K-12 Computing Education Seminar
This quarter, I’m lucky enough to be facilitating a seminar called K-12 Computing Education. We have a website, a blog and 26 undergraduate and graduate students involved! My goal is that the experience will inspire and empower participants to contribute meaningfully to K-12 computing education no matter where their careers take them. The blog is well worth checking out — it’s exciting to read how thoughtful these students are about our discussions and their volunteering experiences.
All seminar participants must contribute at least 2 hours of volunteering with K-12 students over the course of the quarter. Some of them have opted to participate in a service learning option for which they complete 2.5 – 10 hours a week of volunteering in schools every week. We are working with several local computer science teachers in high schools and one middle school. Having our students volunteering for credit will hopefully ensure that they are regularly committed and can establish relationships with their host teachers and the K-12 students. One of the teachers helped me establish volunteer norms to ensure that our students are as fulfilled in their mentoring as they can be while reducing (not increasing!) their host teacher’s workload.
We meet once a week to discuss our personal experiences with K-12 computing education along with various readings. My goals for the readings are that they provide context for K-12 CS education, present specific, well-structured curriculum and teaching methods and highlight successful projects. So far, we have read the following:
- The CSTA’s Running on Empty report
- Jeannette Wing’s Computational Thinking
- Valerie Barr and Chris Stephenson’s Bringing Computational Thinking to K-12
I’ve got lots of other ideas for things I want us to read and discuss ranging from Colleen Lewis’ Is Pair Programming More Effective than Other Forms of Collaboration for Young Students? to Guillaume Marceau’s Mind Your Language: On Novices’ Interactions with Error Messages. I’m sure I’ve forgotten many great articles and papers, though. Help me out — what should we be discussing?