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The Institute for Computing Education at Georgia Tech

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  1. The Institute for Computing Education at Georgia Tech Barbara Ericson Georgia Tech ericson@cc.gatech.edu http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/ice-gt

  2. History of ICE • Joint effort by the Georgia DOE and Georgia Tech • Started in 2004 • AP CS teachers needed training in Java and OO • Only 44 schools offering AP CS out of > 400

  3. Goals of ICE • Increase the number of qualified computing teachers in Georgia • Train teachers with no formal background in Computer Science • Typically business teachers • Increase the number and diversity of computing students in Georgia

  4. Original Computing Courses Computer Applications Word, Powerpoint, Excel IT Foundations History, Networking, Web Dev Programming and Systems Management Programming, database, GUI, etc Advanced Placement Computer Science

  5. Curriculum Revision • An external review found that Georgia's standards • Did not follow national standards • Were too broad and shallow • Lacked rigor • Were content based – not performance based

  6. Revision Committee • A committee of high school computing teachers, university faculty, and DOE staff created new performance-based standards • Committee met 5 times from Sept 2005 to Feb 2006 • Created 3 new computing courses • Based on the ACM model curriculum for K-12 http://csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/ACMK12CSModel.html

  7. Comparing Curriculums ACM Model Curriculum Georgia Curriculum Level 2 (II) Computer Science in the Modern World Level 2 (II) Computing in the Modern World Level 3 (III) Computer Science as Analysis and Design Level 3 (III) Beginning Programming Level 3 (III) Intermediate Programming Level 4 (IV) Topics in CS – Advanced Placement CS Level 4 (IV) Topics in CS – Advanced Placement CS

  8. Professional Development • Summer workshops • Grown from two weeks in 2004 • To four weeks in 2008 • School-year workshops • LEGO NXT robots • Alice • Media Computation • Games • AP Exam

  9. Teacher Training Results • AP CS has grown from 44 schools in Georgia in 2004 to over 90 schools in 2009 • https://apcourseaudit.epiconline.org/ledger/ • 304 unique teachers from 199 schools and 12 states

  10. Summer 2009 Workshops • Computing in the Modern World • PicoCrickets, Scratch, Alice, and CS Unplugged Activities • Beginning Programming • Media Computation in Python and IPRE robots • Intermediate Programming • Media Computation in Java and Greenfoot • AP CS A • Alice and Media Computation, GridWorld, Greenfoot, etc

  11. PicoCrickets • Invention kit integrating art and technology • http://www.picocricket.com/

  12. Scratch • Free software from MIT for creating 2D animations and games • http://scratch.mit.edu

  13. Alice 2.2 • Free software from CMU for creating 3D movies and games • http://www.alice.org

  14. Alice 3.0 Beta • Free software from CMU for creating 3D movies and games • http://www.alice.org • Includes the Electronic Arts Sims characters • Can import into Netbeans IDE as Java code

  15. CS Unplugged • Free materials for teaching computing concepts without a computer • http://csunplugged.org/ Binary Numbers Network Deadlocks

  16. Media Computation • Writing textual programs to manipulate media http://www.mediacomputation.org Soup-Audio Collage

  17. IPRE Robots • Parallax scribbler robots with color camera and Bluetooth • http://www.roboteducation.org/

  18. Greenfoot • Free software from the Un. of Kent and Deakin Un. for building 2D simulations and games in Java http://www.greenfoot.org

  19. Alice and Media Computation • Teaching computing concepts in Alice first and then covering the same concepts in Java with Media Computation • http://home.cc.gatech.edu/TeaParty

  20. GridWorld • Advanced Placement Computer Science Case Study • Example of a larger program for students to learn from • Used to teach object-oriented concepts

  21. Wearable Computers • Developed by Leah Buechley • Now of MIT • Very small computers, sensors, and lights • Connected with conductive thread

  22. Pleo Robots • Devloped by Ugobe • The creator of the Furby • Now owned by Innvo Labs • Programmed using MySkit or the Pleo Dev Kit

  23. Lending Library for Teachers • We lend our LEGO NXT robots and PicoCricket kits • Up to 3 weeks at a time • Up to 12 kits per teacher • Must leave a deposit • And lose deposit if missing parts or not sorted

