Brooke Ebersold

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Return to: ETAP 623 Fall 2020 (Zhang) | Incorporating Computer Science K-12


About Me

Me and My Cat (Meow).jpg

Hello, my name is Brooke Ebersold and I am a technology education teacher in the CNY (Central New York) area. My undergraduate studies in technology education at SUNY Oswego focused on topics in industrial design, manufacturing, materials processing, electrical theory, transportation systems, building construction, drafting plans, and computer aided design and drawing for production.

As a teacher, I focus on middle school technology education content (grades 6-8). Through project based learning and the engineering design process, we delve into the human made world. Within the discipline of technology education, we must adapt to the ever-changing technologically advanced world we live in and expose students to the inventions and innovations that influence our way of life, both positively and negatively.

My Topic and Purpose

Computer science and programming skills are becoming an integral part of a student's education in our current society. In January of this year, NYS drafted computer science and digital fluency standards that will be adopted under four guiding principles: Equity and Access, Interdisciplinary Connections, Coherence, and Relevance and Engagement. Though many skills within this discipline are currently taught, the connections between each course and units within these courses are not clear or have not been made. The inclusion of systems based thinking and promoting this discipline K-12 is crucial for students to connect these 21st century skills to their lives outside of school.

I am currently on a committee in my school district to formulate a plan for including these standards through our push-in enrichment classes, my technology education classes, and the high school enrichment program. The content for this mini course is formatted into 5 parts:

1. What are the standards? Summarizing the key points and introducing the "concepts" and "sub-concepts"

2. Grade level expectations (K-12)

3. Applications in each content area

4. Integration of these standards with an example school district model

5. Resources for information and instructional technologies that aid in integration


Link to the draft standards: http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/curriculum-instruction/draft-nys-k-12-computer-science-digital-fluency-standards.pdf

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this mini course, learners will be able to:

  • Identify the needs of incorporating computer science in primary and secondary level schooling
  • Explain the connections of the NYS computer science standards to their own content area
  • Create lessons that encompass the key points in the NYS computer science standards

Needs Assessment

The Instructional Problem

A culminating statement from the draft standards for computer science in New York encapsulates the importance of this discipline and it stated as follows: "For New York State students to lead productive and successful lives upon graduation, they must understand and know how to use digital technologies. Technology knowledge and skills are vital for full participation in 21st Century life, work, and citizenship" (DRAFT NEW YORK, 2020). Through the needs assessment process, incorporating computer science and programming skills is best identified as an opportunity to introduce the content to students ranging from pre-kindergarten to their senior year of high school. In the current society we live in, information and computing is a large part of our everyday life. The fundamentals of computer science concepts and skills involve problem solving, informed design decision making, syntax and grammar, and critical thinking mindset. According to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics, computer science and technology occupations will grow by 11 percent from 2019 to 2029. This career field is growing and it is projected that students who carry a bachelor degree or have significant knowledge in the field will earn up to 40 percent more in a yearly salary than workers without skills in this discipline (Computer and Information, 2020). These skills are crucial in the computer science discipline but also apply to life post high school graduation and solving everyday problems in any career setting.

What Will Be Learned

In this course, learners will be exposed to the draft New York State computer science standards, grade level expectations, applications in each content area, example school district model, and resources for implementation. In addition to the units of study, learners will also become accustomed to the vocabulary of the computer science and technology field. According to NYSED, the vision of implementation is "every student will know how to live productively and safely in a technology-dominated world. This includes understanding the essential features of digital technologies, why and how they work, and how to communicate and create using those technologies." This vision will be the driving force in the student-centered approach learners will follow while learning how to implement the standards K-12. It is also important for all groups of learners in this course to be aware of different state requirements and legislations. In 2019, 33 states had allocated funding, fabricated content standards, and pushed initiatives to reform and implement the K-12 computer science curriculum in all public schools (33 States, 2019). These resources and initiatives can further the force behind the teachers, administrators, and other people involved in the process of starting their own K-12 computer science curriculum.

Analysis of Learners

Due to the nature of this problem and the span of implementation K-12, learners will be more than just the in-service teachers within the district looking to implement computer science. Below are the learners that will benefit from this course:

  • School Administrators
  • In Service Teachers
  • Pre-Service Teachers
  • Board of Education Members
  • Parents and Community Members

Because of the variety of people and their knowledge of computer science unknown, it is important that this mini course be formatted for a lay audience when including jargon specific to the computer science discipline. Implementation of a large range program like the K-12 computer science program requires communication within all five groups of learners. By designing the course with a lay audience in mind, it allows for less barriers in conversation between the groups of learners as they are discussing the implementation of the K-12 program and all that is required.

