Pilot Programs to Introduce Coding


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