DRAFT 2016 CSTA K-12 CS Standards: We need your feedback!

No one can doubt that it is an exciting and busy time to be a K-12 computer science educator: an announcement from the White House about the new CS for All initiative, a new K-12 CS Framework under construction, an emphasis on cybersecurity education in the K-12 classroom, new curriculum products, new computer science standards in Arkansas, Florida, and Massachusetts (to name a few states), computer science for all New York City students, and professional development opportunities for CS educators. Scarcely a day goes by in the news/media without some mention of K-12 computer science education and what it should look like.

The CSTA K-12 CS Standards Revision Task Force members have been diligently working to revise the 2011 CSTA K-12 CS Standards to ensure they are current, valid, and the best they can be. The task force members very much appreciate all of you who took the time to provide us with input on the 2011 CSTA K-12 CS Standards during the public feedback period in September – October 2015. Your input, along with the draft K-12 CS Framework and practices, standards from other states and countries, and related national standards informed the task force members as they revised, deleted, and added to the 2011 CSTA K-12 CS Standards. You may view the standards development process on the CSTA Standards Webpage. The first DRAFT of the 2016 CSTA K-12 CS Standards is ready for public review and feedback. We need your assistance once again!

Please take a little time to review the revised standards and complete the 2016 CSTA K-12 CS Standards Feedback Form. This will provide the CSTA Standards Revision Task Force members with constructive feedback that will assist us as we seek to refine the standards and make them most useful for K-12 educators. You will have the opportunity to give us detailed feedback on individual standards in each of the grade levels (Level 1, Grades K-5; Level 2, Grades 6-8, Level 3A, Grades 9-10), Level 3B (Grades 11-12). You will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on all the standards for a grade level within a concept area. (The draft K-12 CS Framework Concepts are Computing Devices & Systems, Networks & Communication, Programs & Algorithms, Data & Information, and Impacts of Computing.)

Feedback for this initial review period will be accepted from February 16 through March 3, 2016. The task force members will analyze this feedback and refine the standards. CSTA is committed to an iterative process that allows multiple drafts and revisions before publication. We anticipate another review period sometime in the spring of 2016, as the project budget allows. Our goal is to release the revised standards at the 2016 CSTA Annual Conference.

We want your feedback. We need your assistance. Please thoughtfully complete the CSTA K-12 CS Standards Revision Feedback Form. This initial feedback on the standards will be accepted until March 3, 2016.

Thank you for your time, expertise, and enthusiasm in supporting K-12 CS education.

Deborah Seehorn
CSTA Board of Directors Past Chair
CSTA K-12 CS Standards Revision Task Force Co-Chair

Tammy Pirmann
CSTA Board of Directors District Representative
CSTA K-12 CS Standards Revision Task Force Co-Chair

Website Links

Computer Science for All https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/01/30/computer-science-all

K-12 CS Framework http://k12cs.org/

2016 CSTA K-12 CS Standards Revision Task Force http://www.csteachers.org/?StandardsTaskForce

CSTA K-12 CS Standards Revision Process http://www.csteachers.org/?StandardsProcess

2016 CSTA K-12 CS Standards Feedback Form http://www.csteachers.org/?SubmitYourFeedback

2016 CSTA Annual Conference http://csta.acm.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/sub/CSTAConference.html.

 

 

 

The Teacher Certification Committee

The Certification Committee is primarily concerned with issues surrounding teacher certification for Computing teachers. Our most recent effort was the publication of the white paper, Bugs in the System: Computer Science Teacher Certification in the U.S. This was a substantial effort of members from almost every state! You can see the state map that resulted from this work, where each state has a color code based on whether or not that state has a certification for HS, for MS or no certifications at all. One of the criteria is Computer Science as a required course, but not one state had that in 2013.

