Pilot Programs to Introduce Coding

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Introducing Computer Science in the Classroom

Perla Weaver Pilot Teacher, Computer Science and Software Engineering, Project Lead the Way Wyandotte High School Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

Why Computer Science?

• • • Increasing demand from industry Decreasing supply of graduates in computing fields Computational thinking and skills are not inherently taught in the classroom – False perception that by teaching math skills and science we are inherently teaching computing skills

How do you get started?

• • • • • Introduce short activities: One time events e.g. Hour of Code, Coder Dojos, Hackathons After school clubs: Teacher-Endorsed, Student-Driven Get your principal and administration on board.

Aim for curriculum presence. Explore partnerships: Code.org

Curriculum Options

• • • • • • Project Lead the Way – new Computer Science pathway College Board – Computer Science Principles CodeHS Exploring Computer Science The beauty and joy of computing Code.org

PLTW – Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE) • • • Introductory course No prior computer science or coding required Explores four main areas of computing – Graphics and Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) – The Web – Data discovery and Application Invention – Predicting, Understanding, and Communicating with Simulation

PLTW- CSE Code Exploration • • • • Multiple programming environments: Scratch, App Inventor, Python, HTML/CSS, and more.

Computational concepts: binary code, abstraction, variables, data structures Problem solving through computing algorithms Foster creativity using programming as a tool

PLTW- CSE More than just Coding • • • • • Impact and presence of computing History and Future of Computing Social, legal, and ethical issues in computing Career Paths in Computing Computing and other fields

PLTW-CSE “First try” Observations • • Curriculum is rigorous and filled with new concepts – Students struggle and succeed – Mastery is not the goal – Goal is understanding through creation, exploration, inquisition.

Curriculum may be best in a year long setting – Concepts need time and practice

PLTW-CSE Observations • • • Activities are flexible – Students can develop various levels of proficiency Programming environments and areas of study are varied – Wide opportunity for personal interests – Wide array of applications Creativity is fun – Students love to see solutions: games, phone apps, animations, web sites.

PLTW-CSE Observations • • Similar performance among ethnic groups Girls – Higher engagement in class – More questions – less afraid to say “I don’t know” – Higher rate of project completion – Slightly lower complexity of projects

PLTW-CSE Professional Development • • • • PLTW provides PD as part of their standard summer training Teachers do not need to be programmers or computer experts Many sources of materials, lessons, ideas Many sources for self-paced learning

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