Posts tagged ‘ECEP’

Factors that Increase Students’ Interest in Becoming a Middle or High School Computing Teacher

These are the right sort of questions to be asking, and then using when creating real programs.  How would we get more undergraduate computing majors to consider teaching?  We can’t do much about salary.  Free tuition and student loan forgiveness are feasible and could result in many more teachers (and are being explored by ECEP states).

CERP asked undergraduate computing majors what would increase their interest in becoming a middle or high school computing teacher. As seen in the above graphic, financial incentive in the form of a higher teaching salary, free tuition for teacher training, and forgiven student loans were the top factors increasing students’ interest in becoming a middle or high school computing teacher. These findings provide insights into how to generate more computing educators for the K-12 school system, which is becoming increasingly important, given recent efforts to promote widespread K-12 computing education.

Source: Factors that Increase Students’ Interest in Becoming a Middle or High School Computing Teacher – CRN

May 11, 2016 at 7:45 am 6 comments

Starting to track CS classes in Georgia: Few all-CS teachers

As I noted in my Blog@CACM post about the ECEP Cohort (see post here), some states are starting to track enrollments and sections of CS classes offered. Georgia is one of those, and I got to see the first presentation of these data at a CS Task Force meeting from Dr. Caitlin McMunn Dooley. Slides from the presentation are here.

There are five courses that currently count towards high school graduation in Georgia, and these are the ones being most closely tracked: AP CS Level A, CS Principles, IB CS Year 1, IB CS Year 2, and a Georgia-specific course, Programming Games, Apps, and Society. If you look at the counts of how many teachers are teaching of these course, it looks like good growth. There are just over 440 high schools in Georgia, so if there were one of these teachers in each high school, we could have 25-50% of Georgia high schools with CS teachers. What we don’t know is how many of these teachers are appearing in multiple categories. These are unlikely to be all unique teachers. How many AP CS teachers, for example, are also teaching CS Principles?

Counts-of-Teachers

The data below were the most surprising to me. Georgia’s state education system is broken into 16 Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs). We have the counts of the number of teachers of CS classes in each of those 16 RESAs, and we have the count of the number of sections of CS classes offered in each RESA. Notice that the numbers are pretty similar. For the most part, high school CS teachers in Georgia are only teaching one or two sections of CS. We have very few high school teachers who teach CS full-time. There are a few, e.g., some of our teachers who worked with us in “Georgia Computes!” were teaching five sections of CS each day. Most Georgia CS teachers are likely teaching some other discipline most of the time, and offering just a couple sections of CS.

Georgia-RESAs

If our goal is for all high school students to have access to CS education, we need to have more than one section of 30-40 students per teacher or per school (which is roughly the same thing right now). We need more teachers offering a section of CS and/or we need each teacher to offer more sections of CS. Right now, too few teachers offer CS to too few students.

I don’t know how common these trends are nationwide. Few states are tracking CS classes yet. Georgia is one of the leading states measuring progress in CS education. We need more information to know what’s going on.

March 31, 2016 at 7:18 am 10 comments

How we actually get to #CSforAll in the US: Jan Cuny wins SIGCSE Outstanding Contribution Award

The President’s new “CS for All” initiative can only be influenced by the federal government.  In the United States, individual states make all school education decisions.  We just had a meeting of our ECEP cohort (the day after the announcement), and talked about where we’re at.  How close are we to CS for All?  What’s involved in getting there?  I did a Blog@CACM post summarizing the reports.

I’m mentioning this because tomorrow (Friday March 4), Jan Cuny will be recognized by SIGCSE for her Outstanding Contribution to CS Education (see announcement here).  Jan has done more for the CS for All effort than anyone else I know.  Her efforts in the NSF Broadening Participation in Computing have made significant, long-term progress in promoting CS for everyone, not just the people in CS today. It’s a well-deserved award.

Coincidentally, the day after the President’s announcement, a group of state and territory leaders who belong to the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance presented their five-year plans at a meeting near Washington D.C. Leaders from Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maryland, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Utah described how they plan to grow CS, broaden participation in computing, and develop teachers. These plans give us insight into the progress toward and challenges to achieving CSforAll.

Source: State of the States: Progress Toward CS for All | blog@CACM | Communications of the ACM

March 3, 2016 at 7:52 am 2 comments

SIGCSE 2016 Preview: Parsons Problems and Subgoal Labeling, and Improving Female Pass Rates on the AP CS exam

Our research group has two papers at this year’s SIGCSE Technical Symposium.

