Computer Science Education Week Fresno HS GDG
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Computer Science Education Week Fresno HS GDG

for tuning in today to this special edition
of Google Developers Live. Today, we have Joshua and
Courtney Woodward joining us as the GDG Fresno
High organizers. And later, we’ll have some
of the student numbers of GDG Fresno High joining us in
celebration of computer science education week. I am Van Riper. I work with our Google
Developer Groups around the world as
a community advocate. And I’ve worked with
Josh for a long time as one of our GDG
Fresno organizers. And today, Josh and
Courtney are going to tell us about how they got
started with GDG Fresno High. JOSHUA WOODWARD: That’s correct. Being a part of
GDG Fresno, we were involved with adults and
already established programmers. And we wanted to get
high schoolers involved. And my wife is a teacher at a
local High School, Fresno High. And so I approached her and
asked, how do we start a club and get kids involved? And how can I come on campus
and teach kids how to code? VAN RIPER: And
Courtney, you were saying how at the
beginning the challenges you had to start with? COURTNEY WOODWARD:
Well, absolutely. Because to be a club sponsor,
that’s above and beyond your teaching responsibilities,
your classroom responsibilities. So a lot is on your
own time coordinating with other adults
on campus to get the club started, to
get a meeting place. And in this case, one of
our greatest obstacles was getting computers
in front of the kids so they can actually code. VAN RIPER: And then you
told me how this year how it’s really taken off. You did the club expo at
the beginning of the year. COURTNEY WOODWARD: Right. So since it was
new, and there was no sort of tech club on campus,
we didn’t know where to start. And at the middle
of last year, we said, well, we’re just
going to go for it. So we got the paperwork in
and recruited a few kids. But it was really hard
to get the word out. And we didn’t have computers. This year however, at
the beginning of the year we did the club expo. I had Josh’s Google Glass on. That really caught
kids’ attention. And we had over 60
students sign up that were interested in some
sort of aspect of technology or computer science
are just learning more about Google products. VAN RIPER: And how often
do the students meet? JOSHUA WOODWARD: Now we meet
once a week, on average, about once a week during lunch
or after school in a computer lab where we have
access to computers. We started off just by showing
them the video on And they get really inspired
when they hear like free food and they get to
play pool all day. So that got them
hooked into the club. But now we do actual
hands-on stuff. So like, we built a
tic-tac-toe game in JavaScript. And walked them
through that, step by step, on what
everything that’s going on. VAN RIPER: That’s great. And you also told me that you
did something kind of unique. I think you might be
one of the first– well, you are the first high school
group that we’ve ever had. We’ve had many
university chapters, but GDG Fresno High is our first
chapter within a high school. But you were able to get
Google Apps for Education? JOSHUA WOODWARD: Yeah. So we have a domain, And it has a Google Apps for
Education account tied to it. So somewhere in
the requirements, it just say you had to
be a school organization. And so that’s what we were. So now the students get their
name at And they have access to Google
Drive accounts and Google Docs. And we can actually
open up a doc and plan a meeting and share. VAN RIPER: And how
much did that cost? JOSHUA WOODWARD: That’s free. VAN RIPER: That’s
right, it’s free. So the schools out there, if
you want to start a chapter like at your high
school, if you work with an organizer like
Josh in your area, because we don’t allow under
18 people to organize groups. But if you get an adult
organizer in your high school, you could potentially
get these Google Apps for Education for your students
as well, which is great. I think that’s a great
thing you guys did. JOSHUA WOODWARD: Yeah. That’s one of the
things is why it worked, I think because my wife
was a teacher on campus. So it was easy to get
in that way on campus. So it’s just a matter of getting
somebody that’s on campus. So if you’re a teacher on campus
and you want to start a club, go to the Google
Developers group directory. And see if there’s a
chapter in your area, and contact that organizer. And work with them probably. VAN RIPER: Yeah, great. So maybe now we
should actually talk to some of the students
about their experience with the groups. Sound good? JOSHUA WOODWARD: Yep. VAN RIPER: And we’re back with,
Fresno high school students Chris, Muarshawn, and Riley. So Chris, tell us about
