Monday, February 23, 2015

Requiring Computer Science

Hi Kiki,

The entire state of Virginia has been shut down due to snow, so I've had lots of time to sit and knit, and catch up on my reading.

As it always seems to happen, after our conversation last month about requiring computer science courses in K-12 schools, everywhere I look this is a hot topic.

Darning my Waldo socks - so ready for spring!
  • This article  asks readers if computer science should be required in California schools:
[Muhammed Chaudhry, CEO of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation] notes that “56 percent of California high schools don’t offer computer science courses at all. Only 13 percent of high schools offer advanced placement (AP) courses in computing. Schools that teach computer science offer such a hodgepodge of courses that it’s hard to fit them into any particular department — with most labeled as electives."
  • And in Arkansas legislation was just passed requiring that all high schools offer computer science classes. The most interesting part is the formation of a state level task force to steer the courses and standards to make sure they are high quality.
By requiring high schools to teach computer-science classes, "Arkansas will become a national leader in computer-science education, and we'll be preparing a workforce that's sure to attract businesses and jobs to our state,"

  • An finally the Harvard Gazette featured the recent panel discussion about gender diversity in tech - the panel included Jane Margolis, Stephanie Wilson, Maria Klawe, and Kimberly Bryant. This conversation is so important as we expand where computer science is offered. It is critical to expant where, but also to whom.
“It matters for what’s being invented and what’s being created. I think in today’s world, computer science especially is affecting every single solitary aspect of our lives, and it’s affecting our culture, and it’s affecting democratic participation,” said Jane Margolis,

 It is fascinating to watch how quickly things are changing in computer science education.



Friday, January 23, 2015

Homeward Bound - STEM CP: CE21 Meeting

Hi there Kiki,

I am on the train heading home from the CE21 meeting in Baltimore.

It is so inspiring to see all of the folks doing work in computer science education and hear about their projects.

There were a lot of folks there from the K-5 training this past summer, and it was wonderful to hear about their progress in bringing computer science to elementary schools. A common theme was their teachers want more computer science for their kids, so you know something is going right.

The first night our keynote speaker was Richard Ladner. He shared his work in expanding Computer Science education to all students, especially those with disabilities.

And I think this is why I am so excited to be working in computer science education right now. All of the energy and interest about computer science is not just about the cool new things we can create with coding, but it about how coding can transform the lives of all of our students, no matter their backgrounds or abilities.

Can't wait to talk to you,


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Looking Forward to the Publishing of the Podcast

Hey, Rebecca!

I'm totally looking forward to getting our first podcast up.  Hoping that someone will chime in about what they'd like to hear next month.

Do you have any ideas?