Browsing Computational Thinking by Title
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- ItemComputational Thinking Boosters: Algorithmic Thinking 3-8(Digital Promise, 2021-01) Tackett, Traci; Ruiz, Pati; Iwatani, EmiA 30-minute webinar, designed originally for third through eighth-grade teachers in KY Appalachia, introduces ideas for integrating computational thinking (and specifically the notion of algorithms) into lessons across different content areas.
- ItemComputational Thinking Boosters: Algorithmic Thinking in K-2(Digital Promise, 2021-01) Tackett, Traci; Ruiz, Pati; Iwatani, EmiA 35-minute webinar, designed originally for kindergarten through second-grade teachers in KY Appalachia, introduces ideas for integrating computational thinking (and specifically the notion of algorithms) into lessons across different content areas.
- ItemComputational Thinking Boosters: Data & Analysis in K-2(Digital Promise, 2020-11) Tackett, Traci; Ruiz, Pati; Iwatani, EmiA 20-minute webinar, designed originally for third through eighth-grade teachers in KY Appalachia, introduces ideas for integrating computational thinking (and specifically the notion of data and analysis) into lessons across different content areas.
- ItemComputational Thinking Boosters: Data and Analysis 3-8(Digital Promise, 2020-11) Tackett, Traci; Ruiz, Pati; Iwatani, EmiA 25-minute webinar, designed originally for third through eighth-grade teachers in KY Appalachia, introduces ideas for integrating computational thinking (and specifically the notion of data and analysis) into lessons across different content areas.
- ItemComputational Thinking for a Computational World(2017) Angevine, Colin; Cator, Karen; Roschelle, Jeremy; Thomas, Susan A.; Waite, Chelsea; Weisgrau, JoshComputers, smartphones, smart systems, and other technologies are woven into nearly every aspect of our daily lives. As computational technology advances, it is imperative that we educate young people and working adults to thrive in a computational world. In this context, the essential question for American education is: In a computational world, what is important to know and know how to do? This paper argues that computational thinking is both central to computer science and widely applicable throughout education and the workforce. It is a skillset for solving complex problems, a way to learn topics in any discipline, and a necessity for fully participating in a computational world. The paper concludes with recommendations for integrating computational thinking across K-12 curriculum.
- ItemComputational Thinking for an Inclusive World: A Resource for Educators to Learn and Lead(Digital Promise, 2021-12) Mills, Kelly; Coenraad, Merijke; Ruiz, Pati; Burke, Quinn; Weisgrau, JoshTechnology is becoming more integral across professional fields and within our daily lives, especially since the onset of the pandemic. As such, opportunities to learn computational thinking are important to all students—not only the ones who will eventually study computer science or enter the information technology industry. However, large inequalities continue to exist in access to equipment and learning opportunities needed to build computational thinking skills for students that experience marginalization. We call all educators to integrate computational thinking into disciplinary learning across PreK-12 education, while centering inclusivity, to equip students with the skills they need to participate in our increasingly technological world and promote justice for students and society at large. This report issues two calls to action for educators to design inclusive computing learning opportunities for students: (1) integrate computational thinking into disciplinary learning, and (2) build capacity for computational thinking with shared leadership and professional learning. Inspired by the frameworks, strategies, and examples of inclusive computational thinking integration, readers can take away practical implications to reach learners in their contexts.
- ItemComputational Thinking for an Inclusive World: A Resource for Educators to Learn and Lead, Quick Start and Discussion Guide(Digital Promise, 2021-12) Mills, Kelly; Coenraad, Merijke; Ruiz, Pati; Burke, Quinn; Weisgrau, JoshWe call all educators to integrate computational thinking into disciplinary learning across PreK-12 education, while centering inclusivity, to equip students with the skills they need to participate in our increasingly technological world and promote justice for students and society at large. This quick start and discussion guide is a resource for educators to learn about and build capacity for students to engage in computational thinking.
- ItemComputing in rural America: Developing K-8 coding pathways for Kentucky Appalachia(Digital Promise, 2020-11) Burke, Quinn; Iwatani, Emi; Owens, Aileen; Tackett, Traci; May, PaytonWhat are the technical (and cultural) challenges of bringing computational thinking to small-town school districts? The overwhelming majority of computing initiatives focus nearly exclusively on urban/suburban districts. This presentation shares the challenges/promises of such efforts in an area economically devastated by the departure of the coal industry.
