Technology Education at Westwood!

Currently Available Programs

I have ranked the programs with my personal opinions.  I am not trying to encourage or discourage you with these rankings.  I'm simply trying to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into!

Sankey's Rankings

I ranked these programs based on two metrics:

Content:  Does the unit have important information in it?  Is it relevant?  Does it have stuff that is good for kids to know?

Delivery:  It's not just important to take the unit with the best information; you need a good teacher too.  Is the unit good at teaching what it is trying to teach?  Does the instruction make sense?  Is it easy for the kids to complete the assignments asynchronously?

VEX Robotics

Content:  10/10  Delivery 10/10

The VEX IQ Challenge and VEX Robotics Competition give students a unique opportunity to explore engineering in a collaborative environment!

VEX IQ - A low barrier to entry. VEX IQ is a no-tools system that allows students to prototype ideas quickly - as fast as they can snap them together. Students of all interest levels quickly become wrapped up in the latest challenge. The VEX IQ system was designed with young engineers in mind. They can go from nothing to driving a robot in less than an hour.

Rapid prototyping and sharing of ideas. The best ideas are often copied and improved. The diversity of designs within the classroom and around the world continues to encourage students to revamp and rebuild their designs. 

Competitions. Students can compete throughout the year with their creations.  We host competitions here at Westwood, followed by state, and world championships. 

Job skills for the future. The VEX IQ Challenge and VRC are team-based, and students work in groups to complete a robot for the yearly challenge. Collaboration, documentation, and time management are essential to making sure their projects are successful...  And done on time!

The Starter "Claw Bot"
Students then build their own designs!

Encode / Create

Content:  9/10  Delivery 9/10

A unique coding and computer science curriculum. Students learn real code through fun projects where they make games.

We cover fundamental, intermediate, and advanced concepts. All games are created using the Java programming language, one of the most popular programming languages in the world.

Our lessons and videos focus on teaching students how to learn. They start by showing students step by step, and then guide them towards independent thinking. If a student takes an enCode Create course, they don’t just learn computer programming, they also learn problem solving and how to think like a programmer.

Personalized learning with live instruction. Students learn better when they have a good teacher. That’s why we offer live online sessions with expert instructors. Each session is personalized to meet students’ needs, whether they are just starting out or quickly becoming an expert.

Learn more at!

The Climber Lesson


Content:  7/10  Delivery 7/10

Learn Computer Science from Anywhere

VEXcode VR Computer Science Level 1 - Blocks is an introductory course where students use VEXcode VR to learn and practice computational thinking and coding. 

Each lesson within a single Unit provides a scaffolded approach to the CS concept, leading students to complete independent challenges to apply what they have learned. 

Using the VEXcode block-based coding system, students are able to get started instantly with their coding journey.

The VR - Virtual Robot!

Fablevision Animation-ish

Content:  9/10  Delivery 8/10

Animation-ish is an easy-to-use, web-based animation program that inspires creativity, and allows students in grades K-12 to "show what they know."

Created by Peter H. Reynolds, author of the Creatrilogy books (The Dot, Ish and Sky Color), Animation-ish was designed to:

Learn more at:

Students learn digital animation through hands-on activities

ICT - Communications Essentials

Content:  10/10  Delivery 10/10

The ICT Communications Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of basic network functions and Internet connections,  Web search strategies, online safety and privacy, Web site content and email communication. 

ICT – Multimedia Essentials

Content:  8/10  Delivery 8/10

The ICT – Multimedia Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of designing and creating digital slide presentations, including formatting basics, slide transitions, animation, timing, titling, and integration of images, graphics, audio/video and other compatible files.

ICT – Web Design Essentials

Content:  8/10  Delivery 6/10

The ICT – Web Design Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the basics of designing and creating basic Web sites, including Web page elements, page layout, use of color, graphical user interface (GUI) tools, integration of multimedia, HTML coding, navigation and site publishing.

ICT - Computing Essentials

Content:  2/10  Delivery 5/10

The ICT Computing Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of computers and their functionality, including types and functions of computers and computer systems, computer hardware, applications, file management and the basics of computer networking. 

ICT - Cybersecurity Essentials

Content:  10/10  Delivery 10/10

The ICT CyberSecurity Essentials measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of personal online security and safety, including cybersecurity, securing from threats to computer systems and other topics especially relevant to students. 

ICT – Programming & Logic Essentials

Content:  9/10  Delivery 8/10

The ICT – Programming & Logic Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the basics of programming languages, including Boolean concepts, truth tables, logic, program structure, pseudo-code, iterative statements and syntax rules.

ICT – Gaming Essentials

Content:  9/10  Delivery 7/10

The ICT – Gaming Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of interactive computer game creation, including design process, criteria and constraint identification, content research, storyboard creation, program flow modeling, program code creation, and result evaluation and modification practices.

Mindtap Microsoft Office Training

Now you can combine strong computer concepts from the best-selling DISCOVERING COMPUTERS with proven step-by-step instructions. As part of the Series that has effectively introduced computer skills to millions of students like you, this encourages critical thought, personalization, and experimentation with the latest Microsoft Office 365. 

Content:  8/10  Delivery 5/10

We focus on the following programs with hands-on projects:

ICT - Spreadsheet Essentials

Content:  8/10  Delivery 4/10  (Done through Mindtap)

The ICT Spreadsheet Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of creating and using spreadsheets, including the purpose of spreadsheets; spreadsheet elements; how to insert, format, copy and move cell data, and format columns and rows; creating and modifying tables and charts; and functions and conditional formatting. 