Subgoals help students solve Parsons Problems by Briana Morrison, Lauren Margulieux, Barbara Ericson, and Mark Guzdial. (Thursday 10:45-12, MCCC: L5-L6)

This is a continuation of our subgoal labeling work, which includes Lauren’s original work showing how subgoal labels improved learning, retention and transfer in learning App Inventor (see summary here), the 2015 ICER Chairs Paper Award-winning paper from Briana and Lauren showing that subgoals work for text languages (see this post for summary), and Briana’s recent dissertation proposal where she explores the cognitive load implications for learning programming (see this post for summary). This latest paper shows that subgoal labels improve success at Parson’s Problems, too. One of the fascinating results in this paper is that Parson’s Problems are more sensitive as a learning assessment than asking students to write programs.

Sisters Rise Up 4 CS: Helping Female Students Pass the Advanced Placement Computer Science A Exam by Barbara Ericson, Miranda Parker, and Shelly Engelman. (Friday 10:45-12, MCCC: L2-L3)

Barb has been developing Project Rise Up 4 CS to support African-American students in succeeding at the AP CS exam (see post here from RESPECT and this post here from last year’s SIGCSE). Sisters Rise Up 4 CS is a similar project targeting female students. These are populations that have lower pass rates than white or Asian males. These are examples of supporting equality and not equity. This paper introduces Sisters Rise Up 4 CS and contrasts it with Project Rise Up 4 CS. Barb has resources to support people who want to try these interventions, including a how-to ebook at http://ice-web.cc.gatech.edu/ce21/SRU4CS/index.html and an ebook for students to support preparation for the AP CS A.

February 29, 2016 at 7:56 am 9 comments

Broadening Access to Computing Education State by State: ECEP in CACM

An article written by Rick Adrion, Barbara Ericson, Renee Fall, and me appears in this month’s Communications of the ACM about our work in the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance.  Our annual meeting is today, with 11 states and Puerto Rico, where we talk about how to create sustained change in a state. We are learning a lot about what it takes to make change in our very diverse United States.

The lessons learned from Massachusetts and Georgia are useful for states joining ECEP, but so are the lessons from the other states. We have been surprised at how much our state leaders draw ideas from each other. South Carolina leaders used a teacher survey that was invented in Massachusetts. Utah draws inspiration from a Texas teacher recruitment strategy. What our state leaders find most useful about ECEP is access to other state leaders who share similar goals, for example, to broaden participation in computing by changing education pathways in their states.

Source: Broadening Access to Computing Education State by State | February 2016 | Communications of the ACM

January 31, 2016 at 7:50 am 2 comments

Helping states collect data about computing education for landscape reports

Back at the NCWIT meeting last May, we in ECEP (Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance) started promoting a four step process for starting to improve computing education in your state (see blog post here):

  1. Find a Leader(s)
  2. Figure out where you are and how you change
  3. Gather your allies
  4. Get initial funding.

Part of Step 2 includes writing a Landscape Report.  Does your state count CS towards high school graduation? As what?  Who decides?  Who can teach CS? Is there a CS curriculum? Do you have a Pathway? Do you have a certificate or endorsement to teach CS in your state? There are several of these available at the CSTA website, such as one from South Carolina and another on Maryland.

ECEP now has a page with resources for gathering data for a landscape report — see below.

Where is your state now? The resources linked below can help you quickly find state-level data about the status of computer science education in your state. These are good starting points for putting together a landscape report that answers common questions on CS education in your state.

via State-level Data for CS Education Advocacy | Expanding Computing Education Pathways.

March 11, 2015 at 8:02 am Leave a comment

SIGCSE 2015 Week! ECEP BOF and Ebooks and IRB and other CS Ed terms

This week is the SIGCSE 2015 Technical Symposium, the largest computing education conference in the US, perhaps in the world.  About 1300 people will be heading to Kansas City for four days of discussion, workshops, and talks.  See the conference page here and the program here.

Barbara Ericson and I will be presenting at several events:

  • I’m speaking on a panel Thursday afternoon at 3:45 on human-subjects review of experiment protocols (by Institutional Review Boards (IRB)) and the challenges we’ve had in working in high schools and working on cross-institutional projects.
  • Barb and I will be hosting with Rick Adrion a Birds of a Feather (BOF) session on state-level change at 6:30 Thursday.  This is part of our ECEP work.
  • On Friday morning at 10 am, we’ll be showing our electronic book (ebook) for high school teachers interested in learning CS Principles.  The first public showing was at the NSF BPC Community meeting in January, but that was to a small audience.  We’ll be presenting at the NSF Showcase at 10 am on the exhibition floor.
  • Barb is speaking on Friday afternoon in a panel at 3:30 on activities for K-12 CS outreach.
  • On Friday night, Barb is running her famous “How to run a computing summer camp workshop.”

