Teaching tech 

TISD expands course selection with several new coding classes


Abby Elliott

photo illustration

Story by Katey Pappas, staff writer

TISD has added several new classes to the course selection for the 2021-2022 school year, with the majority being computer and web design classes. These new courses differ from each other in what they cover and the coding language they teach. Several of the classes either use Python or C# (pronounced C-Sharp), which differ greatly in their specific uses and language.

“The main difference is that C# is used for mainly mobile apps and standalone programs,” Computer Science teacher Mark Ahrens said. “It’s a very robust language and is capable of supporting really large programs. Most mobile apps are designed using C#. Python is more of a scripting language (creating short snippets of code that complete smaller tasks). Where Python really shines is that it’s very efficient and effective for combing through a lot of information. It’s the main language used for ‘big data’ and business analytics. I know a lot of researchers looking for a cure for COVID employ those with skills in Python.” 

Computer Science I Python Programming DC is a heightened version of Computer Science 1. The class is focused on gaining an understanding of the principles of computer science through Python programming, and is weighted at 1.75 rather than 1.50, which is the weight of Computer Science 1. Both courses, however, satisfy the state graduation requirement for a course in languages other than English. They also each require a prerequisite of Algebra 1.

Introduction to C# Programming Applications regular and DC are also new courses. They cover basic functions, syntax and semantics of language, classes, class relations and exception handling. There is no prerequisite for these courses. The regular course is weighted at 1.50, and the dual credit weighs in at 1.75. 

Video Game Design is another new computer course for next year, which will allow students to design and program a video game. There are no prerequisites for the course, and it is weighted at 1.50.

Web Design is another new course for the year. Web Design teaches students to make decisions and apply these to the field of information technology. This course requires no prerequisite and is weighted at 1.50. Web Communications is also a new course, which teaches students information about web communications and technological operations and concepts. This course requires no prerequisites, and is weighted at 1.50. Web design can benefit a students career in many ways and can even help them make a little bit of money. 

“If we had a dedicated class for it, students would learn how to build a website from scratch and how they are maintained. They would learn how to conceptualize, diagram and implement websites that could use databases to hold information and provide higher-end functionality for potential business use,” Ahrens said. “We touch on this in Computer Science I but not to the extent of creating full-scale sites. Students who can become proficient in web development can become certified (if they chose) and be able to work part-time while in school. I’ve had students that have made several hundred dollars on the side just doing minor work.”