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Computer Science Principles: Getting Started

After attending the CS Principles Summit in July, I was convinced that I needed to get this course started at my school site. The Summit was so informative and inspiring.

I had planned to attend the summit online, but due to some cancellations I was able to attend in person. If you were not able to attend either online or in person, you are not out of luck. You can view the agenda and links to the recorded sessions at https://sites.google.com/a/csta-hq.org/csps/agenda

The Summit began with Deborah Seehorn’s introductory remarks summarizing the rationale for the CS Principles course and welcomed all of the participants that were attending in person and virtually. Chris Stephenson also added her introductory remarks.

Fran Trees and Owen Astracan discussed the history and development of the CS Principles course. There were some audio issues. The first few minutes you cannot hear Owen speaking but hang in there the audio does return. Then Fran spoke about the course outline. It is available at http://www.csprinciples.org/home/announcements/curriculumframeworknewspecificstilldraft . I will be using this document at the computer science curriculum meeting that I am attending this week to promote CS Principles. I also plan on forwarding it to my principal. He had offered to inquire about the process to offer the course as a pilot. My plan is to begin recruiting for the course to offer it Fall 2015. I am also actively recruiting other schools in the district to pilot the course next year because currently only 2 high schools out of 6 offer computer science courses.

Jeff Gray and Kelly Powers were next on the Agenda. They discussed information that could be used for recruiting. The information was very informative and is available at: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B56gpY9bgcRQTnpoMy1nMmRtYWs&usp=drive_web&tid=0B56gpY9bgcRQQkotaEU0alJ3Nnc

Next on the agenda was Flash Talks. There were audio issues again so I would fast forward the video 5 minutes to the point where audio returns. The pilot teachers discuss successes and challenges resulting from CS Principles. The resources by presenter with their links are:
Fran Trees: http://goo.gl/l1qEch
Carol Yarbrough: http://goo.gl/59jGRG
Andy Kuemmel: http://goo.gl/eyDO40
Seth Pizzo: http://goo.gl/yP5gna
Lien Diaz and Rich Kick are the presenters for the next session. Lien discusses statistics behind why the course has been developed as a future AP course. Her slides are at: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B56gpY9bgcRQaVFLMmNoQUNVcTQ&usp=drive_web&tid=0B56gpY9bgcRQQkotaEU0alJ3Nnc . The participants had an opportunity to ask their questions. Lien and Rich answered each question. Rich is a pilot teacher and his resources are at: https://sites.google.com/site/nphsrkick/Home/csprinciples/resources

The session facilitated by Emmanuel Schanzer and Rebecca Dovi was the one that really started by thought process about how to get this course started at my school and in my district. They presented a set of questions we were expected to answer in our group. The groups presented their responses in the next session facilitated by Rich Kick.

The summit overall was a great experience for me. I had to opportunity to create a plan to ask my district to allow me to pilot the course next school year.

Myra Deister
CSTA At-large Representative

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