As usual, Georgia Tech is sending several of us (not just Barb and me).  One of my PhD students, Briana Morrison, is on a panel on Flipped Classrooms Thursday 1:45-3 pm in 3501G.  Another of my PhD students, Miranda Parker, is part of a BOF Preparing Undergraduates to Make the Most of Attending CS Conferences 6:30-7:20 on Thursday evening.  Our colleague, Betsy DiSalvo, is speaking Friday morning 10:45-12 on a panel Research, Resources and Communities: Informal Ed as a Partner in Computer Science Education in 2505A.

This is one of my shorter stays at a SIGCSE conference.  I’ll be coming in late Wednesday and leaving Friday afternoon.  I’ve been traveling way too much lately (NSF BPC Community meeting in January, talk at Penn in early February, Tapia conference in Boston two weeks ago, AP CS Principles review meeting in Chicago this last week).  I am fortunate to be teaching Media Computation this semester, and I hate to miss so many lectures.  More, it’s hard on our family when we’re both gone.  Barb will be at SIGCSE all week, from Tuesday night to Sunday morning, so be sure to stop by and say hello to her.

March 3, 2015 at 9:23 am Leave a comment

CSEdWeek progress in Georgia: Math and Science teachers in CS/IT and a Transfer Summit

The Code.org site (see here) describes some of the successes of CSEd Week.  Over 81 million people tried the Hour of Code.  President Obama became the first US President to program (see Forbes piece).

I’m sure that there were a lot of outreach activities going on in Georgia, too.  I wasn’t involved in those. I want to report on two points of progress in Georgia that was more at an infrastructural level.

Chris Klaus (as I mentioned in this blog previously) has gathered stakeholders in a “Georgia Coding” group to push on improving computing in Georgia.  That effort bore fruit during CSedWeek.  Georgia had its first “Day of Code,” but Barb and I were most excited to visit the Georgia Professional Standards Commission website on Monday to see this:

Cursor_and_GaPSC_-_CAPS

All the high school IT/CS classes in Georgia can now be taught by teachers with Mathematics or Science certifications.  Previously, only Business Education and Mathematics teachers could teach AP CS, and only Business Education teachers could teach other IT/CS classes. (Even though AP CS counted as a science credit, science teachers couldn’t teach it.)  Now, it’s all open.  It’s much easier to teach Math and Science teachers about CS than Business Education teachers. Now, we have a much larger pool of possible teachers to recruit into CS classes.  I’m grateful that Georgia House Representative Mike Dudgeon took this from the Georgia Coding group and made it happen.

On Thursday, I hosted a Transfer Summit at Georgia Tech.  We had 15 attendees from 11 different institutions in the University System of Georgia, some two-year-mostly institutions and others four-year degree institutions.

Pathways-Meeting

 

The goal was to ease transfer between the schools.  This was a strategy that CAITE used successfully to increase the diversity in computing programs in Massachusetts.  Two year programs are much more diverse than universities (see some data here), but only about 25% of the students who want to transfer do so.  Part of our strategy with ECEP is to set up these meetings where we get schools to smooth out the bumps to ease the transition.

I learned a lot about transfer at this meeting.  For example, I learned that it’s often unsuccessful to have students take all their General Education requirements at the two-year institution and then transfer to the four-year institution, because that leaves just intense CS classes for the last two years — no easier classes.  At some schools, the pre-requisite chains prevent students from even getting a full load of just-CS classes, since students have to pass the pre-req before they can take the follow-on class.

At the end of the meeting, we had 9 new transfer agreements in-progress.  Some of the participants had come to a similar meeting last year, and they said that they were able to make more progress this year because they knew what to have ready.  Wayne Summers from Columbus State actually came with a whole new agreement with Georgia Perimeter College (a two-year institution) already worked out and ready to discuss with GPC representatives.  I was grateful that GPC brought three faculty to the meeting, so that they could have multiple agreements worked out in parallel.

Getting math and science teachers into high school CS classes and helping students in two-year institutions move on to bachelors degrees isn’t as flashy as the Hour of Code and programming at White House.  Teacher certifications and transfer agreements are important when we move beyond the first hour and want to create pathways for students to pursue computing through graduation.

