Old and New Dogs – New Tricks

The Computer Science Teachers’ Association recently posted an entry entitled “Who Teaches CS?“.  That caught my eye and set me about thinking.  Some of the facts presented in the post are:

  • In 2010, only 0.6% of all AP exams taken were AP CS.
  • While AP US History, AP Calculus, AP Biology, and AP Environmental Science are on the rise, AP CS lingers almost flat lining.
  • In 2010, there were 12, 501 CS graduates with 13% women and 4% Black.
  • 41 states do not count CS as math or science credit 
  • There are 1.06 million public high school teachers; 6,357 teach CS fulltime; 2,000 are college AP CS Audited and approved.
  • Do you see a problem?  

    Computer Science is undoubtedly the fastest changing and I would suggest one of the most important subject disciplines there is.  I’ve long been on the record advocating for at least one compulsory Computer Science course.  It scares me that people aren’t recognizing the importance of the discipline.  But, just offering the course is no guarantee of success.

    Continued professional learning in the field is paramount.

    This week, I’m at the CSTA CSIT Symposium.  Day 1 is filled with hands-on workshops and Day 2 is packed with concurrent sessions and motivating speakers.  Complete details are here.

    The conference is absolutely packed with great professional learning.  It is supported by Microsoft Research, Google, and the Anita Borg Institute.  It’s entirely devoted to the professional learning of Computer Science teachers.  Even those old dogs who have been around the block with many initiatives from the past are here to learn going forward.  It’s also refreshing to see new teachers learning and presenting alongside.  Do you think you are on top of everything?  Look at the topics addressed.

    • Bootstrap
    • Google Apps Script
    • Kodu
    • Big Data
    • SNAP!
    • HTML 5
    • Java
    • Robotics
    • Mobile Programming
    • and so much more…

    But it isn’t just about the new technologies or the next big thing.

    Sessions devoted to advocacy and pedagogy present a well rounded agenda for the attendees.

    It begs the question though; it’s great for those who are in attendance.  How about the rest?  How will they address the issues identified above?


    OTR Links 07/10/2012

    Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.