Posts tagged ‘GaComputes’

Georgia Tech Receives CMD-IT University Award for Retention of Minorities and Students With Disabilities in Computer Science

I have not been directly involved in the computer science undergraduate major at Georgia Tech since “Georgia Computes!” started (and ECEP continued). Today, I teach graduate courses in the Human-Centered Computing PhD program and the undergraduate non-CS majors course Introduction to Media Computation, and only rarely teach CS undergraduates.

So, I am pleased that this award to the undergraduate program in the College of Computing mentioned things that Barb and I were part of.  The College of Computing won the award in part for Threads (I co-chaired the implementation committee), “Georgia Computes!” (which was mostly Barb and me), Project Rise Up 4 CS (which is Barb’s invention which she developed for ECEP), and our three mandatory CS classes, one of which is the Media Computation class I created. I feel like Barbara and I had a role in this.

The CMD-IT University Award decision was based on both Georgia Tech’s impressive quantitative reported results, which reflected high retention and graduation rates and qualitative reporting on their various retention program.  In particular, Georgia Tech highlighted the following four programs highlighted as directly impacting retention and graduation:

  • Threads Undergraduate Curriculum:  Students are given the opportunity to take control over their curriculum by choosing two of eight Threads to create their degree plan which gives them more than 28 different degree plans to follow. This resulted in students feeling they have more control and a better understanding of their degree plan.

  • Georgia Computes and Project Rise Up:  The two programs are spearheaded by Georgia Tech to help increase engagement in computing by broadening participation in computer science at all educational levels by underrepresented groups.  These programs increase interest in Computer Science.

  • Mandatory Introductions to Computer Science classes:  All students enrolled in Bachelor’s degree programs at Georgia Tech must take one of three computer science classes. The three programs enable students to take courses that fit their level of experience in Computer Science.

  • Travel Scholarships to Conference:  Georgia Tech provides between 40 and 120 travel scholarships to leading tech conferences with a diversity focus.  Students build networks of support and return with a feeling of renewed commitment to their degree program.

Source: Georgia Tech Receives CMD-IT University Award for Retention of Minorities and Students With Disabilities in Computer Science | Markets Insider

October 20, 2017 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Using socially meaningful work to attract female engineers: Part of the solution

I agree with the author of this recent NYTimes post.  Women do seem to be more attracted to socially meaningful work than males.  I don’t think that’s the complete solution, though.  We have evidence that women are more likely to pursue studies in computer science if encouraged (see Joanne Cohoon’s work) and if they feel a sense of “belonging” with the department (see our work in Georgia).  If we want more women in engineering, we have to think about recruitment (as this article does) and retention (as other work does).

Why are there so few female engineers? Many reasons have been offered: workplace sexism, a lack of female role models, stereotypes regarding women’s innate technical incompetency, the difficulties of combining tech careers with motherhood. Proposed fixes include mentor programs, student support groups and targeted recruitment efforts. Initiatives have begun at universities and corporations, including Intel’s recent $300 million diversity commitment.

But maybe one solution is much simpler, and already obvious. An experience here at the University of California, Berkeley, where I teach, suggests that if the content of the work itself is made more societally meaningful, women will enroll in droves. That applies not only to computer engineering but also to more traditional, equally male-dominated fields like mechanical and chemical engineering.

via How to Attract Female Engineers – NYTimes.com.

June 26, 2015 at 7:29 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

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 8 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

Special Issue of ACM Transactions on Computing Education: International K12 CS with “Georgia Computes!”

The special issue of ACM Transactions on Computing Education on primary and secondary schools’ computing has just come out (see table of contents).  There are articles on the UK’s Computing at School effort, Tim Bell’s effort in New Zealand, and efforts in Israel, Germany, Italy, Russia, and several others.

This is a particularly big deal for Barb and me, because in this issue, we publish the capstone journal paper on “Georgia Computes!” and describe what resulted from our six years worth of effort.  We present both the positives (e.g., big increase in Hispanic participation in CS, teacher professional development touching 37% of all high schools in the state, great summer camp programs spread across the state) and the negatives (e.g., little impact on African American participation, little uptake by University faculty).

