Teaching CS Principles this summer and the upcoming year

July 25, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wow! What a summer this has been. As I am trying to enjoy my last week of summer before I go back to school, I look at June and July with wonder. Where has the time gone? What did I do?

Computer Science education. That is where I have spent all my time. It has been interesting to watch the momentum to increase awareness on the need for computer science education in the K-12 sector, grow over the years. This summer saw the AP Annual conference (APAC 2013) opening plenary speaker be focussed on computer science. I was truly fortunate to be there along with 50 or so other educators who plan on teaching CS Principles in the classroom the upcoming year. Collegeboard has officially announced AP CS Principles to be offered as a course in the year 2016 – 2017 and an AP exam in May of 2017.

As I worked on various professional development workshops for teachers I had a few thoughts that I am taking away to teach in my classroom.

  • There are some amazing teachers out there. I need to collaborate more. I do not have all the answers and the only way I am going to know what works is by working with more and more teachers.
  • Hands on activities. The more I have them the more likely am I to keep my students engaged. This may be the key to differential instruction.
  • Getting girls and other students from various backgrounds is vital to the growth of this field. Without this we are not going to be able to explore all the possibilities of how computer science can impact our society.

As I progress throughout the year, I will revisit these ideas and blog more on these topics. I have some thoughts on the CS Principles portfolio assessments that are being piloted the upcoming year. I will write about them in my next post.

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