News and Resources
Member Suggested Resources to members questions.
This may sound like a bit of a bizarre and somewhat vague request, but I hope someone can point me in a direction to help me find some resources. I teach computer science in the high school of a district that is looking to expand its offerings at the elementary and middle schools, because, as our superintendent put it, "Less than 25% of students make it through high school with a computer science course under their belts". They are not getting significant exposure to it at younger levels (they do Hour of Code, but not a whole lot more).
As the primary CS teacher at the school, they are picking my brain to determine what goals and objectives should be taught at younger levels, and how they are accomplished within either existing or new course offerings. I am going to point out the CSTA standards, of course, as a starting point for a set of learning outcomes, but I'm wondering if there has ever been supporting documentation, or, a set of plans, put together, for how to further implement these skills into curriculum (kind of like the old NJCCCS frameworks).
In this same vein, because of my background in FIRST Robotics, they are also looking at my input implementing pre-engineering and STEM-based problem-solving into their courses, but that's a much broader scope. I obviously have a lot of work cut out for me, but I'm absolutely excited to for the opportunity to help move our district in the right direction. If anyone has gone through anything similar, and has any resources that could be helpful, I would greatly appreciate it.
Since New Jersey is still developing our CS standards, I would also recommend researching other states to see if you can find objectives and/or curriculum maps. I would try Arkansas and Virginia at least and you can look up other states that have k-12 standards on https://code.org/promote.
This is one of the main questions we have been getting from people around the state and something we need to develop a good answer for. It would be nice if we could develop a one pager or something like that to share with k-12 schools (anyone interested in a sub-committee?). There are lots of resources out there, but very few are complete curriculum. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Code.org has a curriculum for K-12 that is pretty good to start with. I think it would probably need to be supplimented, but it is educationally sound and well thought out. We also have training available in NJ through the regional partnership at TCNJ. - https://studio.code.org/courses
CSNYC has helped NYC develop some resources for K-12. https://blueprint.cs4all.nyc/
At the CS4ALL Members page you can search by topic or grade level among a vast number of resources - https://www.csforall.org/members/
As funding is becoming available, we are seeing more and more organizations/companies present their "curriculum" to schools. I would be nice if CSTANJ with the help of the colleges could create a "map" to help make sense of it all as we look to implement CSforAll in NJ.
Hope that helps. Look forward to hearing what others think since this is should be the next area of development for CSforAll in NJ.
If resources were developed with NSF funds, they are obligated to be free to all of us.
I do use BitsBox. I have a monthly subscription for $20.00 and can duplicate materials for my own students.
I would love to take an online or summer program that would gives me the tools and confidence to teach cs next year. I have taken the one week code and bjc classes. I need a real class. Any suggestions?
Here are some ways to learn CS online beyond CSP. I shared your questions with CSTANJ group in the hope others will add some other resources that they have found valuable. Also, I am sure others have similar questions.
Oracle Academy has a free online Java course. They might be coming to NJ this summer for a week long workshop . https://academy.oracle.com/en/oa-web-overview.html
St Scholastica has an online certificate of CS Ed (does not count for anything in NJ yet) - http://www.css.edu/graduate/masters-doctoral-and-professional-programs/areas-of-study/master-of-education-(med)/certificate-in-computer-science-education.html
My students use Codecademy to learn a number of different coding languages/skills on their own. - https://www.codecademy.com/
Let me know if you are looking for something more specific