Week 87: June 9 TWICE 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY
Wondering what specific actions you can take to push your practice towards cultural proficiency? Read Dr. Washington's CSforAll article, Design to Disrupt: Making Space for Every Student in CS.
Participants: Mariana, Bryan, Dan, Nicki, Ian, Laurie, Vicky, Stephen, Colleen, BT, Sheida, Aleata, Jen, Shuchi, Katharine, Erdogan, Elise, Monika, Neil, Deborah, Em, and 6 others!
Week 83: May 12
Cancelled for personal reasons; paper moved to next week.
Week 77: PRESERVICE Mar 31 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY
This week we'll discuss Bekir's doctoral dissertation! Please download from this website and read pages 81 & 82.
Participants: Aleata, Len, Bekir, Mariana, Laurie, Em
Week 74: EL Mar 10 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY
Also referenced in our discussion: Not a Math Person? You may be better at learning to code than you think.
Participants: Aleata, Laurie, Em
Week 73: KO Mar 3 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY
Follow-up reading: Repair Theory: A Generative Theory of Bugs in Procedural Skills (1980) Thanks, Mark!
Participants: Mark, Bekir, Laurie, Mariana, Em
Week 71: TBD Feb 18 5:00-6:00pm
SMCOE closed for Presidents' Day
Week 70: TBD Feb 11 5:00-6:00pm
CANCELLED due to scheduling conflict
Week 67: WRONG Jan 21 5:00-6:00pm
and Computational Thinking Should Just Be Good Thinking (pdf below)
Participants: Laurie, Bekir, Em
Week 65: YEAR Jan 7 5:00-6:00pm
No reading this week! Let's have a Year in Review, where we look back at what we learned in 2019. Peruse the archives below to refresh your memory.
Week 64: COMPLEXITY Dec 17 5:00-6:00pm
Participants: Bekir, Em
Week 57: No Reading Group! Go to CSTA-SV instead!
CSTA-SV: October 7, 2019, 6:30-9:00pm, at Henry M Gunn High School, 780 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Week 58: No Reading Group! (Em is out of town)
Week 59: No Reading Group! CSforAll Summit in Salt Lake City
Week 53: No Reading Group! Go to CSTA-SV instead!
CSTA-SV: September 9, 2019, 6:30-9:00pm, at Henry M Gunn High School, 780 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94306 (Room TBD). There is ample parking. Professor Dan Garcia will describe the new middle school CS curriculum based on The Beauty and Joy of Computing [BJC], which is related to the BJC AP CS Principles course in use at the high school level. More information about BJC can be found at https://bjc.berkeley.edu/documents/2015%20ACM%20Inroads%20-%20The%20Beauty%20and%20Joy%20of%20Computing.pdf.
Week 52: TRANSITION Sept 3rd 5:15-6:15pm
Participants: Laurie, Mark, Em
Week 51: RISK Aug 27th 5:15-6:15pm
Participants: Mark, Em
Week 50: Technical Difficulties
Week 48: ASSESS Aug 8th 12pm
2. A Middle School Assessment of Introductory Programming (July 25 Webinar)
Participants: Mayank, Laurie, Bekir, Em
Week 46: PI July 25th 12pm
The consensus was that individual questioning followed by group discussion and being able to explain why answers are incorrect can be a useful part of a K-12 class. Technological solutions that do not require purchasing clickers include Kahoot, Socrative, and Poll Everywhere.
Participants: Jessica, Bekir, Mark, Len, Laurie, Em
Week 45: PCK July 18th 12pm
Following on from last week's discussion of teacher preparation, Grace chose this article on assessment, which uses a data-driven method for choosing questions and answers that most strongly separate high PCK from low. Shall we turn the appendix into a Google Form and replicate the experiment on ourselves?
Participants: Jessica, Grace, Noah, Mark, Michael, Em
Week 44: KAPOR July 11th 12pm
In which we detect a vicious cycle:
Not enough teachers to teach CS -> Loosen credential requirements -> Teachers not adequately prepared to teach CS -> Tighten credential requirements ->
Participants: Grace, Noah, Supriya, Justin, Bekir, Laurie, Em
Week 43: KAY July 4th 12pm
A gem of retrofuturism, this article envisions what is essentially the iPad or Chromebook, but with a degree of flexibility and interactivity (reminiscent of Paper's “controller ports”) that hasn't manifested. All of the engineering challenges have been overcome; the remaining challenges are philosophical or political.
Participants: Mark, Supryia, Bekir, Em
Week 42: ENGLAND Jun 27th 12pm
Introduced in 2014, England's national computing curriculum came with lots of fanfare, but not a lot of professional development. This postmortem highlights the inequities in uneven implementation, with teachers standing as the gatekeepers to CS learning.