- ItemDefining Computational Thinking for a District: Inclusive Computing Pathways in Indian Prairie School District(Digital Promise, 2021) Digital PromiseThis district overview highlights the work Indian Prairie School District (IPSD) did over the course of three years to plan, build, and implement computing pathways. IPSD is a suburban school district serving 28,000 students in the Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook, and Plainfield communities outside of Chicago. As a member of Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools, IPSD applied to participate in the National Science Foundation-funded Developing Inclusive K-12 Computing Pathways for the League of Innovative Schools (CT Pathways) project to focus on developing an Inclusive K-12 Computing Pathway aligning the computing courses available within the district. Specifically, IPSD set an equity goal of focusing on a cluster of 5 Title I elementary schools within the district; IPSD sought to increase computing opportunities within these schools to ensure that computing was not only occurring in specific schools or parts of the district but rather reaching all students in the district.
- ItemDelivering virtual K-8 computing professional development in rural KY(Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), 2021-05) Ruiz, Pati; Iwatani, Emi; Burke, QuinnTeachers living and working in rural areas in the United States often lack access to high-quality professional development (PD) opportunities. As computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) education pathways increasingly develop in rural districts, it is essential to provide quality PD for their teachers so they can identify opportunities for and plan to embed CS and CT learning in their classrooms. A key element in delivering high-quality PD is understanding the specific educational and wider cultural needs of the community where it will be delivered, something we call “mining cultural capital”. In this poster, we report on the delivery of four 30-minute virtual PD sessions within two rural school districts in Eastern Kentucky: Pikeville Independent and Floyd County Schools. The virtual sessions were specifically geared toward elementary and middle school teachers. The sessions were led by a long-time educator in the region who worked to curate relevant examples and delivered the PD via a recorded video conference. The recordings are available for teachers in the region to watch and re-watch as they develop their lessons. Survey results showed that participating teachers found the PD to be valuable. Furthermore, feedback from teachers suggests that access to these short just-in-time PD sessions provided valuable learning opportunities and also sparked new lesson ideas for teachers.
- ItemLeveraging Community Cultural Wealth to Support K-8 CT Education in Kentucky Appalachia(Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), 2021-05) Iwatani, Emi; Tackett, Traci; Tackett, Kelsey; Arnett, Neil; May, PaytonSince the departure of the coal industry, Kentucky Appalachia has been striving to cultivate new ways of living in the region that is consonant with their culture and values. Developing a workforce that is competitive in the digital economy is a central part of the region's plan for revitalization, with local educators and organizations beginning to invest, with intention, in CS/ CT education for K-12 students. The panel consists of local leaders (administrators, teachers, parents, and community leaders) of K-8 CS/CT initiatives in the region. They will discuss how building a K-8 computational thinking pathway both leverages and helps to strengthen their community's cultural wealth.
- ItemThe many faces of R: Exploring roles for researchers beyond research(Digital Promise, 2021-07) Iwatani, Emi; Burke, QuinnLiterature on RPP methodology often seems to assume that the main value that researchers provide to education practitioners is their expertise in collecting, interpreting, and communicating data. However, research-side partners can also take on a number of additional roles in RPPs that are of value to practice-side partners, such as supporting internal communication processes, the procurement of external funding for educational materials, and the vetting of educational technology, among others. In this session, Emi Iwatani and Quinn Burke invite you to explore whether and how researchers can and/or should provide value to districts in an RPP beyond being a data expert.
- ItemNurturing an Innovative District: Inclusive Computing Pathways in Talladega County Schools(Digital Promise, 2021) Digital PromiseThis district overview highlights the work Talladega County Schools (Talladega) did over the course of three years to plan, build, and implement computing pathways. Talladega County Schools is a 7,500-student district in rural Alabama. Talladega has eleven STEAM-certified schools and 48% of all educators participate in STEAM leadership professional learning. As a member of Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools, Talladega applied to participate in the National Science Foundation-funded Developing Inclusive K-12 Computing Pathways for the League of Innovative Schools project to focus on developing an Inclusive K-12 Computing Pathway aligning the computing courses available within the district. Talladega set an equity goal of focusing on including two specific populations: offering computer science and computational thinking to students from low socioeconomic households as well as female students.
