Posts tagged ‘K12’
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):
- Find a Leader(s)
- Figure out where you are and how you change
- Gather your allies
- 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.
Barb and I went to this last year, and it was terrific — diverse and high-quality.
Call for Papers and Participation:
We invite you to submit a paper, report, or poster for the 10th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education (WiPSCE 2015) and join us inLondon, United Kingdom, on November 9-11, 2015. WiPSCE aims at improving the exchange of research and practice relevant to teaching and learning in primary and secondary computing education, teacher training, and related research.
Important 2015 Dates
Submission deadline: Monday, June 1
Re-submission deadline: Monday, June 8
Notification of acceptance: Monday, July 27
Submission of revised manuscripts: Monday, September 15
Early Registration deadline: Monday, October 19
Original submissions in all areas related to primary and secondary computing education are invited in the following categories:
- Full paper (6–10 pages): expected to meet one of two categories – empirical research papers and philosophical research papers
- Work in progress (3-4 pages): unpublished original research in progress
- Practical report (4-6 pages): unpublished, original projects in the field of “primary and secondary computing education”
- Posters (2 page abstract)
- Learning: attitudes, beliefs, motivation, misconceptions, learning difficulties, student engagement with educational technology (e.g., visualization), conceptualization of computing
- Teaching: teaching approaches, teaching methods, teaching with educational technology
- Content: curricular aspects, learning standards, tools, educational approaches, context relevant teaching, assessment
- Institutional aspects: establishing and enhancing computing education, professional development
Special Theme:Computing? How young is too young?
For more information, please contact:
Judith Gal-Ezer: email@example.com
Sue Sentence: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Vahrenhold: email@example.com
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.
Hadi Partovi of Code.org has a blog post (see here) with data from their on-line classes. He’s making the argument that classroom teachers are super important for diversity and for student success.
Learning #1: Classrooms progress farther than students studying alone
In the graph below, the X axis is student age, the Y axis is their average progress in our courses. The blue line is students in classrooms with teachers. The red line is students studying without a classroom/teacher.
Learning #3: The ethnic backgrounds of students with teachers are impressively diverse
The data below doesn’t come from all students, because (for privacy reasons) we do not allow students to tell us their ethnic background. This chart was collected via an opt-in survey of teachers in the U.S. offering our courses, and as such is susceptible to inaccuracy. The picture it paints helps confirm our thesis that by integrating computer science into younger-aged classrooms in public schools, we can increase the diversity of students learning computer science.
I wrote a while back about Chris Stephenson moving to Google. It’s time to find a new executive director for CSTA!
The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) announces its search for an Executive Director. The Executive Director must be deeply committed to CSTA’s core mission, which is to empower, support and advocate for K-12 computer science teachers worldwide. The Executive Director reports to and works collaboratively with the Board of Directors to set strategic direction, develop goals, attain/manage resources, and establish policies for the organization.
The Executive Director is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives and ensures ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance, administration, fundraising, communications, and organizational systems.
This is a full-time position. The Executive Director manages a staff including an Assistant Director and four part-time administrators (meeting planner, web developer, project coordinator, and newsletter editor), and conducts their work from a virtual office. Considerable travel is required.
For position specifications, including key responsibilities, qualifications, and procedures for candidacy, please visit http://summitsearchsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/CSTA-ExecutiveDirector-Spec.pdf.
I’ve always been a Logo fan. After WIPSCE and my thoughts about the value of resurrecting Logo (see the post), I decided to download some modern Logo implementations and do the classic square.
to square :size repeat 4 [fd :size rt 90] end
The basic square works perfectly fine in Brian Harvey’s Berkeley Logo (see here) — it’s a straightforward implementation from the past. That means that you’re missing more modern and more platform-dependent features (e.g., no sound at all, no networking primitives, etc.).
Next, I tried StarLogo. Took me awhile to figure it out — I had to put the pen down (PD) because it wasn’t by default, and then I had a hard time getting the procedures to work, so I just typed in the code directly. I think I drew a square, but I think I was actually controlling thousands of turtles, because the effect was not at all what I expected.
I then tried NetLogo, which changes turtles from the old days. When you start out, you have no turtles at all. You have to create a turtle, and then you can ask the turtles to do something. I did it, but I didn’t get a square. Or maybe it’s a square but just wrapped around a lot?
The point is that modern Logo implementations were developed for different purposes than older Logo implementations. StarLogo and NetLogo are modeling platforms that support thousands of turtles. That makes it confusing for an oldster like me who wants to do the old things. If we want to be able to use the old curriculum, we’ll have to make some new Logo implementations that work like the old ones but provide the kinds of facilities that we’d want to play with today. Shouldn’t Logo know about the Web? I’d like to be able to manipulate pixels in a picture and samples in a sound — probably no surprise.
Both sides in this debate make good points. Of course, I’m on Pat Yongpradit’s side — computing education is very important and should be in all schools. But I totally see his opponent’s position (and I’ve made similar arguments myself about why the US is not ready for mandatory CS education): it’s expensive, teachers are not well-prepared, and it’s not obvious (to schools or teachers) how computer science helps with the primary goals of literacy and numeracy.
I’m not saying that elementary students are not capable of using or even mastering code. But I believe that really teaching — not just introducing — coding is simply beyond the scope of what most K-5 schools and their students are able to do, and it’s even asking a lot of middle schools when both lab time and class time are so limited. What’s more, pushing students into the study of abstract concepts before they are developmentally ready will not make them any more prepared for the rest of the 21st century than they are now.