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What Did You Do This Summer?

Well, it's back to school time and most of us have done some professional development over the summer to rejuvenate and enhance what we are doing in the classroom.

I had the privilege of attending MIT's CS4HS offering in July, sponsored by Google. The focus of the three-day workshop was on using the Scratch programming language as a means to teach computational thinking skills using design based learning. Mitch Resnick and Karen Brennan of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group led the workshop and did an amazing job.

I must report, I drank the koolaid. The experience was exciting, motivating, and energizing. The forty-four educators, administrators, and researchers who participated were definitely buzzing with excitement. By the end of the workshop, there was a definite cult atmosphere in the room. The workshop was broken down into themes: art, stories, and games. Participants were given ideas and instruction on developing projects in all areas. Much time was spent on individual work related to a theme of interest.

It was a real treat for most of to have a solid chunk of time to play with Scratch, bounce ideas off of our colleagues, and to explore the possibilities. Most participants reported staying up until the wee hours of the night to work on their individual Scratch projects. It is an addictive tool, so easy to use, intuitive, and very engaging. I am excited to bring what I learned back to my school and to figure out the most effective way to implement Scratch with my high school students.

What about you?

What professional development did you do this summer that got you pumped for the school year?

Karen Lang
CSTA Board of Directors
9-12 Representative

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