On our CSTA website, you will find the Certification section at the bottom of the left side navigation. We currently have two links, one to the resources which include downloadable PDFs of our two white papers as well as information on a methods course for teacher prep programs. The second link is to an interactive map of the United States. Each state contains answers to three questions: Is Computer Science a required course? Is there a Middle School Computer Science teacher certification? and Is there a High School Computer Science teacher certification?  Soon, we will be adding a link to this page to allow our members to self-report changes to these questions for their state. Advocacy for Computer Science education is having an effect on this data, and we would like to keep this information current.

With the increasing importance of K-12 computer science, CS teacher certification is becoming even more critical. The committee welcomes news from any state that is working on CS teacher certification. The committee also welcomes any volunteers who would like to serve on the committee.

Who is on the Certification Committee?
Chair – Tammy Pirmann
Members – Deborah Seehorn, Aman Yadav, and Lissa Clayborn

 

Cybersecurity is everywhere. Is it in your K-12 CS program?

Scarcely a day goes by without the mention of cybersecurity in the news—from Edward Snowden breaching security at NSA (and now following NSA on Twitter), to customers of Target and Home Depot having their data compromised, to Hillary Clinton’s private email server and private email account while she was Secretary of State, to hacking of sensitive government data by foreign citizens, cybersecurity is in the news and is newsworthy. One of the more common themes in cybersecurity is the dearth of qualified cybersecurity professionals and how the United States might address that lack in the education system. Several colleges and universities have begun to add cybersecurity programs, and credentialing bodies are developing certificates and credentials for those already in the workforce but perhaps lacking the proper skills and training. The ACM Education Policy Committee and the ACM Education Council have both entered into discussions about cybersecurity education. The Committee for Computing Education in Community Colleges (CCECC) of the ACM Education Board has done quite a bit of work on cybersecurity education at the community college level. But, where is cybersecurity education in K-12?

Once again I had the pleasure of representing CSTA at a great K-12 education conference. This conference was the National K-12 Cybersecurity Education Conference held in Linthicum, Maryland (near Baltimore). Tammy Pirmann (CSTA School District Representative) and I both presented sessions about CSTA and cybersecurity education. Tammy’s panel discussion focused on curriculum and programs of study while my panel discussion and break-out session focused on standards. The conference had a great mix of K-12 educators, post-secondary educators, state-level educators, industry and governmental organization representatives, and curriculum developers.

There are some really awesome cybersecurity initiatives taking place in K-12 classrooms. I was able to participate in three hour workshop about the Baltimore County CyberSTEM program in which elementary school students engage in hands-on activities and learn about the field of cybersecurity. They learn to apply basic security concepts through gaming, modeling and simulation, robotics, digital forensics, cryptography, system vulnerabilities and cyberethics, safety and security, while investigating exciting careers that interconnect the fields of science, math, technology and computer security.

The sessions about the standards pointed out that there is much common ground among the organizations working in the computer science, engineering, and technology education space. It was good to have an open dialog and to be reminded that we can all work together to become stronger—and to promote cybersecurity education through our various groups. Even very young (Pre-K) children need to learn the basics of cyber safety—most of them use some sort of device before they ever enter a formal classroom. There was much discussion about standards and where cybersecurity education standards would logically fit. The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is working with the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation to lead the Formal Cybersecurity Education Component.  Their mission is to bolster formal cybersecurity education programs encompassing kindergarten through 12th grade, higher education and vocational programs, with a focus on the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines to provide a pipeline of skilled workers for the private sector and government. They have a great interactive Cybereducation map that highlights schools, teachers, companies and agencies that support Cyber Education in the United States.

The good news for K-12 CS educators is that there are many great resources to assist you in the classroom as well as opportunities for you and your students. The National CyberWatch Center K-12 Program extends the National CyberWatch Center mission of advancing cybersecurity education by leading collaborative efforts and strengthening the national cybersecurity workforce to the K-12 community. Check out their fantastic summer programs for students (camps) and PD opportunities for teachers. Perhaps you attended a program last summer—we learned about them at the 2015 CSTA Annual Conference! (They also have curriculum resources for teachers.)