Participants: Mark, Em
Week 40: SIP Jun 12th 5pm
All the fun of the previous draft, with none of the responsibilities and projected dates.
Participants: Michael, Supriya, Bekir, Em
Week 38: PRIMM May 29th 5pm
Advanced reading: Teaching computer science with PRIMM: a sociocultural perspective
Participants: Mariana, Len, Laurie, Bekir, Michael, Em
Week 35: PROBLEM May 8th 5pm
We thought this approach of teaching college CS courses through Problem Based Learning could transfer to High and Middle Schools, but it would require careful scaffolding. Cultural responsiveness through student choice unlocks agency and internal motivation. Fundamental skills of project and group work should be built into the CS standards (or at least their implementation) in the early grades.
Participants: Michael, Bekir, Laurie, Em
Week 31: CONSTRUCT April 10th 5pm
In which we postulate that Constructionism is the pedagogical manifestation of a Constructivist epistemology and Instructionism that of a Behaviorist one. Discuss.
Participants: Michael, Bekir, Em
Week 28: OBJECTS March 20th 5pm
Teaching objects-first in introductory computer science (SIGCSE paper)
On programming paradigms: [Procedural programming] would plan everything into steps, and solves the problem by implementing one step (a procedure) at a time. On the other hand, functional programming would emphasize the divide-and-conquer approach, where the problem is divided into sub-problem, then each sub-problem is solved (creating a function to solve that sub problem) and the results are combined to create the answer for the whole problem. Lastly, Objective programming would mimic the real world by create a mini-world inside the computer with many objects, each of which has a (somewhat) unique characteristics, and interacts with others. From those interactions the result would emerge.
Participants: Bekir, Em, Sandra, Supriya
Week 27: FIGURES March 13th 5pm
This meeting was cancelled due to a family emergency. Sorry.
Computer Science is for Everyone (Modern Figures Podcast)
If you're short on time, just listen to 43:30-1:00:00
Week 26: Pre-empted for Community of Practice
Week 18: GENDER GAP Jan 3rd 5pm
We agreed very much with the sentiment in the article-- there is currently more capacity among learners than teachers in CS, and that is a core part of the problem in high schools and colleges. In primary settings, there is still an equity gap, but we observe that gender is not the main factor, economic privilege is. Gender starts being an issue in middle school, when clubs and friends are driving identity. What if we focused on the elective and out-of-school-time providers to get more CS in the hands of socially-organized groups?
Particpants: Em, Len
Week 17: Scratch 3.0 Dec 13 5pm
Scratch 3.0 is being released on Jan 2! Moving from Flash to HTML5 makes it work on iPads. There are new extensions for Text-to-Speech and translation. The image editor is streamlined. We're excited for the new blocks and the new look, and interested to know how adjacent services like Microbit, Lego Mindstorms, and CS First will adapt to the new version.
Participants: Em, Supriya
Week 15: NOTIONAL MACHINE Nov 29 5pm
Today's discussion on Notional Machines and Introductory Programming Education got real deep, real fast.
In constructivism, we say that the learner is building a model. In CS, the notional machine is the thing they're building a model of. It is not the electrons or the keyboard, it is the state of the computation and how data is processed. It allows us to read code, trace bugs, and predict output.
Following this paper, the fastest path to mastery is to identify the introductory programming language/environment that represents the most accessible and extensible notional machine, and then build a curriculum of identity-driven projects that encode the minimal sequence of threshold concepts (aha moments).
This idea led to a discussion of power, privilege, abstraction, and the human brain.
Participants: Len, Wes, April, Elvira, Em
Week 15: SCRIPT Oct 25 5pm
Summary by Bekir:
- The computer science or coding should be a part of any courses in Math, Science, Art, etc. to teach smoothly students coding and also content.
- Discussed "Supporting School Districts to Drive their Own Visions of CSforAll" article.
- Presenting the rubric of CSforAll via video or documentary would be great to let everybody visualize the process.
- Integrate the rubric middle school rather than elementary school more beneficial and efficient.
- In-service teachers should go back and have a training in CS, however, it is challenging.
- Parents are the most important part of child's life. Therefore, parents should be aware of benefits of computer science education as well.
- Teachers should know about computer science and also child development.
Participants: Supriya, Bekir, Wes, Em
Week 12: SURVEY Sept 27 2018 5pm
From Supriya: This week, we discussed a paper written by Paulo Blikstein (Stanford University) with a focus on making CS participation equitable, making CS learning continuous throughout students’ careers, researching CSEd further, and ensuring teachers are supported (and paid).
