Course Description:

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 (;
● 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.

Course Objectives

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,
3. Various readings on pedagogy and content will be provided online as PDF files.

Teaching Exploring Computer Science Syllabus


Class Schedule

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 class
April 15:  first Face-to-Face class
Weeks of April 17, April 24, May 1: online classes
May 6: mid-term Face-to-Face class
Weeks of May 8, 15, 22, 29: online classes
June 3: final Face-to-Face class
Week of June 4: optional online class/office hours
Face-to-Face classes will take place Saturdays from 9AM-3PM
at the Orange County Department of Education offices.
Online classes each week occur Wednesdays @ 4PM and Thursdays @ 8PM.
Each teacher will choose one of these times as their regularly scheduled time.

To be clear, here are the specific class dates and times:

Face-to-Face Saturday classes @9AM-3PM: April 15, May 6, June 3
Online Wednesday classes @4PM: April 12, 19, 26; May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; June 7
Online Thursday classes @8PM: April 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25; June 1, 8
Computer Science Certificate Program Course Sequencing

The CS Teacher Certificate Program consists of four sequential courses:

  1. Teaching Exploring Computer Science (hybrid F2F and online)
  2. Teaching Computer Science Principles (hybrid F2F and online)
  3. Advanced Topics for Computer Science Teachers (hybrid F2F and online)
  4. 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).