December 20, 2014 at 8:32 am 4 comments

Half of STEM graduates in US went to community college at some point #CSEdWeek

Interesting claim from the American Association of Community Colleges — thanks from Cheryl Kiras for this: http://www.aacc.nche.edu/Publications/datapoints/Documents/ScienceCred_102814.pdf  Here’s another reason why it’s important to care about all of the education pathways, and to look to community colleges for more (and more diverse) computing undergraduates.

www_aacc_nche_edu_Publications_datapoints_Documents_ScienceCred_102814_pdf

December 11, 2014 at 8:32 am 7 comments

Computing Teachers are Different from Software Developers: WIPSCE 2014 Keynote

A computer science degree is neither necessary nor sufficient for success in teaching computing. The slides below miss the live demo of Media Computation. My TEDxGeorgiaTech talk (video on YouTube) has much of the same components, but is lacking the ukulele playing that I did today. There was no recording made of my talk.

November 6, 2014 at 4:48 am 9 comments

Where AP CS is taught in Georgia and California, and where there is none at all

2014-15_AP_CS_A_Schools

April Heard at Georgia Tech built this map for us about where AP CS is taught in the state of Georgia.  Some of it is totally to be expected. Most of the schools are in the Atlanta region, with a couple in Columbus, a handful in Macon, and a few more in Augusta and Savannah area.

But what’s disappointing is that huge swath in the south of the state with nothing.  Not a single school south of Columbus and west of Brunswick.  In terms of area, it’s about 1/3 of the state.  Albany is home to Albany State University, the largest HBCU in Georgia.  No AP CS at all there.  And Georgia is one of the top states for having AP CS.

Sure, there might be some non-AP CS teachers in South Georgia, but we’re talking a handful.  Not double, and certainly not a magnitude more than AP CS.

I suspect that much of the US looks like this, with wide stretches without a CS teacher in sight.  April is continuing to generate these maps for states that we’re working with in ECEP.  Here’s California, with big empty stretches.

AP_CS_Schools_-_California

Tom McKlin just generated this new map, which overlays the AP CS teacher data on top of mean household income in a school district.  The correlation is very high — districts with money have AP CS, and those that don’t, don’t.

AP CS Median Income

 

October 10, 2014 at 8:29 am 11 comments

Pushback in California on Computing in Schools

I’ve been thrilled to see the legislative progress in California around CS education issues.  The governor has now signed Senate Bill 1200 which starts the process of CS counting for UC/CSU admissions.  Dan Lewis’s article in The Mercury News tempered that enthusiasm (linked below).  I wasn’t aware that UC was pushing back, nor how the number of CS classes and teachers is dropping in California.  Lots more work to do there.

The Legislature just passed two bills to address these issues. Senate Bill 1200 allows but does not require the University of California to count computer science toward the math requirements for admission. However, there’s been a lot of push back from UC on this, so for now, all we really have is an expression of intent from the Legislature. Thankfully, AB 1764 allows high schools to count computer science toward graduation requirements. Of course, that may not mean much for students applying to UC.

For these reasons, computer science isn’t a priority for students. Nor is it a priority for schools when determining course offerings based on limited budgets: While California high school enrollment has risen 15 percent since 2000, the number of classes on computer science or programming fell 34 percent, and the number of teachers assigned to those courses fell 51 percent.

via Computer science: It’s where the jobs are, but schools don’t teach it – San Jose Mercury News.

A new policy brief was just released from the California STEM Learning Network on the state of CS education in California (see here).  California actually lags behind the rest of the US on some important indicators like number of CS degrees conferred.  That’s pretty scary for Silicon Valley.

September 24, 2014 at 8:53 am 9 comments

Georgia Governor shows Support for CS in Schools

governor-cs-klaus

It’s not too often that a policy announcement about education happens on the Georgia Tech campus.  In the picture above, tech entrepreneur Chris Klaus is introducing Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (who is second from the right — the guy on the far right is our Provost Rafael Bras), in the Klaus Advanced Computing Building (same Klaus — he funded the building).  Chris has been spearheading an effort to get more “coding” into Georgia schools.

The Governor said that he’s asking the State Board of Education for computer science to count as core science, mathematics, and foreign languages.

The gossip before the talk was that he was going to announce that CS would count for (i.e., replace) foreign languages (which is not a good idea).  This announcement was a bit better than that, but it’s still not clear what it means.  AP CS already counts as a science towards high school graduation.  Does it mean that more CS courses will count?  That AP CS will count as any of math, science, or foreign languages?  And will the State Board of Education go along with this?  Who knows?