A variety of topics surfaced, including the implementation of computer science curriculums in pre-service education programs, the progress of CSEd since it was first implemented in schools, and improving equitable access to CSEd for both students and teachers. We agreed that we must be more cognizant about the “how” of CSEd: this includes both the utilization of different tools (such as Scratch or Code.org instead of Logo) in classrooms, and the evolution of teaching methods in schools that should not require rote learning. In addition, more demographic research about students and teachers in CS needs to be conducted, as doing so will help us make CS more equitable and accessible across diverse groups in schools. Finally, more colleges need to initiate proper computer science curriculums in pre-service programs to ensure that more teachers (and therefore, students) are learning computer science in a comprehensive and effectual way.
Participants: Joey, Em, Supriya
Week 11: IMPLEMENTATION Sept 20 2018 5pm
Today's Reading Group meeting will be ONLINE-ONLY. We will be reviewing the CA Strategic Implementation Plan and setting an agenda for the Oct 4th Working Group meeting. Please also come to the Peninsula/South Bay Maker Educator Meetup 5:30-7:30 if you can!
Participants: Em, Ann, Kim
Week 7: POLICY Aug 23 2018 5pm
This position paper by Paul Escobar elicited a lively discussion around "marketing" CSEd to all kinds of stakeholders. Everyone around the table was able to see themselves in at least one section of the paper, and identify a role or a call to action. We also recognized its potential for excerpting in presentations, providing as a "further reading" in PD, and answering the "Why CS?" question. It may be a good blueprint for the background section of future grant applications, though careful attention will have to be paid to updating the data.
Participants: *Em, Ann, Joey, Christy
Week 6: PAIR PROGRAMMING Aug 16 2018 12pm
Pair programming is an effective strategy for supporting and engaging students who are hesitant to participate in development, not just girls. As teachers, we must fight the urge to stereotype students or to match them according to our perception of their ability. Pairs based on friendship operate better and work longer. The formulation of Pair Programming Rules in Denner, Werner, and Bean (2004) is a great reference. I find it very difficult to enforce role switching when I'm circulating around the room, so I made this Scratch app that will automatically prompt switching every five minutes.
The discussion continues on Slack.
Week 4: TEACHER CERT Aug 2 2018 12pm
From Justin: The article is consistent with what we see in our schools. Rarely do computer science teachers have everything. Either they lack in content or in pedagogy. Computer science generally gets the teacher whose schedule needs to be filled before the beginning of the year, and in a lot of cases, the teacher whose schedule isn't full by the end of scheduling are being eyed for the principal's chopping block. There needs to be a significant effort committed to educating CS teachers properly, particularly those who have not gone through a formal CS education.
As for computational thinking. "Describing a solution to a problem that doesn't require a thought process." I think it's important to put computational thinking in context of something that the average Joe can understand and apply.
Participants: Em*, Ann, Justin
Week 3: CT July 26 2018 12pm
Today we met in person and remotely to discuss Bringing Computational Thinking to K-12. We lamented the fact that there is still no universal definition of CT, and decided that the formulation in the paper had too much crossover with Design Thinking, leading us to question whether there is a meaningful difference. If CT were well-defined in a list of steps, or a memorable diagram, (along the lines of the Scientific Method or the Design Thinking Process) it would have a better chance of getting attention from teachers and administrators. Other facets of the problem include creating age-appropriate worthwhile CT content, and helping teachers to identify where they are already using/teaching CT. I'll put a form up on the website so we can start collecting CT definitions, and we hope to use them to draft our own version.
Participants: *Justin, Ann, Riana, Em, Kim, Laurie
Week 2: HABITS July 19 2018 12pm
The shared feeling was anxienty-- that large scale efforts to expose students to CS without rigor or direction may be detrimental in the long run. We concluded that Scratch, code.org, etc. are just tools, and that careful attention has to be given to curriculum and instruction in order to ensure that the "bad habits" of the papers are treated as valid developmental stages on the path to mastery. It IS important that all students learn good habits, because it allows them to access higher levels of CSEd, without condemning them to a loss of confidence when they are finally confronted with the full complexity of the discipline.
Participants: *Ann, Kyle, Robert, Riana, Em
Week 1: BUGS July 12 2018 10am
In our first meeting, we read Roy Pea's 1986 paper, and discussed how we as educators can "debug" common student misconceptions through curriculum and pedagogy. We decided to meet monthly during the school year, but have a subgroup meet weekly for the rest of the summer to take advantage of our momentum.
Participants: *Em, Ann, Justin, Robert, Riana