Supporting families during the pandemic
Early childhood education students and faculty reached out to serve the Cedar Valley this spring. As part of the Child, Family, School and Community Relationships course with instructor Brandy Smith, students volunteered at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank and partnered with Cedar Valley Preschool and Childcare Center. They supported the preschool by planting grass, making blankets and creating promotional flyers. The semester was interrupted by COVID-19, but students were still able to complete some of their projects, learning how to navigate group work electronically.
Associate professor of early childhood education Mary Donegan-Ritter, has also cared for families this year, helping them cope while local libraries and other activities were closed. As a volunteer with the biweekly food pantry at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Cedar Falls, she helped distribute children’s books which had been donated by Quota Club of Waterloo and church members. Families were offered age appropriate books for toddlers, preschools and elementary students as they picked up food and other essentials.
Showing the path to coding
On Monday, December 9, the UNI College of Education hosted the first, and hopefully annual UNI "Hour of Code" event in the lobby of Schindler Education Center. The 'Hour of Code™' is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org to introduce students to one hour of computer science and computer programming.
This past July, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds noted, "Teaching computer science and other STEM-related courses is an essential component to any child's education." Since many UNI students did not learn about coding in their grade schools, they need an opportunity to learn coding explained Magdalena Galloway, instructor in instructional technology. The goals of the event were to 1) demystify "code" and show that anybody can learn the basics and 2) create connections and support the culture of learning across all majors.
The event was a team effort. Organized by the instructional technology faculty including Magdalena Galloway, associate professor Leigh Zeitz, and associate professor Sarah Bryans-Bongey along with assistant professor of elementary education Dana Atwood-Blaine, the UNI Hour of Code was also supported by Farah Kashef and Zak Larter from information technology, Stacy McGauvran-Hruby, COE marketing manager, students in the educational technology minor, and two third grade students from Waterloo Community School District
The Hour of Code was well received by students and faculty. An estimated 60 people either completed the hour of code with code.org/learn, worked with robots, or engaged in unplugged activities. According to Galloway, "We had interest from Interactive Digital Studies and UNI Stem Coordinators to join forces for next year. It is just a beginning!
The following tabs list awards (including grants), presentations and publications related to Curriculum and Instruction students, alumni, faculty and staff. To find items involving C&I faculty, look on both tabs: collaborations that involve students and faculty are listed on the first tab, while items that only involve faculty or staff are listed on the second tab.