Technology Reshapes Education, ‘Making Thinking Visible’
Jeannette Jones, dean of education at Schaumburg-based for-profit American InterContinental University, told of a time she sat in on a middle school class and a student asked the teacher a question. She said the teacher didn’t know the answer — but on the spot posed the question to her Twitter followers. The teacher in seconds received responses from several experts in the field, Jones said. That’s an example of how technology is changing education forever. Other examples include increased use of iPads and management software in the classroom and programs that include 3D printers and other 3D technology.
Code School Study Shows How to Spot a Future Programmer
A recent Code School survey offers information on traits in youth that may indicate a future in computer science. Most programmers find their interest in computer science before age 16 and carry this passion into their professional life, according to a recent survey. A Code School survey of 2,200 coders and developers reveals some specific traits and tendencies that may predict that a youth has a future career in computer science. The survey polled current coders and software developers and asked them to recount personal traits, tendencies and preferences from their younger years.
Growth in Computer Science Driven by Student Interest, Societal Need
In response to growing enrollment and increasing interest in computer science from other disciplines, Princeton University is expanding its computer science faculty by more than 30 percent. The expansion will add 10 tenure-track positions to the current 28, making the computer science department one of the three largest concentrations at Princeton. The department plans to bring in the new faculty members as soon as possible, and the university will support the expansion with funds in the long term. “Computer science brims with intellectual excitement, offering new insights into age-old questions and novel ways to solve major societal challenges,” says Princeton president Christopher L. Eisgruber. Computer scientists at Princeton regularly connect with a range of collaborators across campus, and enrollments in computer science have tripled since the department was launched in 1985. In addition, among students on track to graduate in 2017, 35 percent of Princeton computer science majors are women, nearly twice the national average of 18 percent.
New Education Bill to Get More Coding in Classrooms
The Wall Street Journal
The Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday, recognizes computer science (CS) as important an academic subject as math and English, potentially introducing it into more classrooms across the country. The new law includes CS in the definition of well-rounded education subjects, putting it on the same level as other subjects when state and local policy makers decide how to distribute federal funds. “This week marks a watershed moment for computer science in U.S. schools,” says Code.org founder Hadi Partovi. “In just two years, this field has been adopted by all the largest cities, almost 100 school districts. It’s great to see the federal government finally recognize this field as a foundational academic subject.” Computer science is specifically mentioned in the bill with language relating to curriculum and support around professional development.
Perspective: Do We Still Need Computer Science Teachers?
These days it seems like “how to learn coding yourself” opportunities are everywhere. There are MOOCs from major universities, code.org (http://code.org) has great online tutorials, Facebook just opened a web site called TechPrep (https://techprep.fb.com/) to help parents and students alike find resources and tools, and there seems to be a new edtech company starting up every week with online CS resources. The question for many becomes “do we still need computer science teachers?” For those of us who make our living teaching computer science the fact that this question is even being asked is a little scary. OK maybe more than a little. I think most of us believe that there is still a crucial role for computer science teachers though. CSTA is at its heart about Teachers for good reason.
SDSC, Sweetwater Schools Catch Eye of NSF, White House
Five years ago, there were no computer science classes offered by schools within San Diego’s Sweetwater Union High School District, and Arthur Lopez, a teacher at Sweetwater High School in National City, decided to do something about it. Through a joint effort between the school district, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), and UC San Diego CREATE (Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence), the school today has a number of courses on computer science principles, several of which are Advanced Placement classes that encourage students to continue their education.
Teach Your Kids to Code: 6 Beginner’s Resources for Parents
Introducing computer programming to your kids can be a challenge, especially for those who aren’t familiar with the nuances of code. Fortunately, in the last few years, a number of apps, software, and guides have been produced that make the often-complex subject of computer coding easy to grasp for young learners. So where to begin? These are a few resources that parents can share with their kids to help them start learning about programming.
New PBS KIDS ScratchJr App Launches
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has released an app designed to help kids between the ages of five and eight learn the basic concepts behind coding. The PBS KIDS ScratchJr app, based on the ScratchJr programming language co-developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab and Tufts University, tasks kids with using colorful programming blocks to create their own stories and games using more than 150 PBS KIDS characters. Kits can snap the programming blocks together to make characters jump, move, dance, and sing. The app is now available for free on the iOS App Store and the Android Google Play store. The app was developed as part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS Ready to Learn Initiative, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and aims to promote computer science education for children. The app will be promoted in underserved communities in the U.S. through programs and partnerships with Title I schools supported by PBS member stations, the Verizon Foundation, and the Ready to Learn Initiative. The promotional efforts will include after-school activities, a summer camp, and teacher-training pilot programs.
Cybersecurity is Everywhere! Is It in your K-12 CS Program?
Scarcely a day goes by without the mention of cybersecurity in the news—from Edward Snowden breaching security at NSA (and now following NSA on Twitter), to customers of Target and Home Depot having their data compromised, to Hillary Clinton’s private email server and private email account while she was Secretary of State, to hacking of sensitive government data by foreign citizens, cybersecurity is in the news and is newsworthy. One of the more common themes in cybersecurity is the dearth of qualified cybersecurity professionals and how the United States might address that lack in the education system. Several colleges and universities have begun to add cybersecurity programs, and credentialing bodies are developing certificates and credentials for those already in the workforce but perhaps lacking the proper skills and training.
Study Asks: Can Math Teachers Teach Coding?
An NSF Study will examine how Computer Science Shortages Can Best be AddressedHow do students and teachers learn math and computer science, and how can we ease the coming shortage of computer science teachers? Worcester Polytechnic Institute will partner with Brown University and Bootstrap to examine those questions. A team of computing education experts will study how students—and teachers—learn mathematics and computer science, and how those ways of learning can influence each other. The study, funded by a National Science Foundation grant of nearly $1.5 million, is of critical importance as middle schools and high schools across the country look to integrate computer science into their curricula, while at the same time grappling with a projected shortage of computer science.read more1DEC 2015MSU Scholars Challenge Colleges to Reform STEM Learning posted in: CS Education News | 0America’s colleges and universities need to transform not only how but what they teach in introductory science courses, a group of scholars from Michigan State University argues in Science magazine. Melanie M. Cooper and colleagues say college students are expected to learn too many facts that do not connect across their coursework or prepare them to apply scientific knowledge in their lives. They believe a different set of strategies taking hold in K-12 schools can be used to improve learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, during the first two years of college. The MSU team makes its argument in a Perspectives paper in the October 16 edition of Science, one of the world’s preeminent science research journals. Co-authors are Marcos D. Caballero, Diane Ebert-May, Cori L. Fata-Hartley, Sarah E. Jardeleza, Joseph S. Krajcik, James T. Laverty, Rebecca L. Matz, Lynmarie A. Posey and Sonia M. Underwood. As MSU faculty members from multiple science disciplines, the co-authors have spent the past two years doing what they recommend for institutions across the country: working together with faculty colleagues in their respective disciplines to decide what students should master in each “gateway” course.