We Are DeKalb County School District Winter 2018 - Page 7

just following the directions,” said Kameron Ramsey, a 12th grader in Barashango’s class. “The key point is the music.” Barashango, a singer and African percussionist outside of the classroom, marveled as students went on to make rhythms not even assigned to them. “One student actually put some of his music on Spotify,” he says. Alicia Harvey, who teaches computer science at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, captures EarSketch’s appeal. “Music is a natural gateway to learning,” she says. “I think that’s true mainly because it just feels good. Music is a language we all speak, in many genres.” Georgia Tech developers met with select district educators in 2017. After training, the teachers brought EarSketch to classrooms. “This is a new effort of the district’s Career Technical and Agricultural Education program,” says Marilynn Hollis, the CTAE Instructional Coordinator. “The goal is to mix an area of broad interest – music – with a career field in computer programming that’s continuously growing.” More than 150 students at eight district high schools have initially tuned in to EarSketch, with numbers expected to jump to 500 next year. These students join a swelling band of more than 60,000 other EarSketch students in all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 100 countries around the world. Mostly STEAM (STEM plus the Arts) students, eager users learn to code in Python or JavaScript, two of the most popular programming languages in the world, while manipulating loops, composing beats, and applying effects to a multi-track digital audio workstation. A Cool New Tool for School Georgia Tech developed EarSketch to cast a fresh new light on computer science and to bring waves of new students into a world of coding and programming. Those waves are growing, just maybe not fast enough. United States universities >>> Winter 2018 | 7