So, when you are ready to implement cybersecurity education in your K-12 CS classroom, the resources are there. You will be able to find curriculum resources, PD for yourself, speakers for your students, summer camps for your students, career opportunity resources, and much more. You might even plan on attending the next National K-12 Cybersecurity Education Conference. Cybersecurity is everywhere, and it should be in your classroom.

Deborah Seehorn
CSTA Board of Directors Past Chair

Website Links:

National K-12 Cybersecurity Education Conference http://www.edtechpolicy.org/C32015/index.html

CyberSTEM Program
http://cyberstemacademy.com/

National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) http://csrc.nist.gov/nice/education.html

Interactive Cybereducation Map
http://www.cybereducationmap.org/map.

National CyberWatch Center K-12 Program http://www.nationalcyberwatch.org/programs-resources/

CSTA Annual Conference http://csta.acm.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/sub/CSTAConference.html

The CSTA Curriculum Committee

The primary purpose of the CSTA Curriculum Committee is to provide K-12 computer science teachers with access to high quality, standards-based curriculum resources. The committee has vetted several crosswalks that have been submitted by curriculum providers with the CSTA K-12 CS Standards. The crosswalks that have been vetted by the committee include those submitted by Linux, Oracle, Google, Tech Corps, and Mobile Makers iOS. With approval by the curriculum provider, vetted crosswalks to the standards are posted on the CSTA website.

A major publication for the CSTA Curriculum Committee is the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards, released in 2011 and available on the CSTA website. The purpose of the standards is to delineate a core set of learning standards designed to provide the foundation for a complete computer science curriculum and its implementation at the K–12 level. The standards allow the Curriculum Committee to support our CSTA members by informing them of quality standards-based curriculum resources. To better support and assist CS educators, the CSTA K-12 Standards have been cross-walked to these national standards: Common Core State Standards, Common Core Mathematical Practice Standards, STEM Career Cluster Topics, and the Partnership for the 21st Century Essential Skills Standards. The CSTA K-12 CS Standards are also available on the CSTA website en español.

A major undertaking for the CSTA Curriculum Committee during 2015-2016 is the revision of the K-12 CS Standards. The process began last week with a request for input from educators and other stakeholders about the standards. Read the blog post from earlier this month.

The current members of the CSTA Curriculum Committee are:

Laura Blankenship, The Baldwin School, lblanken@gmail.com
Debbie Carter, CSTA Board Member Emeritus, dpcarterpa@verizon.net
Fred Martin, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, fredm@cs.uml.edu
Tammy Pirmann, School District of Springfield Township, PA, tpirmann@gmail.com
Deborah Seehorn, CSTA Past Chair, deborah.seehorn@outlook.com
Lissa Clayborn, CSTA Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operations Officer, l.clayborn@csta-hq.org

Frequently, the Curriculum Committee collaborates with other CSTA committees on projects of interest to both committees. Occasionally, the committee solicits assistance from experts with a particular area of computing curriculum expertise. We welcome your comments and suggestions on ways the CSTA Curriculum Committee can better meet the needs of our CSTA members.

Deborah Seehorn; CSTA Curriculum Committee Chair

Website Links:

Completed Curriculum Crosswalks: http://csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/CompletedCrosswalks.html

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards: http://csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/K12Standards.html

CSTA Advocate Blog: http://blog.csta.acm.org/

CSTA K-12 CS Standards: We want your input!

On December 1, 2011, the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards were released. These standards have been instrumental in assisting many schools, school systems, and states in implementing and promoting computer science education in the K-12 classroom. Nearly four years have passed since the 2011 CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards were released. CSTA is ready to take a thorough look at the standards to see how they can be updated and/or improved.

We realize that many CS educators are quite eager to work on revising the CSTA K-12 CS Standards. Unfortunately, the CSTA K-12 Standards Revision Task Force must be limited to a small representative working group of CS educators. However, we are seeking input from all educators who have used the standards and/or who have worked with them. This will provide us with informed input to guide our revision process. The more useful the input we receive, the higher quality standards will emerge from the 2015-2016 revision process. Effective K-12 CS standards will greatly benefit the expansion of K-12 computer science education.

