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May 09, 2008

Finding CS Teachers

I had an interesting email conversation with Carrie Toth from Insight Schools about the difficulties of finding computer science teachers, a challenge we share for different reasons.

CSTA membership has grown very quickly, from 0 members in 2005 to over 5300 members today but we know that there are still many teachers we would like to reach and we simply cannot find them. We can use market data companies (and we do) but we know they are only touching the surface of our community as well.

The situation is made worse by the fact that CSTA is often called upon for research and the one question we just cannot answer with any certainty is “How many CS teachers are there in U.S. high schools anyway?”.

For people like Carrie, the situation is just as frustrating. She has a number of computer science teaching jobs available and no way to advertise and fill them.

There are a number of reasons this problem exists. I think one of the primary difficulties is that, because there is no certification for computer science teachers in many states, no one keeps track of them at the state level or nationally. And until someone does, they remain invisible to the system as a whole.

Setting up some kind of careers board may seem like a potential solution but there are several issues (cost, liability, and verification just to mention a few) that make it prohibitive for associations to get into the job posting business. We have thought about it, but there is just no evidence that it would be of sufficient value to the majority of our members to make it worthwhile.

In the short term, the best we can say is, if you are a certified teacher looking for an online computer science teaching position with a virtual school, you can complete the Insight Schools application at:

https://edzapp.com/applicant/loginprivate.aspx?origincode=22748

or contact Carrie at

teachers@insightschools.net

And if you are not yet a CSTA member, contact me at:

cstephenson@csta.acm.org

Chris Stephenson
Executive Director, CSTA

Posted by cstephenson at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2008

CSTA Survey Prize Winner

The CSTA Membership Satisfaction Survey has now been completed and CSTA is delighted to announce that Ken Gittins is the winner of our member raffle prize.

According to CSTA President Robb Cutler, the Membership Satisfaction Survey is a key element in the association's strategy to ensure that it continues to expand its membership benefits in a way that best serves the needs and interests of its members."We depend upon our members to tell us what is working for them and what they need, and the survey is one of the most effective ways of collecting this information", said Cutler.

As an incentive for members to participate in the online survey, CSTA randomly selected one member who completed the survey to receive the raffle prize. This year's prize, a Flip Video Camera, has been won by Ken Gittins, a teacher in Highlands Ranch, CO.

Cutler says the results of the survey will be used by the CSTA Board of Directors and staff to determine how to improve existing member benefits and what new benefits will be developed in the next two years.

Chris Stephenson
Executive Director

Posted by cstephenson at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2008

Two New Resources for Information Sharing

ACM's SIGCSE conference is always a great place to meet people doing interesting projects and creating new resources that may be of interest to teachers and students. Over the last year, CSTA has been building up a collection of podcasts featuring people and project we think will be of interest to our members.

Here are two new addition to our podcast collection that you can check out at:

http://csta.acm.org/Resources/sub/Podcasts.html

The CSTA Web Curriculum Repository
Medium: MP3
Listening Time: 7 min.
Interview Location: ACM Sigcse 2008 Portland, Oregon
Interview Date: March 2008
Joe Kmoch, Milwaukee Public Schools

The CSTA Web Repository is a dream come true for busy CS teachers. To promote the sharing of resources among members of the community, CSTA developed a searchable database of K-12 CS instructional materials, lesson plans, and other resources that have never before been collected in one place for use by all CS teachers.

While anyone may browse the repository by curriculum classification or search by keyword, title, author, or publication date, only CSTA members may download the actual resources.
Teachers who wish to contribute original materials, for which they have the copyright, are encouraged to submit.

In our visit, Joe Kmoch describes what you’ll find in the Repository, how to get to it, and how to contribute your own teaching materials. Be sure to visit the CSTA Web Repository to jump-start your next teaching lesson and please consider sharing your good ideas with your colleagues at http://csta.acm.org/WebRepository/WebRepository.html.

The Computing Educators Oral History Project with Vicki Almstrum
Medium: MP3
Listening Time: 10:30 min.
Interview Location: ACM Sigcse 2008 Portland, Oregon
Interview Date: March 2008
Vicki Almstrum, University of Texas at Austin:

Vicki and her colleagues are venturing into uncharted waters and the result of their work has the potential to impact an entire generation of young women curious about how their life might unfold as a computer scientist. The Computing Educators Oral History Project is a growing collection of audio interviews with women computing educators. "This endeavor will eventually create a body of narratives to serve as role models to attract students, in particular women, to computing; it will also serve to preserve the history of the female pioneers in computing education."

In our visit Vicki describes the impetus for the project and explores ways that teachers might use the interviews to create teaching opportunities for retaining and supporting individuals at all stages of the pipeline. The interviews are available at www.ceohp.org.

Pat Phillips,
Editor, CSTA Voice

Posted by cstephenson at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)