- ItemPivoting in a Pandemic: Transitioning from In-person to Virtual K-8 Computing Professional Development(Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), 2021-03) Burke, Quinn; Iwatani, Emi; Ruiz, Pati; Tackett, Traci; Owens, AileenThis poster reports on year one of a three-year NSF-funded Research Practitioner Partnership (RPP) to develop a K-8 pipeline for computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) education within two rural school districts in Eastern Kentucky: Pikeville Independent School District and Floyd County Schools. Economically devastated by the departure of the coal industry, these communities are committed to developing high-quality computing curricula for all students, beginning in their earliest years. The poster has two components. First, through a mixture of qualitative measures, the poster reports on the genesis and development of the RPP. It focuses on the RPP's origin in leveraging the districts' existing relationship with Pennsylvania's South Fayette School District, which has developed one of the nation's leading programs for teacher professional development (PD) in K-12 computing. The second component of the poster focuses on the development of a series of summer workshops for Kentucky Appalachia K-8 instructors to learn the basics of CS and CT and how to integrate these skills and concepts into existing K-8 coursework. Of course, the RPP faced new challenges with COVID-19 most notably, the need to offer these summer workshops remotely, and adjusting the objectives and research questions accordingly. Through focus groups with the PD instructional team and survey responses from the KY teacher workshop participants, the poster will report on the pedagogical implications of offering teacher PD exclusively online and what the ramifications have been for Pikeville and Floyd County children with the return to school in the Fall of 2020.
- ItemPowerful Learning with Computational Thinking: Our Why, What, and How of Computational Thinking(Digital Promise, 2021-03) Digital PromiseThe Powerful Learning with Computational Thinking report explains how the Digital Promise team works with districts, schools, and teachers to make computational thinking ideas more concrete to practitioners for teaching, design, and assessment. We describe three powerful ways of using computers that integrate well with academic subject matter and align to our goals for students: (1) collecting, analyzing, and communicating data; (2) automating procedures and processes; and (3) using models to understand systems. We also explore our four main commitments to computational thinking at Digital Promise: PreK-8 Integration; Commitment from District Leadership; Inclusive Participation of Students Historically Marginalized From Computing; and Participatory and Iterative Design.
- ItemResisting Edtech Colonialism through Inclusive Innovation in Kentucky Appalachia(Digital Promise, 2021-09) Iwatani, Emi; Ruiz, Pati; Burke, Quinn; Owens, Aileen; Tackett, TraciColonialism occurs “when one nation subjugates another, conquering its population and exploiting it, often while forcing its own language and cultural values upon its people” (National Geographic, 2019). With K-12 public school systems increasingly becoming 1-to-1, hundreds of millions of tax dollars being directed towards computer science and computational thinking (CS/CT) education, and educational technology (edtech) companies vying to capture the K-12 market share, it behooves us to wonder: Whose interests are CS/CT edtech are promoting? While “CS/CT edtech” is not a nation, it has potential to act like a colonizer because (1) it has its own language and culture that it aims to promote, (2) has great economic and political clout, and (3) the culture and values currently promoted are fairly monolithic. The NSF-funded researcher-practitioner partnership Tough As Nails project faces this tension head-on because the program objective is to create a K-8 CS/CT curricular pathway in two school districts in Kentucky Appalachia, where the researchers are from Silicon Valley with little familiarity with Appalachian culture and education. Our core project team (from CA, KY, and PA) has so far resisted “edtech colonialism” by upholding shared visions of “student agency is core,” “Kentucky leads the development” and “competencies first (then themes, then tools).”
- ItemThe “Science” of Computing: Inclusive Computing Pathways in Iowa City Community School District(Digital Promise, 2021) Digital PromiseThis district overview highlights the work Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) did over the course of three years to plan, build, and implement computing pathways. ICCSD is a college-town district serving 14,000 students and is rapidly becoming more urban and diverse. As a member of Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools, ICCSD applied to participate in the National Science Foundation-funded grant project Developing Inclusive K-12 Computing Pathways for the League of Innovative Schools to focus on developing an Inclusive K-12 Computing Pathway aligning the computing courses available within the district. ICCSD set an equity goal of focusing on improving access to computing for their Black and Latinx students including students designated as English language learners.