Please take a moment to provide the CSTA Standards Revision Task Force with descriptive input that will assist us in making educated decisions about the standards. You will have the opportunity to comment about the five strands (Computational Thinking; Collaboration; Computing Practice and Programming; Computers and Communications Devices; and Community, Global, and Ethical Impacts). Are these the five essential strands or have we neglected to include a strand? You will also have the opportunity to give us detailed input on individual standards in each of the grade levels (Level 1, Grades K-6; Level 2, Grades 6-9, and Level 3, Grades 9-12).

The CSTA K-12 Standards Revision Task Force will include CS educator representatives from each of the grade levels, community college CS faculty, university CS faculty, and state representatives who have worked with K-12 CS education. The task force will analyze the input that received from the computer science practitioners prior to beginning the revision of the standards.  Our goal is to release the revised standards at the 2016 CSTA Annual Conference.

We want your input. We need your assistance.  Please complete the CSTA K-12 CS Standards Revision input form at http://bit.ly/1ND9xaM.  The input on the standards will be accepted until October 15, 2015.

Thank you for your time, expertise, and enthusiasm in supporting K-12 CS education!

Deborah Seehorn
CSTA Board of Directors Past Chair
CSTA K-12 CS Standards Revision Task Force Co-Chair

Tammy Pirmann
CSTA Board of Directors District Representative
CSTA K-12 CS Standards Revision Task Force Co-Chair

RESPECT for Diversity (in Computing)

Last week I had the honor and pleasure of attending the 10th annual STARS Celebration collocated with the first annual RESPECT Celebration in Charlotte, NC. STARS Computing Corps is a community of practice for student-led regional engagement as a means to broaden participation in computing.  RESPECT is the acronym for Research on Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology.

The celebrations highlighted the widespread and diverse efforts to broaden participation in computing (BPC). NSF was a proud sponsor of the celebrations along with Google, IT-ology, Duke Energy, Bank of America, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina, UNC-Charlotte, and others. In addition to the many rising “stars” in computing education from the colleges and universities as well as high schools, the attendees included many well-known computer science educators. The sessions for the RESPECT attendees included engaging presentations of research on diversity in computing, a panel discussion on why we can and should keep diversity in focus during the college/university surge in CS enrollment, and lightning talks. Friday evening’s highlight was a STARS and RESPECT reception at Discovery Place—featuring food and fun with interactive science exhibits in addition to the RESPECT poster session.

The STARS attendees had ample choices among sessions addressing mentoring, professional preparation for students, outreach, and sessions of interest to faculty members. The STARS participants also participated in a Career Fair sponsored by IT-ology and a parallel STARS poster competition. The Saturday sessions for STARS participants focused on topics in mentoring, professional, outreach, grad school, sustainability and a track for faculty as well as a track for high school students and teachers. Several CSTA members were in attendance on Saturday and brought their students with them to participate.

The opening keynote address was delivered by Richard Ladner, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, who presented a fascinating discussion about accessibility in computing education (you may have met Richard at the CSTA Annual Conference in Dallas). Richard is the PI for the NSF-funded AccessComputing Alliance dedicated to increasing participation of students with disabilities in computing fields. He is also a PI for the NSF-funded AccessCS10K, which has a goal of preparing K-12 teachers to be more inclusive in their computing courses, particularly ECS and CSP, of students with disabilities.

The Friday lunch featured a BPC Fireside Chat presented by representatives from Special Technical Community on Broadening Participation (STCBP), Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W), CDC, the Computing Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI), the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance, AccessComputing, Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in Information Technology (CMD-IT), STARS, the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), and the Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (IAAMCS). The presenters represented the multitude of organizations devoted to broadening participation in computer science and the collaborative relationship among the organizations. Conference participants were given an overview of each organization and the resources that each organization provides to broaden participation.

