Pilot Programs to Introduce Coding

Introducing Computer Science in
the Classroom
Perla Weaver
Pilot Teacher, Computer Science and Software
Engineering, Project Lead the Way
Wyandotte High School
Kansas City Kansas Public Schools
Why Computer Science?
• Increasing demand from industry
• Decreasing supply of graduates in computing
• Computational thinking and skills are not
inherently taught in the classroom
– False perception that by teaching math skills and
science we are inherently teaching computing
How do you get started?
• Introduce short activities: One time events
e.g. Hour of Code, Coder Dojos, Hackathons
• After school clubs: Teacher-Endorsed,
• Get your principal and administration on
• Aim for curriculum presence.
• Explore partnerships: Code.org
Curriculum Options
• Project Lead the Way – new Computer Science
• College Board – Computer Science Principles
• CodeHS
• Exploring Computer Science
• The beauty and joy of computing
• Code.org
PLTW – Computer Science and
Software Engineering (CSE)
• Introductory course
• No prior computer science or coding required
• Explores four main areas of computing
– Graphics and Graphical User Interfaces (GUI)
– The Web
– Data discovery and Application Invention
– Predicting, Understanding, and Communicating
with Simulation
Code Exploration
• Multiple programming environments: Scratch,
App Inventor, Python, HTML/CSS, and more.
• Computational concepts: binary code,
abstraction, variables, data structures
• Problem solving through computing
• Foster creativity using programming as a tool
More than just Coding
Impact and presence of computing
History and Future of Computing
Social, legal, and ethical issues in computing
Career Paths in Computing
Computing and other fields
“First try” Observations
• Curriculum is rigorous and filled with new
– Students struggle and succeed
– Mastery is not the goal
– Goal is understanding through creation,
exploration, inquisition.
• Curriculum may be best in a year long setting
– Concepts need time and practice
• Activities are flexible
– Students can develop various levels of proficiency
• Programming environments and areas of
study are varied
– Wide opportunity for personal interests
– Wide array of applications
• Creativity is fun
– Students love to see solutions: games, phone
apps, animations, web sites.
• Similar performance among ethnic groups
• Girls
– Higher engagement in class
– More questions – less afraid to say “I don’t know”
– Higher rate of project completion
– Slightly lower complexity of projects
Professional Development
• PLTW provides PD as part of their standard
summer training
• Teachers do not need to be programmers or
computer experts
• Many sources of materials, lessons, ideas
• Many sources for self-paced learning

similar documents