Reading Group

Anyone is welcome to join our online CSEd Reading Group, which meets Tuesdays 5:00-6:00pm on Zoom.

This Week

Week 90: June 30 BJC 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY Join Remotely

Design Principles Behind Beauty and Joy of Computing (Best paper, SICGSE '20)


Starting July 2020, the main site for the Reading Group will be on Make CS Count. Please go there for meeting links and upcoming papers. The archive will remain here.

Week 91: July 7 CREATIVITY 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY Google Meet

Assessing Creativity in Computing Classrooms (really long.)

Week 92: July 14 TRACE 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY Google Meet

A Closer Look at Tracing, Explaining and Code Writing Skills in the Novice Programmer

Our 2-Year Anniversary!


Week 89: June 23 TOOLSMITH 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

The Computer as Toolsmith II

Participants: Ian, Mariana, Laurie, Aleata, Bekir, Em

Week 88: June 16 1D 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

How the Tech Sector Could Move in One Direction

Participants: Neil, Ian, Erdogan, Laurie, Len, Mariana, Sheida, Em

Week 87: June 9 TWICE 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

When Twice as Good Isn't Enough: The Case for Cultural Competence in Computing

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 86: June 2 LEAN 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

Lean CT Assessment

see the assessment instrument (questions)

Participants: Suba, Mariana, Sheida, Bekir, Laurie, Em

Week 85: May 26 COVID 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

CSforAll: Supporting Equitable CSed in Schools During COVID (1-hour webinar)

or just the slides if you don't have an hour.

Participants: Sonal, Len, Mariana, Bekir, Em

Week 84: May 19 ATTITUDES 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

Scratch and Google Blockly: How Girls' Programming Skills and Attitudes are Influenced

Participants: Laurie, Mariana, Bekir, Sheida, Len, Em

Week 83: May 12

Cancelled for personal reasons; paper moved to next week.

Week 82: May 5 AI 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

In the Black Mirror: What Artificial Intelligence Means for Race, Art and the Apocalypse

Participants: Sheida, Laurie, Em

Week 81: Apr 28 AGILE 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

The Agile Classroom: Embracing an Agile Mindset in Education

Participants: Laurie, Lauren, Sheida, Bekir, Mark, Len, Em

Week 80: Apr 21 TIPS 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

Let's review the one-pagers on

Participants: Tim, Sheida, Laurie, Len, Bekir, Mariana, Em

Week 79: Apr 14 REMOTE 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

Equitable Practices Remote Teaching Guide (CS4All)

Participants: Sheida, Len, Laurie, Mariana, Aleata, Bekir, Em

Week 78: INNOVATE Apr 7 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

How inequities in computer science prompted three educators to innovate

Participants: Laurie, Em

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 76: DEFINE Mar 24 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

Defining CS Ed out of existence: Have we made CS too hard to learn and teach?

Participants: Bekir, Len, Mariana, Laurie, Em

Week 75: CSTA Mar 17 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

CSTA Standards for CS Teachers

Participants: Mariana, Laurie, Em

Week 74: EL Mar 10 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

Teaching Computational Thinking to English Learners

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

CSEd Podcast Episode 3: Amy Ko

Follow-up reading: Repair Theory: A Generative Theory of Bugs in Procedural Skills (1980) Thanks, Mark!

Participants: Mark, Bekir, Laurie, Mariana, Em

Week 72: DAYONE Feb 25 5:00-6:00pm ONLINE ONLY

Day One Project: Making Computer Science Education Universal for All Students (download pdf on site)

Participants: Bekir, Laurie, Mariana, Len, 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 69: MIDDLE Feb 4 5:00-6:00pm

The Neglected Middle Novice Programmer: Reading and Writing without Abstracting

Participants: Laurie, Em

Week 68: CUTE Jan 28 5:00-6:00pm

Don't Rely on Cute Apps and Games to Teach Coding

Participants: Laurie, Mariana, Len, Em

Week 67: WRONG Jan 21 5:00-6:00pm

Computing Education Lessons Learned from the 2010’s: What I Got Wrong

and Computational Thinking Should Just Be Good Thinking (pdf below)

Participants: Laurie, Bekir, Em


Week 66: CORE Jan 14 5:00-6:00pm @Tartine or Join Remotely

Improving the Instructional Core

Paricipants: Len, 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 63: CTSkills Nov 19th 5:00-6:00pm

Computational Thinking and Programming Challenges with Eljakim Schrijvers

Participants: Mariana, Bekir, Len, Em

Week 62: LS Nov 12th 5:00-6:00pm

Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence <- note updated paper

Participants: Mariana, Bekir, Mark, Em

Week 61: AUTOMATION Nov 5th 5:00-6:00pm

Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How machines are affecting people and places

Participants: Mariana, Bekir, Mark, Len, Em

Back to Tuesdays!