  24. Certification Issues in CS • Most states do not require training in CS for teachers • Georgia does not require any training • Business teachers are considered in field for CS http://csta.acm.org/Communications/sub/Documents.html

  25. Certification Issues in Georgia • In 2005 the Georgia Professional Standards Commission changed the rules so that only business teachers could teach AP CS • We would have lost an entire district of math teachers who were teaching AP CS • And we had a physics teacher and 2 music teachers • Georgia Tech was able to convince the GA PSC to allow anyone with a valid teaching certificate to teach AP CS • But, we wanted to ensure that teachers had sufficient training in computer science

  26. CS Endorsement • Committee formed to create an endorsement based on the NCATE standards in 2006 • Teachers, university faculty, and Georgia Professional Standards Commission • Worked for 1 year • Posted for 6 months for comments • Endorsement passed in Dec 2008 • Only voluntary for now • Can be added to any type of teaching certification • Two schools will offer it in Georgia • Kennesaw State University – fall 2009 • Columbus State University – online in 2010

  27. Student Outreach • Summer Camps • High school since 2004 • Middle school since 2006 • Elem school (4th and 5th) since 2009 • Weekend and after-school computing activities • Girl Scouts since 2005 • YWCA since 2007 • Cool Girls, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts 2008

  28. Summer Camps • Our camps always fill • So we started training and providing "seed money" to other colleges and universities in Georgia in 2007 • From NSF BPC grant • We have started 8 additional summer camps in Georgia since 2007 http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/ice-gt/915

  29. Girl Scout Outreach • 2005-2006 – 40 • LEGO robots • 2006-2007 – 80 • LEGO robots and Alice • 2007-2008 – 428 • 2008-2009 – 455 • LEGO, Alice, PicoCrickets, Scratch

  30. YWCA – Teen Girls in Tech • Afterschool program at 4 area middle schools • Worked with since spring 2007 • Mentored 2 FIRST LEGO League teams

  31. Cool Girls • Low income middle school girls • Started in fall 2008

  32. Boys and Girls Clubs • Worked with nearby location • Also did webinar on Scratch

  33. Computing Competitions • AP Bowl • Practice Advanced Placement CS Exam • Scratch – new in 2010 • Alice – new in 2010 • RoboCup Jr. – proposed • Dance • Rescue • Soccer

  34. Results? • One of our summer camp kids from 2005 is now a 3rd year CS major • Just won most outstanding Junior • Wants to go to graduate school • We get statistically significant changes in attitudes towards computing • In just a 4 hour workshop • Using PicoCrickets, Scratch, and Alice • Kids report an increase in interest in CS

  35. CS Education Info • The 4 years of math and science push • Texas gives math credit for AP CS • Georgia gives science credit for AP CS (just removed!) • The 10,000 teachers by 2015 push from Jan Cuny of the National Science Foundation • Development of a new AP course in computer science • Want a course that appeals to more people • Rebooting unemployed IT workers to be teachers • Georgia's alternative teacher prep program • High School Program • Training high school students to be helpers

  36. Operation Reboot • Transform 30 unemployed IT workers into high school computing teachers • 10 per year for 3 years • IT worker • Paid a stipend of $3410 a month for 11 months • Co-teaches 2 computing classes / sections per year with the existing computing teacher • Earns initial teaching certificate through GaTAPP • And a CS endorsement • http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/ice-gt/1077

  37. Timeline • First group of 10 selected by Thanksgiving • Begin training Nov 30th • Start in classroom in Jan 2010 • Second group of 10 selected by June 2010 • Begin training July 2010 • Start in classroom in Aug 2010 • Third group of 10 selected by June 2011 • Begin training July 2011 • Start in classroom in Aug 2011

  38. How can you help? • Visit schools for career day • Allow a computing teacher to shadow you • Volunteer to help your local AP CS teacher • Or get your school to offer AP CS • Mentor a robot competition team • Or assist • Do workshops for youth serving organizations • Offer summer camps

  39. Funding • Georgia Tech and the Georgia Department of Education have both supported this effort • Along with the Toyota Foundation, Microsoft, Atlanta Women's Foundation, and the National Science Foundation