how you got started coding. CHRIS: Oh, well. I was really bored for
about a month during summer. And my grandma was
reading the newspaper. And she saw this thing
called 59 Days of Code. And it was downtown in my city. And she took me down
there, and there was a man named
Jake [? Soberall ?]. And he is starting a new
course and he teaches kids how to code, because he
says that there’s not enough people that are coding. Well, There needs
to be much more. Back to you, Van. VAN RIPER: Thank you, Chris. So how about you, Muarshawn? How did you get started? MUARSHAWN: I got started coding
by like, when I was little, I used to always mess
around with technology. You know how little kids are. You like to do
different things, you don’t know which one to pick. So you know like, when
I got to Fresno High, I used to go to the library
like every day during lunch, after school sometimes,
sometimes before school. And I never heard
of the GDG program that Miss Woodward had going on. She found me. So I was like, yeah, I’ll join. So the first day,
it was on Thursday. I went, there was like a
variety of different kids. So I was like, I
probably can fit in, because it ain’t just
for like one kind of kid. You know, geeks, football
players, basketball players, anybody. So I joined. VAN RIPER: That’s
great, Muarshawn. So how about you, Riley? How’d you get started? RILEY: Well, my stepdad, Josh,
started me on Code Academy online. And I played around with
that for a little while and then lost interest in it. It seemed a little
bit out of my league, like it seemed I
had so far to go and it kind of discouraged
me a little bit. But when the club
started, it actually helped me realize how
like I could find my place and like do things at my level. I didn’t have to be
a master at anything. I could just work
with what I had. And it would be enough. So it really encouraged
me to do more. VAN RIPER: Great. So what keeps you coming
back to GDG Fresno High? CHRIS: I just
really like coding. And I like my teacher
that teaches that. And I don’t know. I think the kids
are really nice. And it’s really good in there. Everybody can fit in. VAN RIPER: Great How
about you, Riley? RILEY: Well, it’s like
the next big thing. It is the big thing. And it will be for
some time, I think. It’s computers and
Google and developing. And it’s not going to be
out of style or something like next year. It’ll be around. And it’ll keep growing
and keep getting better. And I’d like to
be a part of that. VAN RIPER: Great. How about you, Muarshawn? MUARSHAWN: I agree with Riley. Computers are going to
be around for a while. It’s like it is the new thing. You’re going to
see, soon or later, you’re going to see
everybody with a computer. You’re going to see
everybody doing the coding. It’s like I like the atmosphere. Everybody around me is like
smart, intelligent, bright. I like that. VAN RIPER: So do any of you
have any final thoughts? Anything like that can actually
speak to your peers out there? Students? Maybe other schools? Like why you think
they should get involved in something like this? CHRIS: I think everybody
should be a part of coding, because it’s going to
be like the future. I think everybody’s
going to code, mostly. Like you should do
this if it’s available. MUARSHAWN: I’m going
to say like, try something new for a chance. You know, like don’t keep doing
the same thing over and OK. Because sooner or later,
it’s going to be boring. RILEY: Yeah. Along the same lines, even if
you think it’s like to hard or you have a long way to go,
you just keep working at it. And even though
you’re a beginner, you can still contribute in some
way to either your community or to some project. So just don’t get
discouraged about it. VAN RIPER: Well, that’s great. Well I really appreciate
your time, Chris, Muarshawn, and Riley for coming
out and telling us about your experiences. And I’d also like to thank
Joshua and Courtney Woodward as well as the Fresno high
school for their support in this first ever GDG Google
Developer Group chapter for in a high school. As you can see from
the discussion today, students really warm to this. They really are passionate
about learning about technology. And we’d really like to see
many more groups like this be inspired by what
we heard about today. And you can participate
by going to, and joining in an hour of
code during Computer Science Education Week.

About James Carlton

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3 thoughts on “Computer Science Education Week Fresno HS GDG

  1. I am really disappointed in the contents of this video. I thought you were gonna talk about COMPUTER SCIENCE.

    FYI: Computer Science != coding.

    or are they gonna upload more related videos in the coming 7 days? 

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