Georgia Computes! (GaComputes) was a six-year (2006–2012) project to improve computing education across the state of Georgia in the United States, funded by the National Science Foundation. The goal of GaComputes was to broaden participation in computing and especially to engage more members of underrepresented groups which includes women, African Americans, and Hispanics. GaComputes’ interventions were multi-faceted and broad: summer camps and after-school/weekend programs for 4th–12th grade students, professional development for secondary teachers, and professional development for post-secondary instructors faculty. All of the efforts were carefully evaluated by an external team (led by the third and fourth authors), which provides us with an unusually detailed view into a computing education intervention across a region (about 59K square miles, about 9.9 million residents). Our dataset includes evaluations from over 2,000 students who attended after-school or weekend workshops, over 500 secondary school teachers who attended professional development, 120 post-secondary teachers who attended professional development, and over 2,000 students who attended a summer day (non-residential) camp. GaComputes evaluations provide insight into details of interventions and into influences on student motivation and learning. In this article, we describe the results of these evaluations and describe how GaComputes broadened participation in computing in Georgia through both direct interventions and indirect support of other projects.

July 15, 2014 at 9:01 am 4 comments

New UChicago Reports: Teacher Capacity Survey and Stories from the Field

The latest reports from the University of Chicago’s research on the state of computing education in the United States are now out.  The ACM hired the U. Chicago Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education to figure out where we are today.  The first study, the Landscape Study, came out last year.  Two new ones came out this week:

  • The Teacher Capacity Survey asks the teachers about their needs and where they see CS Education today.  The big problem with that study (which they recognize) is that they got a biased population.  The teachers who responded are the most educated, the most supported.  Half of the respondents reported teaching CS for 10 years or more.  Other data (like the CSTA survey) paint a different picture.  Still, the Teacher Capacity survey provides interesting voices to the discussion, 774 responses from (they estimate) about 10% of the target population.
  • The Stories from the Field are targeted interviews to tell four regional stories: Chicago, U. Alabama, Purdue University, and Georgia. Yes, I was interviewed, and recordings of me answering some of the interview questions are part of the Georgia story.  I’ve skimmed all four stories now and really like them.  My favorite part of this report so-far are the cross-cutting themes.

July 10, 2013 at 1:15 am Leave a comment

Why women leave academia and why universities should be worried

Fascinating study  — not surprising, but worthwhile noting.  This work was done in Chemistry, so it bears replication in other STEM disciplines.  Some on the SIGCSE-Members list were wondering, “Is this just for research-oriented universities?  Or for teaching-oriented universities, too?”  In our work interviewing faculty as part of our work in GaComputes and DCCE, we heard surprisingly similar concerns at both kinds of institutions.  The faculty at schools with a teaching mission told us that their tenure was based on research publications, and they felt similar levels of stress.

Young women scientists leave academia in far greater numbers than men for three reasons. During their time as PhD candidates, large numbers of women conclude that (i) the characteristics of academic careers are unappealing, (ii) the impediments they will encounter are disproportionate, and (iii) the sacrifices they will have to make are great.

via Why women leave academia and why universities should be worried | Higher Education Network | Guardian Professional.

June 21, 2013 at 1:10 am 1 comment

Last Minute Openings in CS:Principles Teacher Workshop! Time Sensitive!

Barbara Ericson just found out that several teachers have dropped out from a professional development workshop that we’re offering next week.  This means that we have some (limited) funding for travel available, and hotel rooms already booked, so we’re trying to get the word out broadly to fill those (very last minute) slots. Below is the message that she sent to teachers in Georgia. We’ll take teachers from other states as well.

The workshop is on CS Principles Big Ideas  from June 17-21st at Georgia Tech. Rebecca Dovi is leading this workshop. She is one of the CS:Principles pilot teachers. She has created many interesting activities for teaching CS Principles and will be sharing those activities. See http://supercomputerscience.blogspot.com for her blog.