- ItemStudent Empathy Interviews: An Instrument For Considering More Inclusive K-12 Computing Pathways(2021-05-26) Ruiz, Pati; Mills, Kelly; Burke, Quinn; Coenraad, MerijkeThis presentation shares the development and use of empathy interviews at Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) which is the fifth largest school district in the state. At this district, equity challenges have arisen as the city has grown rapidly over the past decade, shifting from a rural and predominantly White college town to a burgeoning tech sector with a significant influx of Latinx families. During the first two years of participation in the Developing Inclusive K-12 Computing Pathways Research Practice Partnership (CT Pathways), the district developed a computing pathways document to guide schools and teachers in the integration of computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT). After a year piloting their pathway, an Inclusive CT Pathways Committee was formed to review the existing pathways document and ensure it was ably addressing the district’s overall equity goal of better serving students from Black and Latinx communities. As an orientation step to personalize this goal and understand it within the context of their own classrooms and schools, teachers on the Inclusive CT Committee conducted empathy interviews to learn more about the computing experiences of their students. Teachers reflected upon the structure of the interview protocol, the insights they gained, and the potential opportunities the approach afforded them to address misconceptions about computing. They described the interviews as opportunities to learn more about designing supports, on-ramps, and more inclusive computing opportunities for students.
- ItemUnderstanding and Supporting District Systems Change Around Computer Science Education(AERA Annual Conference Proceedings, 2021-04) Burke, Quinn; Roschelle, Jeremy; Ruiz, Pati; Weisgrau, JoshForty states have undertaken recent initiatives to expand access to computer science, including the development of comprehensive K-12 computing standards (Code.org, 2019). Yet while standards represent a necessary scaffold for states to support implementation, ultimately the challenge of a tailored computing agenda (Burke et al., 2020; Coburn, Hill, & Spillane, 2016) falls to the individual districts themselves. Given the wider history of inequitable K-12 computing opportunities (Margolis, Goode, & Ryoo, 2015), districts are faced with the challenges of (i) ensuring equitable student access to high-quality CS content, (ii) developing integrated systems for teacher development and instructional feedback, and (iii) articulating coherent curricular learning progressions across grade levels. The “State of the States Landscape” report (Stanton et al., 2017) reveals that although the majority of U.S. states have CS standards, districts must promptly tackle these challenges to foster genuinely equitable programs. This study examines the development of equitable pathways in three unique school districts: Iowa City Community School District (IA), a college-town district serving 14,000 students which is rapidly becoming more urban and diverse and seeks to increase participation among English language learner students; Indian Prairie School District (IL) a suburban district west of Chicago, serving 28,000 students and committed to improve achievement for students from low income families; Talladega County Schools (AL), a rural school district of 7,500 students in the central part of the state, with a focus on increasing participation among females. This three-year study investigates the why, what, and how of developing a comprehensive K-12 computing pathway. First, in terms of why, to what extent has each district been able to identify and articulate a unified vision for CS education? To what extent does this vision correspond to existing district resources, as well as adhere to their stated commitment(s) to educational equity? Second, in terms of what, how does a district’s vision for K-12 computing help define what qualifies as computing and where it is to be integrated into schools? What are the computing competencies (i.e., using algorithms, computational modeling) each district identifies and to what degree have teachers been able to understand and value these competencies? Third and last, in terms of how, what is the process that each district adopts to translate these designated competencies into actual classroom practice? And how do they measure success in terms of student work, teacher feedback, and wider community engagement? At the close of our second year of research, participating districts have already addressed the first two elements of why? and what? They continue to address the third element of how? as they ramp up pilot coursework in select schools over year three, a challenge now compounded by the nationwide pandemic. Through teacher and administrative interviews and surveys, as well as wider feedback from district-specific chamber of commerce/ technology committees, this presentation will identify and compare the various rationales for equity-driven computing pathways, examine to what degree they help leadership teams articulate a district-wide framework, and how such a framework took hold within classrooms.