The guy on the far left of that picture is Representative Mike Dudgeon.  He’s taken on the task of changing the “highly-qualified” list in Georgia so that business teachers OR math teachers OR science teachers can teach CS in Georgia.  Currently, CS is a “Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education” subject, meaning that only teachers with a business certificate can teach CS.  Barbara Ericson has fought hard so that mathematics teachers can also teach AP CS — but this all leaves us in the weird position that AP CS counts as a science, but science teachers can’t teach it.  Only math and business teachers can teach AP CS in Georgia. That would be great if Dudgeon is successful.  It’s easier to teach CS to math and science teachers than business teachers.

I was a meeting recently with Chris Klaus where he said that he wants to make Georgia the first state in the USA to require CS for high school graduation.  When I balked at that (citing the issues in my Blog@CACM post), he had an interesting counter-proposal.  We give schools and districts who aren’t ready to teach CS a waiver, but to get a waiver, you have to have a plan in place to be able to teach CS within three years.  Might work.

My proposal in the group that Chris has founded to have more “coding education in Georgia” isn’t getting much traction.  I proposed we do what Calculus did. How did Calculus get taught in every high school? First, schools in the 1800’s started teaching calculus to undergrads. By the 1900’s, every STEM undergrad had to take Calculus, and the top high schools were preparing their kids for Calculus. By the late 1900’s, all high schools were offering calculus.  My proposal is that that the Board of Regents make CS part of the general education requirement of all undergraduates in the University System of Georgia. Every student in every college in Georgia would be required to take a course in CS. Unlike elementary and high schools, USG institutions have CS teachers — they might have to hire more faculty to handle the load, but they know how to do it. It’s much less expensive to teach CS at the undergraduate level than at the high or elementary school level. But this creates the curriculum (you have to teach a different CS to everyone from what you teach to CS majors) that the high-end schools will immediately start to emulate, and that will get copied into other high schools.  Biggest advantage is that every new teacher (business, math, or science) will take a CS class! That should accelerate the rate of getting teachers who know CS into schools, and give them a new tool for teaching STEM classes.

Anyway, it’s probably a good thing that there is all of this interest in computing education from Georgia political leaders.

 

August 26, 2014 at 8:14 am 9 comments

Computing Education Bills go to Governor in California

Julie Flapan gave me permission to share this email to the members of ACCESS (Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools) in California — thanks, Julie!

Dear Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools:

We are thrilled to share the good news about two important computer science-related bills: AB 1764 (Buchanan/Olsen) and SB 1200 (Padilla) passed out of the legislature yesterday with unanimous approval and are awaiting the Governor’s signature.  These bills are a step in the right direction, having the potential to expand opportunities and increase participation in computer science education.  But our work is just beginning!

 These bills have the potential to make computer science count for California’s high school students: with AB 1764, an advanced computer science course may count as a math credit toward graduation, and with SB 1200, computer science may count as a credit toward UC/CSU college admissions.  Research has shown that making computer science count incentivizes students – especially those underrepresented in computing including girls and students of color – to enroll in computer science courses in high school.  ACCESS has been working with Code.org, the College Board and UCOP to try to get math credit approval for AP CS-A.  We hope this legislation will help support these efforts.

While these two bills represent a significant victory for computer science education, much work needs to be done to help establish robust guidelines for computer science coursework, promote high quality and engaging computer science curriculum, help prepare teachers to teach it, provide ongoing professional development, and most importantly, ensure that we are recruiting and retaining underrepresented students in meaningful computer science coursework that will help prepare students for college and careers.

If you have any further ideas or suggestions on how to fully realize the potential of these two bills, please don’t hesitate to contact either of us.

Julie Flapan and Debra Richardson

_____________________________

Julie Flapan

Executive Director, ACCESS and ECEP-CA
Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS)
Expanding Computing Education Pathways - California (ECEP-CA)

Debra Richardson

Professor and Chair, ACCESS

August 23, 2014 at 9:32 am 2 comments

Where do K-12 policy decisions get made in US states?

As I talked about in my NCWIT Summit Flash talk, the second step in changing a state’s K-12 computing education policy is figuring out where you are and how you move K-12 in your state.

Rick Adrion found a terrific set of resources that help to get a handle on what’s going on in each state.

Resources like these make it more clear why efforts like NGSS and Common Core are in trouble.  In quite a few states, most decisions are pushed down to the district level.  If states aren’t willing to make decisions for their whole state, how could they even consider requiring national standards?

August 20, 2014 at 8:18 am 4 comments

Older Posts Newer Posts


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,003 other followers

Feeds

Recent Posts

Blog Stats

  • 1,875,131 hits
September 2021
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

CS Teaching Tips