The keynote on Saturday was presented by Teresa Dahlberg, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University. Teresa was co-founder of the STARS Computing Corps and presented a brief history of the organization.

This was a great conference for me. In addition to thoroughly enjoyable and interesting presentations, the conference served to bring broadening participation in computing back to the forefront—though it has never been far from it. This is a critical focus for computing for many reasons. Working together, we can accomplish the BPC goal. As you begin another academic year, take some time to reflect on how you are broadening participation of women and underrepresented minorities as well as those with disabilities, in your computing program. If you are a K-12 educator, have you considered partnering with a STARS member at a local university? Have you attended Tapestry Workshops? Have you taken time to visit the websites of the groups mentioned in this blog post to see what resources may be available to you? If you are a college or university educator, have you considered adopting the STARS Leadership Corps model for service learning? Have you joined the STARS Online Community? In short, what are you doing to actively promote broadening participation in your computing program? This post provides you with ample resources to do just that.

Deborah Seehorn, CSTA Board of Directors Past Chair

Websites:

http://www.starscomputingcorps.org/

http://respect2015.stcbp.org/

https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503593

http://www.discoveryplace.org/

http://www.washington.edu/accesscomputing/home/accesscomputing-homepage

http://www.washington.edu/accesscomputing/accesscs10k

http://stcbp.org/

http://cra.org/cra-w/

http://cahsi.cs.utep.edu/

http://expandingcomputing.cs.umass.edu/

http://www.cmd-it.org/

https://www.ncwit.org/

http://www.iaamcs.org/

A quick clarification on the proposed bylaws change

2015 CSTA Board of Directors Election and Vote on Proposed By Laws Change

Clarifying a confusing proposed change in an essential area

Today is April 2, the start of the CSTA Board of Directors Election. I hope you have received your information about participating in the election. There are three vacant board positions, K–8 Representative, 9–12 Representative, and At-Large Representative. You may find further information about the candidates here. You may also read blog posts by the candidates in the CSTA Advocate Blog.

We have had some questions and comments about the proposed By Laws change to Article V, Section 4. There is some concern that CSTA is no longer going to work with standards, and that is absolutely not true. Below is the proposed change to the by Law and the existing language in the by law.

PROPOSED BYLAW CHANGE

Article V: Election of Officers

Section 4: Committees

Proposed language (with proposed changes highlighted in italicized bold text):

There are several committees that are essential to the operations of the organization. These committees address the following categories—Teacher Certification, Curriculum, Executive, Equity, Funding Development, Governance, International, Membership, Nominations and Elections, Professional Development and Research—and are permanent standing committees of CSTA.

Existing language:

There are several committees that are essential to the operations of the organization. These committees—Certification & Standards, Curriculum, Executive, Equity, Funding Development, Governance, International, Membership, Nominations and Elections, Professional Development and Research—are permanent standing committees of CSTA.

One can easily see that the proposed name for the committee that is currently named “Certification & Standards” is “Teacher Certification.” The justification for making this change is given below.

Language is fluid, and specialized language in a particular field even more so. Ten years ago it made sense to call a committee concerned with the academic preparation of computer science teachers “Teacher Certification & Standards ,” in the intervening decade CSTA has worked on and published standards for K-12 students, thereby making the name of two committees confusing. By changing the wording of this section to indicate that there will be standing committees addressing each category, without dictating the name of the actual committee, we are granting flexibility to future boards with regards to communication.

CSTA will most assuredly continue to address both standards for teacher certification and educational standards for student learning. The CSTA Teacher Certification Committee will address the teaching standards for teacher certification. The CSTA Curriculum Committee will address the educational learning standards for students. Standards for teacher certification and educational standards for students are both critical to the growth and vitality of the computer science education community. CSTA will continue to address both.

Happy voting!

