Summer is here… Professional development time

June 2, 2012 at 3:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

As the school year finally ended last week, I was grateful for the down time. It has been a very busy year and by end of May I was ready to be done. And after a week, I am now ready to reflect.  I will talk more on the reflections in my blogs over summer.

This summer is a very interesting one. I will be conducting several workshops over the next two months. Yesterday was a short one hour session that I presented CS Principles at Brookwood High School. One of the premiere schools in our district. My good friend Crystal Furman ran the Beginning Programming & AP Computer Science session.

Attached is the presentation that I used for the talk. I found the teachers very receptive. I started with the Rainbow Game that I mentioned in an earlier blog. It was an effective way to get everybody engaged and excited.

There were some excellent questions that were raised. One was, should there be a non-AP version of CS Principles? If not how do we address students who are not AP-inclined? I see their point. If we have a sophomore who is not ready to take the AP exam but is very interested in computer science, open-ended projects etc. we are not going to get the student just because their school might insist they have to take the AP exam. But we need a good assessment system in place. Why? Because of the openness of the projects, evaluating them without the support of collegeboard for high standards for learning, will  become a problem.

Another question that came up was how does this AP course / exam impact schools which are on block schedule. End of the presentation, almost all the teachers in the room said they would like to pilot the course and some may even unofficially pilot this  in the fall. Certainly, as I walked around, and presented the Big Ideas and its implications, the impression I got was most of them felt that this course was something they could teach. I mentioned again and again that the learning curve for this course is not very steep.

One hour was not a whole lot of time. As I planned for the lecture, I felt, I could not teach a concept in great detail and present an overview of this exciting course. So I focused more on the course overview and have hope to have a detailed training session for the Fall.

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2 Comments »

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  1. And I thank you for coming that day. I’m just now starting to get back to looking at your materials to see how I can incorporate some of it into my Beginning Programming class. I started the year with 64, but I think I’m down to 61. It is awesome how things are growing, and I really feel that the CS Principals idea will be allow us some greater flexibility to entice more students to consider giving CS a look. Thanks

    • Good luck! It is the best thing that has happened to CS in the K-12 level. Personally, I feel that I have more tools to sell CS to the students than I had before.


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