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I am a computer science and social studies teacher in Queens, NY. My certification is in 7-12 social studies education. I love to teach computer science as it opens up the creative minds our students have and it allows them to explore the nuances of many of the devices that are all around us. Plus, coding is fun and virtually limitless!
Participants will be able to:
1. Instructional Problem High school computer science classes might not be doing an adequate job in preparing computer science students for future careers in the field due to a lack of effective collaborative activities in these classes. As I have experienced in my own classroom, in the computer science classrooms of my peers as well as observations within other district schools, students are not gaining meaningful collaboration skills from their computer science classes. This creates a problem with these students being underprepared for careers (or further education in the field) relating to computer science where working with others is a key aspect of the job. These underprepared students will struggle to succeed in environments where they are expected to work in teams and produce results.
2. Intended Setting High school computer science classes.
3. Participants High school computer science teachers (9th-12th grade).
4. Intended Change Participants will better understand the importance of collaboration in computer science classes and learn how to to incorporate collaborative activities and strategies in their classes. I am expecting participants to make use of what they learn in this mini-course by applying it to their practice.
5. Supporting Details Participants will be provided with resources to improve collaboration in their computer science classes.
Analysis of the Learner and Context
The Learners The learners (participants) in this course will ideally be high school computer science teachers. They can be from any grade level. My focus is high school because my experience in teaching students is solely at the high school level. Although this course is certainly available for middle school teachers to use, they may need to modify resources to better fit the learning needs of their students, as would any teacher in general.
Learner Analysis My assumptions are that teachers who are using my mini-course will be struggling with getting students to collaborate without just giving each other their code (for example) and struggling with having students gain meaningful results from collaborating.These meaningful results might include reflection of their own code as well as constructive advice and feedback offered to their peers. Although these teachers might already be incorporating collaborative activities in their classes, they may need additional support to make the collaboration as meaningful as possible to prepare students with the necessary skills for the future.
Context for Instruction Instruction of the mini-course will be differentiated with videos, presentations, diagrams, among other resources and media. Participants will be required to utilize a computer for virtually every aspect of the mini course. A Google account will be required to access Google Docs, Forms, or other related course materials. There will be no use of paper, written, or printed materials. Any other required materials will be outlined to the participants in the relevant module wiki pages.
As a result of their participation in the course, participants will be able to:
1) Differentiate between effective and ineffective collaborative activities and strategies for beneficial outcomes in computer science classes.
2) Apply the knowledge gained from this mini-course to design and integrate collaborative activities and strategies in their own computer science classes.
3) Reflect on how their chosen or designed activities or strategies worked and if they can be improved to yield better results.
4) Understand that collaboration in computer science classes is necessary and requires strategic implementation to be most effective both short term and long term.
- Have used collaborative activities and/or strategies in classes with students
- Have created lessons plans that include activities other than teacher-led lectures
- Used their designed activities or strategies with their computer science students and observed/analyzed how well they worked based on set goals
- Understanding of where the computer science field can lead to (careers, higher ed. courses, etc.)