We still have hotel rooms available for attendees. We pay for parking and lunch for all attendees. We have limited funds to reimburse for travel as well. You can register at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CSP2013-BigIdeas

For more information on the workshop, see http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/ice-gt/2175

June 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment

“What does Guzdial do anyway?”

I gave the last GVU Brown Bag seminar of the academic year.  Video is available at the link below.

Speaker: Mark Guzdial

Title:  What We Know About Teaching Computer Science (“What does Guzdial do, Anyway?”)

Abstract:

We have known for over 30 years that learning to program is surprisingly hard.  A series of international studies have shown remarkably little success in teaching programming. In my group, we have been developing approaches to improve learning about computing, by improving retention through relevance and by teaching in problem domain context.  Our classes and studies have utilized computer-supported collaborative learning, so we explore learning on-line as well as in-classroom. We have learned how anchored collaboration can lead to longer on-topic discussions, but how perceptions of course culture can dramatically inhibit discussion.  We have shown that well-designed on-line activities can lead to better learning at reduced cost (including time costs for the student and instructor). We are currently developing an ebook for learning computer science by high school teachers where we are trying to integrate these lessons for a new audience.

via GVU Brown Bag Seminar: Mark Guzdial | GVU Center at Georgia Tech.

May 15, 2013 at 1:33 am 6 comments

Heading to Denmark May 10-16

I’ll be traveling to Denmark with Barbara Ericson on May 10 to attend a conference at Aarhus University on their new computer science curriculum.  Michael Caspersen invited us out.  Simon Peyton-Jones of the Computing At Schools effort in the United Kingdom will be speaking as well.  I’m copy-pasting the program (translated from Danish) to give you a sense of what it’s all about. It’s an exciting opportunity, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the efforts to move computing into primary and secondary education in Denmark and the UK.

The purpose of the conference is to establish support for our efforts by raising political awareness at all levels of decision making in our society related to teaching computing in school (parliament, regional and city councils, high school principals, high school teachers, deans, chairs and professors in computing departments, IT organizations, journalists, etc.).

09.30 Registration and coffee

– exhibition of student projects opens

10.00 Welcome

– Peter Hesseldahl (moderator)

10.15 Digital literacy: creative and critical innovation — three perspectives

– Michael: Insight and vision through computing

– Jacob (high school teacher): Computing — a creative, critical and constructive subject

– Susanne: Why does society need digital literacy?

11.15 Break

11.45 Digital literacy in an international perspective

– Mark: Why everyone will need digital literacy in their life

– Simon: Digital literady: Why every child should learn computing from primary school onwards

12.15 Lunch

13.15 Panel: On the importance of digital literacy for high school students

– Christine Antorini, Minister of Children and Education

– Morten Østergaard, Minister of Science, Innovation and Higher Education

– Morten Bangsgaard, CEO, The Danish IT Industry Association (ITB)

– Anne Frausing, Principal and representative for the High School Principal’s Association

– Gitte Møldrup, Managing Director, IT-VEST — Networking Universities

14.30 Break

15.00 Simon: Computing at School: How the UK is radically reshaping its curriculum for the 21st century

15.25 Mark: CS10K: Providing access to computing education across the US

15.50 Wrap-up

16.00 End of plenary session

16.30 Exhibition of student projects ends

May 6, 2013 at 1:22 am Leave a comment

Summer Camps in Georgia: Roll-up Report and Invitation to Play with Data (SECOND TRY)

I had posted this blog piece back in January, but then was asked to take it down.  There were concerns that the data were not anonymized enough to guarantee participant anonymity.  Tom McKlin did a great job of working with the Human Subjects Review board here at Georgia Tech, to figure out a set of data that would be useful to other computing education researchers, but would guarantee participant anonymity (to the extent feasible).  Here’s our newly approved data set.