Deborah Seehorn
Chair, CSTA Board of Directors
On behalf of the Elections and Nominations Committee

On Our Way with CS Education Today

For various reasons I shall not discuss, this Advocate Blog post has been a very long time coming. And, of course, I have changed the topic of the post since my first thoughts of it. It is all good, however.

It would be pretty much impossible for one to miss all the press (mostly good and positive) surrounding computer science, specifically computer science education. Perhaps the interest in that press was sparked during CS Education week, the Hour of Code, the CS Day at the White House, or President Obama urging students, “Don’t just play games on your phone; program it!” Or perhaps it was the relentless diligence and hard work of many of our CSTA members advocating to “Make CS Count” in their own states. In any case, the press is bringing a great deal of attention to CS education and then naturally to CSTA. And this is a good thing.

In my role as CSTA Board Chair, I have been contacted by several reporters recently for a phone interview for an article they are writing about CS education. It is pure delight to talk with the reporters and help enlighten them about CS education. One of my favorite reporter questions was about the one thing that would really help to promote K-12 CS education in the United States. Really? Just ONE thing? Would that it were so simple! With the help of CSTA and our wonderful sponsors, supporters, and partners, we would have the K-12 CS education dilemma all resolved immediately! We need teachers, who need CS licensure/certification, oh and CS pedagogy courses to help them learn how to teach CS. We need standards-based rigorous curriculum for our K-12 students. We need for CS to Count—preferably as a math or science credit towards high school graduation. We need administrators, school boards, legislators, and parents who understand the critical need to teach computer science in the K-12 space. We need time in the school day/schedule for another course offering (that rigorous CS course). We need computer equipment and other technology resources for the classrooms. And I have probably omitted some critical need, but you get the gist of the needs we have for K-12 computer science education.

The very good news is that we are making progress. We are not there yet, but we know where we are going, and we are on our way. We know that the CS community has to work together to solve this seemingly insurmountable task. And we are doing just that. Our good friends and supporters (far too many to mention—but you know who they are) are working to provide standards-based curriculum for teachers. Several states are working with CSTA members and other CS advocates to create a path to licensure/certification if one does not already exist. Some of those same CSTA members and CS advocates are working state by state to make CS count in each state. CSTA members advocate on an almost daily basis to enlighten administrators, school boards, legislators, and parents about the crucial need for computer science education in the K-12 classroom. And administrators are collaborating with teachers to find room in the school day/schedule to offer CS courses or integrate CS into existing courses. We are not there yet, but we are on our way.

I am so heartened to read news stories about how students are using computer science in the K-12 classroom—and what awesome projects they have developed, or what pressing problems they have solved. I am thrilled to read about all the support that business and industry friends are affording our K-12 CS educators. And, I was particularly encouraged by the caliber of applicants we had for the three open CSTA board positions. We had an incredibly talented and highly qualified pool of applicants—so many that selecting the top two candidates was a definite challenge for the CSTA Elections Committee. What a good challenge to have!

We are not there yet, but we are well on our way, and we are keeping up our momentum! It is all good.

Deborah Seehorn, CSTA Board of Directors Chair

The CSTA Curriculum Committee

The primary purpose of the CSTA Curriculum Committee is to provide K-12 computer science teachers with access to high quality, standards-based curriculum resources. During the past year, the committee has been busy vetting crosswalks to the CSTA K-12 CS Standards that have been submitted by curriculum providers. The crosswalks that have been vetted by the committee include those submitted by Linux, Oracle, Google, Tech Corps, and Mobile Makers iOS. Vetted crosswalks to the standards are posted on the CSTA website http://csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/K12Standards.html upon approval by the curriculum provider.

A major publication for the CSTA Curriculum Committee is the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards, released in 2011 and available at the above webpage. The purpose of the standards was to delineate a core set of learning standards designed to provide the foundation for a complete computer science curriculum and its implementation at the K–12 level. The standards allow the Curriculum Committee to support our CSTA members by informing them of quality standards-based curriculum resources. To better support and assist CS educators, the CSTA K-12 Standards have been crosswalked to these national standards: Common Core State Standards, Common Core Mathematical Practice Standards, STEM Career Cluster Topics, and the Partnership for the 21st Century Essential Skills Standards. The CSTA K-12 CS Standards are also available on the CSTA website en Español.