ICT - Word Processing Essentials

Content:  8/10  Delivery 4/10  (Done through Mindtap)

The ICT Word Processing Essentials measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of using common word-processing application software, including the creation, editing and design of documents; the use of text structures; and collaboration on word-processing documents. 

ICT – Database Essentials

Content:  7/10  Delivery 3/10

The ICT – Database Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of using relational databases, including row and field structure, data types, tables, queries, data import/export mechanisms, and basic Structured Query Language (SQL) statements for managing and manipulating data and creating reports.

Coding in Minecraft

Content:  9/10  Delivery 3/10  (Lots of delivery issues)

Coding in Minecraft Measures knowledge and skills in computer science and coding through game-based learning.

Coding in Minecraft is a computer science credential program with supporting curriculum, delivered through Minecraft: Education Edition and hosted on Azure. 

The pathway comprises four courses that immerse students in a Minecraft world to develop and prove their coding skills using MakeCode and JavaScript or Python.

Why should you use Coding in Minecraft?

Close the Gap

Provide Credentials


Content:  9/10  Delivery 8/10  

Codesters combines a fun online coding platform for students, a powerful learning management system for teachers, and built-out coding lessons so you can start teaching kids to code in your school today.

Codesters lets students create interactive projects in Python. Our unique drag-to-text toolkit guides students through text-based coding while engaging them with sprites and animations.

What Do Students Make on Codesters?

Codesters empowers students to create interactive projects and apps on their own. Whether it's through coding on our free Project page or our structured lessons, students have the opportunity to build and explore independently.

Taken from:

FabMaker Studio Certification 

Content:  9/10  Delivery 7/10

Topic: STEM, Math, Design & Fabrication, Engineering Design Process

FabMaker Studio Certification Technology characteristics and scope; engineering career pathways; design process; and FabMaker Studio software. 

FabMaker Studio is the first digital fabrication software tool developed specifically for use in the classroom. It is an easy-to-use, web-based program that invites students to experience STEM and STEAM learning in an engaging, personally meaningful way.

Unity - Create with Code 

Content:  9/10  Delivery 6/10

In this official course from Unity, you will learn to Create with Code as you program your own exciting projects from scratch in C#. As you iterate with prototypes, tackle programming challenges, complete quizzes, and develop your own personal project, you will transform from an absolute beginner to a capable Unity developer. By the end of the course - if you are completing it through a school program - you will also be ready to put your skills to the test on the Unity Certified User Programmer Exam. Most importantly, though, when you complete this course, you will have the confidence that you can Create with Code. 

Taken from:


Content:  9/10  Delivery 4/10

Digital Native is a common term used to describe those who have been brought up during the digital age of technology, and are therefore more familiar with computers and the Internet. However, how confident are you that your students are prepared to live in an increasingly digital world? Simply being aware of technology is no longer good enough – your students must also understand how to use it.

And IC3 Spark is the answer.

With a focus on younger demographics, the IC3 Spark certification addresses the same foundational concepts as its precursor – the IC3 Digital Literacy Certification.  While both certifications target issues arising from the increasing demands of technology, IC3 Spark is created for younger children who may be new to computers and the Internet, or who lack a solid foundation in digital concepts.

IC3 - GS5 Digital Literacy

The GS5 certification is comprised of three exams: Computing Fundamentals, Living Online, and Key Applications. Certiport is committed to providing a truly global standard, and as digital standards and requirements advance, so does IC3. Best of all, because IC3 includes concepts and skills that apply to almost any school or career pathway, it’s the ideal solution for any student or jobseeker looking to validate their digital skills.

Computing Fundamentals: 

Covers a foundational understanding of computing.

Living Online: 

Covers skills for working in an Internet or networked environment.

Key Applications: 

Covers popular word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications and the common features of all applications.

With the IC3 Digital Literacy certification, students and job seekers can learn the skills they need now while earning credentials for their future. From school to career to life’s pursuits, IC3 can help you go farther.

Content:  9/10  Delivery 4/10

IC3 - GS6 Digital Literacy

IC3 Digital Literacy Global Standard 6 (GS6) is the latest version of the IC3 Digital Literacy program. This program has been restructured to address current computing concepts, including cloud and mobile technologies; to align closely with educational requirements and ensure learners of all ages can validate their understanding of Digital Literacy. IC3 Digital Literacy allows candidates to demonstrate their ability to select and use the appropriate research, productivity, collaboration, and communications tools, to find reliable information, create content, communicate safely, and identify credibility and bias in modern digital environments.

The new structure is a comprehensive set of stackable certifications across seven digital literacy domains. It is composed of three exams, each awarding its own certificate, that validate an understanding of each domain at the basic, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Level 1 

Measures knowledge of fundamental concepts and essential components.

Level 2 

Requires a working knowledge of each of the seven skill groups.

Level 3 

Validates an advanced understanding of digital literacy and indicates that the candidate has the technical foundation needed to advance successfully along their educational and employment paths and support the development of more specialized technological skills.

When a candidate successfully passes all three Global Standard Six certification exams, they are awarded the IC3 Digital Literacy Master Certification and a Master Badge which display an advanced understanding of the concepts and principles within the IC3 Digital Literacy program objective domains.

Content:  9/10  Delivery 4/10