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Planning a Summer Institute

I think my last blog was written while I was monitoring my final exam. This one is written as I take a break from planning for a summer institute for teachers for AP Computer Science. This will be a one-week crash course event here in Columbia, but with some work before the week here in town and some work after. I have a first rate AP teacher from here in town as the Master Teacher to do this with me, and we have about 20 teachers signed up from all across South Carolina.

We are somewhat unique in South Carolina, apparently, in that the state Department of Education provides substantial funding for the summer institutes. I applied for and received a grant last year but didn't get enough teachers signed up (the Dept of Ed normally wants at least ten to justify the expense). This year, I applied again, and this year we have the enrollments. I did an institute in 2009, in a year when the state didn't have the money, but we were able to get the institute funded by an industrial consortium.

I have taught our first semester course, which the institute has some resemblance to, but not for a while. Fortunately, one of the professors who has taught the course recently has put up about 60 short YouTube videos of various programming, computer, and Java concepts. This should help, since many of the teachers who have signed up for the institute have some programming experience, but some of that experience is not recent, and some of that is not in Java. It's going to help to have lots of videos for people to scan in order to all get to the same place for the compressed week here in town.

Duncan Buell
CSTA University Representative

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