Week 60: CS1 Oct 29th 5:00-6:00pm

50 Years of CS1 at SIGCSE

October Break

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 56: TOOLS Sept 30th 5:15-6:15pm

Tools and Environments

Week 55: ALLOWED Sept 23rd 5:15-6:15pm

"No girls allowed" in your school's software?

Participants: Len, Em

Week 54: SYSTEM Sept 16th 5-6pm

A Systems Change Approach to CS Education: Creating Rubrics for School System Implementation Full text below 👇

Participants: Jared, Bekir, Em

Creating_tools_for_District_Implementation_of_Computer_Science_Education (8).pdf

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

Week 50: Technical Difficulties

Week 49: PBL Aug 15st 5pm

Embed Computational Thinking into PBL

Further reading: How to Develop Computational Thinkers

Podcast: What is the difference between CS and CT?

Thanks, Laurie!

We also found Agency by Design's Thinking Routines relevant.

Participants: Laurie, Mark, Supryia, Em

Week 47: SHOES Aug 1st 12pm

The Bot Problem is Getting Worse

Participants: Ellaine, Kyros, Jess, Grace, Noah, Bekir, Sandra, Em

Week 46: PI July 25th 12pm

Experience Report: Peer Instruction in Introductory Computing

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

Computer Science Pedagogical Content Knowledge: Characterizing Teacher Performance

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

Computer Science in California's Schools: An Analysis of Access, Enrollment, and Equity

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 Personal Computer for Children of All Ages (Kay 1972)

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

England's Computing Curriculum: A clash of values, beliefs and purpose

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 41: KINDER Jun 20th 12pm

Why kindergarteners need to learn to code

Participants: Mark, Len, Laurie, Sandra, Em

Week 40: SIP Jun 12th 5pm

California Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan (pages 6-22)

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

Exploring pedagogies for teaching programming in school

Advanced reading: Teaching computer science with PRIMM: a sociocultural perspective

Participants: Mariana, Len, Laurie, Bekir, Michael, Em

Week 37: SCT May 22nd 5pm

Situated Computational Thinking

Participants: Bekir, Em

Week 36: EQUITY May 15th 5pm

CS Equity Guide

The single most useful document for implementing CSEd in California.

Participants: Laurie, Bekir, Em

Week 35: PROBLEM May 8th 5pm

Teaching Computer Science through Problems, not Solutions

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 33: ETHICS April 24th 5pm

Embedding Ethics in Computer Science Curriculum

Participants: Kim, Michael, Laurie, Bekir, Em

Week 32: LANGUAGE April 17th 5pm

Teaching Coding to Kids: What Programming Language Should We Use? (By Sheena!)

Participants: Bekir, Em

Week 31: CONSTRUCT April 10th 5pm

Piaget’s Constructivism, Papert’s Constructionism: What’s the difference?

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 30: Community of Practice April 3

No reading group.

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 25: CODES Feb 27th 5pm

The Two Codes Your Kids Need to Know

The College Board has decided to invest more in AP US History and AP CS.

Participants: Supriya, Len, Bekir, Em

Week 24: ARTS Feb 20th 5pm

How Art and Dance are Making Computer Science Culturally Relevant

Participants: Laurie, Joe, Supriya, Len, Em

Week 23: APCSP Feb 13th 5pm

AP Computer Science Principles Course Description's CSP program

Participants: Em, Supryia

Week 22: AIforAll Jan 30th 5pm

Melinda Gates and Fei-Fei Li Want to Liberate AI from "Guys with Hoodies"

Participants: Supriya, Bekir, Em

Week 21: DESIGN THINKING Jan 23rd 5pm

Let's Stop Thinking about THE Design Process

(Sorry about the technical issues)

Participants: Bekir, Supriya, Len, Em

Week 20: GOOGLE Jan 17th 5pm

Computational Thinking for Educators

Participants: Sandra, Len, Supriya, Bekir, Em

Week 19: Pre-empted for Working Group

Week 18: GENDER GAP Jan 3rd 5pm

To Fix the Gender Gap, Fix CS Education

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 16: Dec 6 Pre-empted for Working Group

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 14: Pre-empted for CSTA-SMC

Week 13: Pre-empted for Working Group

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 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 9: CONSTRUCTIVISM Sept 6 2018 5pm

Participants: Em, Joey

Week 7: POLICY Aug 23 2018 5pm

American Success in a Digital Future: The Importance of K-12 Computer Science Education.

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 Strategies for Middle School Girls

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

Computer Science Teacher Preparation is Critical

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

Follow-up: See Shuchi's paper and talk.

Week 2: HABITS July 19 2018 12pm

This week we discussed the transition from blocks to text with this paper by Luke Moors and [Meerbaum-Salant et al. 2011].

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,, 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