Teaching Exploring Computer Science (ECS) is a professional development course, which is based on three major pillars— equity, inquiry, and computer science content/concepts—woven throughout the course and the Professional Learning Community. This Teaching ECS course introduces computer science content through various evidence-based instructional strategies: role playing, jigsaw-type collaborative activities, pair and small-group collaborative learning, structured tinkering, multiple solutions, and using manipulatives as well as simulations. While introducing the content and pedagogical knowledge, we will build a learning environment that encourages teachers to take autonomous roles and develop a growth mindset in the process. We also believe that ECS teachers and students are all part of a learning community where all members can contribute to the learning process in meaningful ways.
The Teaching ECS course/professional development consists of
● A 9-week hybrid course (face-to-face and online) that develops teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge of the first four units in the ECS curriculum (exploringcs.org/curriculum);
● A Professional Learning Community with workshops during the academic year to focus on the remaining two units and pedagogy and implementation of all six units.
Prerequisites — Classes or Knowledge Required Before Taking This Course
There are no class/knowledge prerequisites to this course. Teaching ECS is being offered as part of a Computer Science Teacher Certificate Program, which is currently funded by the National Science Foundation. All students must be in-service teachers and admitted through that program.
At the end of this course, students will be able to:
● Identify pedagogical content knowledge for teaching Exploring Computer Science
● Elaborate on strategies of integrating computational thinking in teaching and learning
● Create an equitable computer science classroom environment
● Design effective instruction for Exploring Computer Science
● Design student assessment for Exploring Computer Science
● Identify major components and functions of digital devices and computing systems
● Identify the impacts of computing on society
● Conduct information searching/validation using computers and communication platforms
● Develop web pages using HTML and CSS
● Develop functioning programs in Scratch to solve problems
Course Material/Required Reading
1. Margolis, J., Estrella, R., Goode, J., Holme, J. J., & Nao, K. (2010). Stuck in the Shallow End:
Education, Race, and Computing. MIT Press.
2. Exploring Computer Science Curriculum v.7, http://www.exploringcs.org/curriculum
3. Various readings on pedagogy and content will be provided online as PDF files.
For the 2017 cohort, the Teaching Exploring Computer Science class will be offered from April-June, 2017. Teaching ECS is a hybrid class with three Face-to-Face classes, nine synchronous online classes as well as other asynchronous online lectures.
Week of April 10: online classApril 15: first Face-to-Face classWeeks of April 17, April 24, May 1: online classesMay 6: mid-term Face-to-Face classWeeks of May 8, 15, 22, 29: online classesJune 3: final Face-to-Face classWeek of June 4: optional online class/office hours
at the Orange County Department of Education offices.
To be clear, here are the specific class dates and times:
Face-to-Face Saturday classes @9AM-3PM: April 15, May 6, June 3Online Wednesday classes @4PM: April 12, 19, 26; May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; June 7Online Thursday classes @8PM: April 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25; June 1, 8
The CS Teacher Certificate Program consists of four sequential courses:
- Teaching Exploring Computer Science (hybrid F2F and online)
- Teaching Computer Science Principles (hybrid F2F and online)
- Advanced Topics for Computer Science Teachers (hybrid F2F and online)
- Computer Science Teaching Methods and Student Assessment (Face-to-Face)
Course Descriptions for each course will be added in the future
(note that courses 3 and 4 are offered in the following year).