Our external evaluators (The Findings Group) has just produced the roll-up analysis for all the GaComputes related summer camps from Summer 2012. These include camps offered at Georgia Tech, and those offere elsewhere in the state, started by GaComputes seed grants (as described in the 2011 SIGCSE paper that I blogged about). The results are strong:

  • Over 1,000 K-12 students participated statewide.
  • The camps were even more effective with women than men.
  • There was a statistically significant improvement in content knowledge for Scratch, Alice, and App Inventor, across genders, ethnic groups, and grade levels.
  • “The computing camps were particularly effective at increasing students’ intent to pursue additional computing, self‐efficacy in doing computing, and sense of belonging in computing.”
  • “Minority students reported significantly more growth in their intent to persist in computing than majority students.”

The Findings Group had a particularly interesting proposal for the Computing Education Research community. They are making all the survey data from all the camps freely available, in an anonymous form. They have a sense that there is more to learn from these data. It’s a lot of students, and there’s a lot to explore there in terms of motivation, engagement, and learning.

If you play with these data, do let us know what you learn!

March 2, 2013 at 1:26 am 6 comments

What is the current state of high school computer science professional development? The results of the UChicago Landscape Study

I am at the meeting in Portland of all the awardees from the NSF programs in Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC-A, like ECEP), Computing Education in the 21st Century (CE21, like our CSLearning4U project), and all the funded projects related to CS10K, sponsored by NCWIT.

You may recall that I invited people to participate in the Landscape Study on the capacity of our computing community’s professional development efforts.  The results of that survey are being presented here at this meeting, and a summary is available at the URL below.

I find the results a little depressing.  The folks at UChicago who do the study compare us to professional development in Science or Mathematics, and we don’t much look like that.  We have such a long way to go.

What is the current state of high school computer science professional development?

THIS STRAND OF WORK FOCUSED ON DESCRIBING THE CURRENT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

that are available for high school computer science (CS) teachers. The primary data collection for this strand took place through a survey administered to providers of high school computer science teacher professional development (PD).

via Computer Science – Landscape Study – The Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education.

January 14, 2013 at 8:00 am 2 comments

Announcing the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance

Through a five-year, $6.24 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Massachusetts Amherst will form a partnership to further grow the pipeline of students in U.S. computer science programs and broaden participation in this fast-growing field. The new Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance will extend best practices and seek to duplicate state-level successes in developing K-12 and post-secondary curriculum, enhancing teacher training, and conducting hands-on student workshops and other programs.

Computer science remains one of the fastest growing fields, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasting almost 20 percent increases in computing-related jobs by 2020. While myriad efforts at the national, state and local levels have contributed to four years of sustained growth in undergraduate computer science programs, accelerated growth and diversification remains critical to cultivating the next generation of technology industry leaders.

“Computing is the world’s newest great science. Yet, even though enrollments in U.S. computer science programs are on a four-year rise, it’s still not enough to satisfy the workforce demands of a technology-driven global economy,” said Mark Guzdial, professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing and ECEP co-lead. “This new collaboration will drive the discipline forward, enabling states to replicate recent successes in Georgia and Massachusetts that enhanced computing education, grew the pipeline of interested students, and facilitated systemic change to the educational system.”

ECEP builds on five years of work by Georgia Tech’s Georgia Computes! program and UMass Amherst’s Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE). In Georgia, Georgia Computes! introduced thousands of middle and high school students to computing through workshops, summer camps and partnerships with the Girl Scouts and other organizations. As a result, the number of students taking the AP Computer Science exam doubled from 2007 to 2011, with even higher growth rates among women and underrepresented minority groups. In addition, more than 500 teachers from 312 schools in 20 states have taken one or more training workshops as part of the Georgia Computes! program.

“Georgia Tech has a legacy of creating, implementing and disseminating computing educational approaches that introduce computing in ways that are creative, social and interesting, such as creating stories, art, music and games by writing computer programs,” said Barbara Ericson, director of Computing Outreach in the Georgia Tech College of Computing, and co-PI for ECEP. “Through this new partnership with CAITE, we can further expand our efforts and have a tremendous impact on computing pipelines across the nation.”

