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The Path to Forming CSTA of Ohio

Fellowship and community are the central foundations for the Computer Science Teachers Association of Ohio. The 2008-2009 academic year has been one of building collegial networks. ''

Several informal meetings were held throughout the school year with the goal of forming a CSTA chapter in Ohio. The first phase occurred in October and November of 2008. We held two meetings in central Ohio. During these meetings we discussed the future of computer science, recruitment of students, curricular issues, forming partnership with local businesses in order to support the technology revolution, certification requirements, and shared exemplary projects. Fourteen teachers attended at least one of these meetings. And talk about a diverse group: a couple of teachers nearing retirement; one first year teacher, teachers from both public and private schools; a college professor, and one teacher from a high school career center.

A third informal meeting was held in late January. Interest was spreading as just two people had attended one of the previous meetings. Topics of conversation were brainstorming on funding for our programs and labs, student recruitment and retention, cool projects, and we discussed course content. To this point, we had had personal contact with at least 20 computer science/information technology teachers and professors. We felt we were progressing nicely toward our goal of forming an Ohio chapter of CSTA. This being said, we really did not know how many people to expect at our next scheduled event, which was at the eTech Ohio Educational Technology Conference.

Prior to the conference we had established contact with conference representatives and were granted approval to dedicate one of the three conference days for computer science projects and initiatives. Several CSTA members presented topics such as Scratch, robotics, CS Unplugged, and shared cool projects in an introductory graphical technology course. At the conclusion of the day we held another informal meeting in which we shared the current goals of CSTA, recruited new members, and discussed the need to reduce travel time for meetings. We decided to have regional hubs and meet via video conference.

The first video conference was held in March with two different sites, one in northern Ohio and the second in central Ohio. Our main objective was to initiate formal conversations to form at least one Ohio chapter. We decided that we would have one more meeting in May (after the AP test) to complete the chapter application process.

Our most recent meeting was held on Wednesday, May 13th, again utilizing regional hubs for video conferencing. Officers were elected via Survey Monkey. The application was completed and accepted this summer! CSTA of Ohio has been formed and will have the first official meeting in September.

One of the things we discovered was that Skype is great for use when 2 sites are involved, but if more than 2 sites are used the conference will be audio only. They are working on video streaming up to six for free, but it wasn't ready in May. If this still is not complete, we will probably try using Oovoo instead of Skype.

Angie Thorne
CSTA Leadership Cohort (Ohio)

Comments

I teach vocational programs to High School students that are Dual-Enrollment with the university of Rio Grande in the field of IT-Network Systems and I also teach as an adjunct professor at the University of Rio Grande. I follow the Comptia curriculum for A+ and Network +, as well as teaching Web Design and Programming with C and Java. I am currently writing a curriculum module to teach Supercomputing to High School and College students. I am reasearching the best possbile teaching methods to present this curriculum. I am extrememly interested in becoming a member of the Ohio chapter of CSTA. Who would I get in touch with to get information on meetings and activities? Could I please be included on an email list for these activities? Thank You - Rosalie Wolfe

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