K-12 Computing Education Seminar

Facilitator: Hélène Martin
Meetings: 1:30 - 3:00pm in CSE403

Syllabus | Volunteer Norms | Volunteer Log | Blog Schedule

Children love computers and now use them in all aspects of their lives. At the same time, the shortage of skilled computer scientists is dire enough for DARPA to fund outreach initiatives. In this seminar, we explore challenges and opportunities related to computing education for pre-collegial students. Our primary goal is to become more effective advocates and supporters of computing education in K-12. We discuss relevant education policy, teaching strategies and existing endeavors while spending time working with K-12 students in the Seattle area. Find weekly summaries of our conversations on the blog.

Date Topics Assignments
April 3rd What should K-12 students learn about computing?
Where does computing fit into the K-12 curriculum?
Who controls what is taught in K-12 computing?
What are similarities and differences between K-12 computing education in the US and in the UK?
Complete volunteering survey
Read Running on Empty, focus on p6-p31
Read Shut down or restart? summary; skim report
April 10th What is computational thinking?
Why is 'computational thinking' currently favored over 'computer science' to describe K-12 programs?
Read Computational Thinking and
Bringing Computational Thinking to K-12
April 17th Does teaching computing require computers?
What can students learn from "unplugged" activities?
How will students apply what they learn?
What contexts can these activities most effectively be used in?
Read one of The Effect of CS Unplugged on Middle-School Students' Views of CS OR Teaching CS Unplugged in the High School (with Limited Success)
Get to know an activity from CS Unplugged OR CS magic tricks
April 24th What is the role of programming in K-12 computing?
Are teaching programming in K-12 and college different?
How does programming fit in with unplugged activities?
How are Scratch and WeScheme similar? Different?
Read Why Computer Science Doesn't Matter and Scratch: Programming for All

Explore Scratch and WeScheme/Boostrap
May 1st GUESTS: Andy Davidson, Roosevelt CS; Mary Davison, SPS CTE
What are the implications of CS being CTE in WA?
What is the role of CTE in K-12 education?
What does it take to become a CS teacher in WA?
Programming framework | Mary's notes
Look around WA CTE website, particularly at the IT career cluster
Read about becoming CTE certified
May 8th Why does the Advanced Placement program matter to computing education?
What is APCS A?
What is the APCS Principles project?
What is the role of assessment in education?
Read AP Computer Science: Present State and Future Directions
Explore the AP CS Principles website, particularly Big Ideas
May 15th What activities can teach the CS Principles big ideas?
How can CS knowledge be assessed?
How does programming fit into CS Principles?
What are the education implications of the AP "powerhouse" questions?
Exploring CS (skim through curriculum)
The Mystery of "b := (b = false)"

Optional: MasterMind: A Predictor of Computer Programming Aptitude, Mental Models and Programming Aptitude
May 22nd What is the role of informal learning for K-12 CS?
What kinds of evaluation measures should we use for informal learning opportunities?
What is the role of competition in CS informal learning?
How can universities be involved?
Effective and sustainable computing summer camps
Introduction and key findings from More than Robots
May 29th Pipeline presents final projects (5 min each)
What did we learn?
How are we going to stay involved?
Pipeline only: complete final project

(baby computer picture from here)