Creating with Technology
Kit Fuderich, Middle School and Upper School Computer Science

It’s been a busy first semester at Forest Ridge. All the new expectations, traditions and student names to learn as well as repackaged teaching materials to roll out. The joy of teaching technology related subjects is that the content area is broad and affords creativity. But this doesn’t take away from the intimidation factor when learning or delivering something new- especially when it comes to coding.

There was a period during the start of the year when I would get caught in insane traffic jams and I’d often think to myself if my new students enjoyed the challenge of learning to code and could see the applications within hardware. I’d remember the first professional development session I went to with colleagues back in Boston where we were introduced to hardware programming with Arduino microcontrollers. Back then, most colleagues found it so intimidating- but as a young teacher I perceived an opportunity and could see the power of getting feedback from code as something kinetic. It was just so much more real than interfacing with screens alone.

My class, Create with Tech, has been about learning how to program hardware. And when you stand in front of a group of students and present coding concepts live- as a teacher you can absolutely perceive the struggle but also, the successes. During the early stages it was natural to ask if the planning was “worth it” and if there is something to be gained from academic struggle, from fighting the traffic, from fumbling around my new schedule- from that process of learning how to deal with surroundings and adapt.

And it was one evening riding back home from Forest Ridge that I reflected fondly on the success I witnessed during the school day- the concepts were finally clicking after some weeks in. I could finally hear the gasps of “I did it” among students or witness the confidence in their voice when they’d interjecting during my presentations to propose new lines of code. So, I continue to drive on- understanding that there is something to be gained from process and the value of facing challenge with confidence, vigor and curiosity every day.

*One of the current projects being completed by students