How to teach teachers

April 2, 2010 at 12:16 pm Leave a comment

How do we go from 2,000 high school computer science teachers (AP) in 2009, to 10,000 by 2015?  We have to do a lot of teacher training.  I just saw this announcement about Purdue’s new offering:

Purdue University is teaming up with PBS to educate elementary school teachers on how to teach engineering concepts to young students. The new course for preK-6 teachers is a joint effort of PBS TeacherLine, an online professional development program for educators, and Purdue’s Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE) within the School of Engineering Education. The goal of the effort is ultimately to interest students at an early age in the sciences and engineering.

via Purdue U and PBS TeacherLine Team on STEM Training for Educators — Campus Technology.

In Georgia Computes!, we’re trying a two-pronged approach.  We’re working with Columbus State University in their offering of a new on-line set of courses for earning a computer science endorsement.  We’re also creating a series of Webinars to provide in-service workshops to teachers, which are all linked to this page.  (In Education-speak, “pre-service” means before a teacher goes in the classroom, so typically during their undergraduate degree.  “In-service” means while a teacher is teaching.)

We’re trying to get a sense of how well the Webinars work.  An interesting tidbit about them: Relatively few people attend the webinars live, but more people download the recording of them afterward.  How important is the “live” aspect, then?  Is learning just as effective, live or recorded?

A graduate student working with me, Liz Parrish, is trying to answer some of our questions about how well webinars work for in-service teachers.  Please do send the link (http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/ice-gt/10) to any high school teachers you know who might be interested in some workshops on computer science teaching, and encourage them to take Liz’s survey, available from each of the recordings’ pages.  We’re hoping to learn more about if and what makes webinars work for CS teachers.

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How computing and physics learning differ Teacher “training” vs. Teacher “professional development”

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