The current members of the CSTA Curriculum Committee are:

Laura Blankenship, The Baldwin School, lblanken@gmail.com

Debbie Carter, CSTA Board Member Emeritus, dpcarterpa@verizon.net

Fred Martin, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, fredm@cs.uml.edu

Tammy Pirmann, School District of Springfield Township, PA, tpirmann@gmail.com

Deborah Seehorn, NC Department of Public Instruction, deborah.seehorn@dpi.nc.gov

Lissa Clayborn, Acting CSTA Executive Director, l.clayborn@csta-hq.org

Frequently the Curriculum Committee collaborates with other CSTA committees on projects of interest to both committees. Occasionally, the committee solicits assistance from experts with a particular area of computing curriculum expertise. We welcome your comments and suggestions on ways the CSTA Curriculum Committee can better meet the needs of our CSTA members.

Deborah Seehorn, CSTA Curriculum Committee Chair

Have you been to the Summit?

One of the very most enjoyable parts of my position as Chair of the CSTA Board of Directors is attending the many functions to which I am invited to bring greetings. One such function was the National Computer Science Principles Education Summit, which was held on Wednesday, July 16, 2014; after the CSTA Annual Conference and before the CSTA board meeting. The summit was graciously sponsored by Google (and prominently powered by Google as well).

The purpose of the summit was to increase awareness, broaden understanding, and create capacity for the wide-scale adoption and on-going support of the pre-AP Computer Science Principles course. The summit was absolutely awesome. The summit had two session strands: one for administrators and one for teachers. Fifteen speakers presented different topics throughout the summit. Plenary sessions were given by Rebecca Dovi and Rich Kick and Owen Astrachan and Fran Trees. Breakout sessions for teachers and administrators included Understanding Computer Science Principles (CSP) and Resources for Teaching CSP presented by Jeff Gray, Kelly Powers, Rebecca Dovi, Barb Ericson, and Lien Diaz. An entertaining and informative flash talk session provided information about assessment, creativity, policy, and collaboration from Fran Trees, Carol Yarbrough, Andy Kuemmel, and Rich Kick.

Another highlight involved a session presented by Emmanuel Schanzer and Rebecca Dovi during which the participants divided into groups and developed and presented their action plans for implementing CSP in their schools. The summit concluded with inspiring testimonials from various attendees.

Funding limited the number of attendees to 60. There were many more applicants than session slots, so CSTA had a rigorous application process. Preference was given to teams of administrators and CS educators. On the actual day of the summit, thirty percent of attendees were administrators. Google provided support (including the technology and human capital) to share the summit proceedings with more than 300 virtual attendees—in real time.

This was a tremendous undertaking and involved the dedicated participation of many volunteers in addition to the Google professionals. Not only was the information shared during the summit interesting and informative, it was incredible to watch the intense coordination of the many volunteers who were able to actively involve the virtual participants in the summit through the use of technology and teamwork. Kudos and thanks to all volunteers! The CSP Summit was so successful, CSTA hopes to duplicate another in-conjunction event and invite virtual participation in the future.

If you were not able to attend the CS Principles Summit, you may view the summit agenda on the CS Principles Google site. At the site, you may view videos of many of the summit sessions. Further information about the CS Principles course can be found at the CSP website.

The CS Principles Summit was truly the pinnacle of teacher professional development in the 21st century. If you have not been to the summit, I invite you to visit the cited sources. I have been to the summit—thanks to Google and CSTA.

Websites and Web Resources cited:
http://lp.collegeboard.org/ap-computer-science-principles
http://apcsprinciples.org/
https://sites.google.com/a/csta-hq.org/csps/agenda

Deborah Seehorn CSTA State Department Representative, Board Chair
Curriculum Committee Chair