Context for Learning

This course will be taught in an online format. 5 main units will be discussed in this mini course. The course is a user-paced atmosphere with check points for understanding of material. Learners will be required to have access to a computing device such as a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other suitable device for viewing webpages, videos, pictures, and course content.

Exploring the Problem and Solution

The solution to the instructional problem would be educating all learners that will be part of the computer science K-12 implementation on the current standards, expectations for grade levels, applications for different content areas, viewing sample school plans, and overview the resources available to all school officials to aid in the process of implementation. This mini course should be utilized as a guide for schools and people on steering committees to implement a fully developed, all encompassing curriculum for computer science and technology information study.

Goals

The main goal of this mini course is to prepare learners to work with other people in their district as they implement the K-12 computer science curriculum and standards that are recently written and acquired by the New York State Education Department. With proper implementation, districts will be able to prepare students for the 21st century world and develop problem solving skills along with digital literacy that is expected and required to thrive in today's society. Other goals that apply to this mini course include: familiarizing learners with computer science and digital literacy vocabulary, outlining the appropriate activities and content for students in each grade level and content area, analyzing an example school model, and accessing resources that will guide leaders to make informed design decisions on their own computer science programs within the districts.

Performance-Based Objectives

Learners will be able to do the following at the end of this mini course:

  • Describe the need for computer science and digital literacy in the K-12 age group and how it relates to their future in the technologically advanced society we live in.
  • Given a grade level, identify appropriate lessons and activities for computer science and digital literacy.
  • Promote digital literacy and computer science skills in any school district with media outlets such as the school websites, using premade graphics and posters.
  • Analyze an example school model of a K-12 computer science and digital literacy curriculum.
  • Create a district wide plan for implementing the computer science and digital literacy curriculum K-12 while following NYS's standards (January 2020 Version).
  • Identify sources of information and preplanned computer science and digital literacy activities.

Task Analysis

Unit 1: What is COMPUTER SCIENCE? And Why Should We Teach it K-12?

At the end of this unit, learners will be able to:

  • Define computer science and digital literacy.
  • Identify the need for K-12 computer science and digital literacy.
  • Identify the valuable skills students will develop from learning computer science and digital literacy.
Unit 2: Grade Level Expectations

At the end of this unit, learners will be able to:

  • Interpret the New York State Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards.
  • Identify appropriate computer science and digital literacy content and activities for each grade level.
  • Organize computer science and digital literacy content and activities by grade level.
Unit 3: Applications in Each Content Area

At the end of this unit, learners will be able to:

  • Identify specific activities and content within content areas that can be applied to computer science and digital literacy.
  • Connect specific grade level content to the activity examples given in this unit.
  • Explain how using interdisciplinary approaches to implementing computer science and digital literacy will provide the groundwork for the K-12 curriculum.
Unit 4: Integration With An Example School Model

At the end of this unit, learners will be able to:

  • Analyze an example model of K-12 computer science and digital literacy.
  • Connect information from previous units to the example school model.
  • Create a list of examples from the school model that [the learner's] school district or classroom will be able to utilize.
Unit 5: Resources and Key Instructional Technologies

At the end of this unit, learners will be able to:

  • Experiment with online computer science simulations and digital literacy websites.
  • Promote digital literacy and computer science skills in any school district with media outlets such as the school websites, using premade graphics and posters.
  • Create a list of websites and resources that can be applied to [the learner's] school district or classroom when implementing computer science and digital literacy curriculum.
  • Create a district wide plan for implementing the computer science and digital literacy curriculum K-12 while following NYS's standards (January 2020 Version).

Curriculum Map

Curriculum Map FINAL (1).png

References and Resources

Computer and Information Technology Occupations Outlook [Fact sheet]. (2020, September 1). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved October 2, 2020, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm

DRAFT NEW YORK STATE COMPUTER SCIENCE AND DIGITAL FLUENCY LEARNING STANDARDS. (2020, January). New York State Education Department. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/curriculum-instruction/draft-nys-k-12-computer-science-digital-fluency-standards.pdf

K-12 Computer Science Framework. (2016). K–12 Computer Science Framework Steering Committee. https://k12cs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/K%E2%80%9312-Computer-Science-Framework.pdf

33 States Expand Access to K-12 Computer Science Education in 2019. (2019, July 11). Medium. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from https://medium.com/@codeorg/32-states-expand-access-to-k-12-computer-science-education-in-2019-7d2357fe6f3d