In Massachusetts, CAITE helped bolster enrollments in community-college computer science programs by 64 percent over five years, and facilitated 78 percent growth in programs that facilitated CS student transfers from two to four-year universities. CAITE also reached more than 21,000 students and 2,100 educators through more than 350 computing events, including robot-building activity days for middle school girls and professional development workshops for computer science teachers and faculty.

The first state partners for ECEP will be California and South Carolina, chosen because they have the population, institutions, workforce demands and individuals or organizations ready to work on computer science education reform.

Working in conjunction with industry and government associations, ECEP will assist and advise these and future partner states in running 4th-12th grade student summer camps, improving transfer from two- to four-year institutions, enhancing computing curricula, conducting effective student outreach, and more.

November 15, 2012 at 9:20 am 16 comments

The Need for an Industry-based Java Exam: Guest blog post by Barbara Ericson

Barbara has been facing a challenge in dealing with the State of Georgia lately that could impact other states. I offered my blog as a forum for raising the issues more broadly.

We have a real need in Georgia for a certification exam for high school students that is similar to the AP CS A exam in content and price, but is industry-based. Georgia is pushing career pathways and wants to have each student who completes a pathway take some type of exam where they can earn an industry certification. They claim this is due to the Perkins legislation that passed in 2006.

The purpose of the Perkins legislation is to develop students for “high skill, high wage, or high demand occupations in current or emerging professions” which certainly matches computing jobs. It is also intended to “integrate rigorous and challenging academic and career and technical instruction, and link secondary education and postsecondary education for participating career and technical education students”. It goes on to say that the goal is “designed to provide students with a non-duplicative sequence of progressive achievement leading to technical skill proficiency, a credential, a certificate, or a degree.” Since students can receive academic credit for the the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science (CS) A exam from postsecondary institutions, the AP CS A exam should count as leading to a degree.

In Georgia, we have created a computing pathway which has 3 courses: Computing in the Modern World, Beginning Programming, and Intermediate Programming. The committee that created the computing courses had recommended that that pathway end with AP CS A instead of Intermediate Programming, and that the students pass the AP CS A exam to prove that they have learned the material. But, Georgia won’t allow the AP exam to be used as an end of pathway exam. I recommended the Oracle Java associate exam, but it is $300 and that is just too expensive. The AP exam is $89. Georgia has picked a Skills USA computer programming exam (see description here) that covers Java, C++, and Visual Basic. That exam doesn’t match the standards in the pathway courses, and we don’t want the teachers to have to teach 3 different languages. We are having a hard enough time getting them up to speed on Java, since most have no computer science background. The Career and Technical Education Department in Georgia thinks it is preparing kids for programming jobs right out of high school, which is not realistic. Students will need to at least an associates degree if they want a career in computing.

Georgia is poised to force every rising 9th grader to pick a career pathway. They are currently thinking about changing our computing courses to match the Skills USA test, since they can’t find a cheaper test that gives industry certification in Java. This is a huge problem. We have been working for years to improve computing in Georgia, and this would reverse many of our gains. We have introduced interesting and engaging courses using Scratch, Alice, Media Computation in Java, CS Unplugged, Greenfoot and App Inventor. Teachers would have to go back to boring, cookbook programming to get through 3 languages in 3 courses.

The Georgia DOE says is not going to change to allow an AP exam as an end of pathway exam. They claim they can’t since their efforts are part of the Race to the Top grant that Georgia won. They interpreted the Perkins legislation to mean that students must earn an industry certification. Other states may also use this same narrow interpretation and could end up in the same situation. This could be a major road block to the National Science Foundation’s plan to prepare 10,000 teachers (CS10K) to teach the new AP CS Principles course by 2016.

I recommend that Oracle create a new certificate only for high school students that is based on the AP CS A exam material and costs about $89. It could be a subset of the Java Associate material that matches the AP CS A material (extra topics to remove are: Java Development Fundamentals, Java Platforms and Integration Technologies, Client Technologies, Server Technologies).

November 5, 2012 at 7:15 am 12 comments

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