The middle of the summer brings the first opportunity for me to breathe and reflect on what I’ve been doing in both my professional and academic careers. It is exciting and exhausting to have been involved in both K-12 outreach in the state of Indiana, while simultaneously engaging in CS education research through MSU’s EPET program. I’m looking forward to building off both what I’ve learned in the classroom and from my local Indiana teachers as we approach another academic years.
Purdue K-12 Outreach – Indiana has some exciting changes happening in our K-12 education programming. In particular, we are now including computer science in our K-8 standards (computer science is now listed on the standards page with science, a change from our previous approach which grouped it with business, marketing and IT). Whether or not this leads to changes at the 9-12 level, it remains to be seen. For now, the opportunity to see some cross-curricular STEM design is exciting. At Purdue, we’ve continued our CS Summer Camp program for a 21st year, with a focus on computer security. We hosted 52 terrific students from grades 6-11 for a week on campus. The students used the Raspberry Pi every day, and learned about programming, networks, and cryptography in addition to some “best practices” for securing their computers. The rest of the summer will be spent gearing up for the academic year, during which we’ll run our AP Computer Science A course on edX. This year we will feature a teacher cohort to help computer science teachers across the country learn about content, pacing, and pedagogy. The course will also look to build off our first year in which we reached 10,000 students worldwide. I’m hoping to learn from the students in the course about their self-regulation with an eye towards using that knowledge in helping more students prepare to learn via MOOC.
MSU EPET – My summer courses are in transition, as I wrap up two (“Qualitative Research Methods” and “Teachers & Technology”) and begin another (“Quantitative Methods”). I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to write for practitioners, and will hopefully have a piece on teaching strategies to address cognitive load demands in programming submitted before the end of the semester. I have two other papers in the works, and I’m already eyeing some other opportunities to keep writing and finding opportunities to push myself in that area.