program doesn’t (at least on the surface) look menacing, and it may not be. However, the CCSS Machine (of which Google is a part of) dangles free stuff, offers ‘the you can’t miss this’ stuff to us. We are so enamored we don’t see the the ball and chain attached. When we do, it’s too late, we’re stuck. More hidden agenda right before you? “Coding”, ‘targeting 9-14 year olds’, and needing community volunteers to run the ‘clubs’. If you look into the ‘clubs’ much deeper, you’ll even see the clubs have ‘agenda timers’. To see the ‘harmless’ overview, visit: http://www.cs-first.com/overview To find those ‘agenda timers’: http://www.cs-first.com/training/using-agenda-timer?works=1&logistics=1&scratch=0&tips=0

Scratch That!:

 Google’s CS First uses “Scratch”, Scratch looks fun, it really does. That’s the appeal to draw you in. Look at what higher learning CCSS friendly, supportive university houses the ‘Scratch’.. MIT! How do I know MIT is into Common Core? The research trail led me to them at least one other time: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/fom-friday-ccss-and-test-prep/

"Scratch" is part of the "Code to Learn" Foundation.
“Scratch” is part of the “Code to Learn” Foundation.

The Gates Foundation gave a $20 million grant in 1998 for the development of  their Computer Science Lab. ‘Scratch’ was created at MIT in the Computer Lab in 2007. (to see the Grants Foundation link, http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/1998/02/OPP495) To see the 2007 ‘Scratch’ information, see: http://codetolearn.org/what-we-fund (scroll down until you see the name) So how is the “Code to Learn Foundation connected to MIT? Who funds the Foundation? MIT alumni head up the Foundation. Funds come from a variety of organizations and people. Both more in-depth answers can be found: http://codetolearn.org/about-us I can share with you that Pearson Publishing is among the many sponsors. Oh, there’s also a Scratch, Jr. out there.

Those Google CS First Clubs:

Going back to the Google CS First program, let’s take a closer look at the clubs. Headed by volunteers known as ‘gurus’. Seriously, gurus. I thought no one younger than 40 would recognize that word. If you’re wondering what the word means, it means ‘teacher’ or ‘master’. It is especially used in Indian religions.
The Google Gurus will be leading from pre-written scripts when conducting club time. I don’t know about you, but the clubs I belonged to, as well as the ones my students were involved with, didn’t have scripts. They had interaction. Besides, a true master of a subject shouldn’t need a script. The true educational masters out there, speak freely about their knowledge and are flexible enough to know that many different styles are needed to reach as many students as possible. If you view the video about the ‘important topics’ for this club, you’ll hear the very first item on Google’s wish list is that you change a child’s perspective of computer science. Why? To point to careers. (as in Career Pathways thinking, Career Tech Education plans) After all, all those career assessments in younger grades have to taken by these students. We wouldn’t want them to be steered in the wrong direction, now would we? See the embedded video: http://www.cs-first.com/training/cs-first-important-topics?works=1&logistics=1&scratch=0&tips=0 (it’s at the bottom of the page) Your other really important guru job? Teaching the students about coding. Unless computer programming has really stepped it up, my courses were BORING, dull, and awful..so much so, I switched my degree.

Google’s Common Core Union:

If you search the internet for “Google Common Core”, you’ll receive a bevy of results. The first one that caught my eye was my friend’s article. Michelle Malkin wrote in 2014 about Google and the Standards, http://michellemalkin.com/2014/01/08/common-core-and-the-edutech-abyss/ You’ll be amazed at the other results. There are tons. Then factor in all those apps. There are tons! See the screen shot below:

Search your smartphone's app store, how many CCSS results do you get?
Search your smartphone’s app store, how many CCSS results do you get?

Action Steps:

1) If you have a Google CS First Club in your community, visit it, see exactly what those scripts contain!

2) If you have Google Plus you can access the scripts on-line. Remember, agenda will be there, hidden in plain sight.

3) Help leaders of these clubs understand the connection to Common Core. Are they okay with helping support CC in this way?

4) If you want to learn more about the connections between CC and CTE or Career Pathways, I invite you to search my blog for CTE (Career Tech Education) or Career Pathways. I’ve got a tremendous amount of research invested in these topics. The CC and CTE/Career Pathways are indeed joined together for one smooth track for your students.

5) Choose to refuse Google CC apps! Again, agenda hidden in plain sight. While the app may or may not say CC on it, read the description. Does the description say anything about helping or understanding CC? Does the description mention it is written to align with CC?

6) If you don’t know P21, or Knowledge Works, you can also use my blog’s archives to see what I’ve unearthed or search for them on your own. Either way, you need to know their parts transforming not just education, but America as we know it.

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