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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.