I believe the future of Computer Science education is bright. This bright future, however, requires leaders with vision and a continued focus on equity and advocacy. I have been fortunate to work with, and learn from, individuals with such leadership qualities. I remember attending a CSTA K-12 Equity Workshop in 2010 where the need for equity, not equality, was explained to me. I left that training believing that we, the CS community, can change education. A belief that has continued to guide my work. CS has continued to promote the discussion of equity and inclusion in the K-12 classroom, so much so that political leaders are beginning to see CS education as a means to close achievement gaps and address inequities in our society. I would like to congratulate all the states and organizations that are leading the charge to bring CS to all students, through their commitments of time, effort and money.
CS education has been influential in many ways. CS has enhanced the introduction of new strategies and tools for engaging students in learning and empowering teachers to teach a diverse group of students. I look at today’s teacher dashboards and the ways we monitor student learning in the CS classroom. Progress such as this causes me to continue to dream of the bright future ahead. I can very easily manage a diverse group of students in my classroom, where students are working on different activities, because of the resources curriculum providers have made available to us. CS had led to the empowering of teachers and teachers further embrace the concept of lifelong learning. Designations such as Master Teacher, Lead Learner, etc. are now common in our community. Additionally, students now explore CS at their leisure via online resources. We are evolving to a place where both teachers and students feel empowered, and I believe there will be future structures that encourage both through either a redefinition of the teacher or different modes of online resources. New models of professional development and skills assessment could also be used to provide teachers more ways to facilitate learning.
I dare to dream of a future where models of student learning and teacher PD developed in the CS classroom affect teaching and learning in all subject areas. Such models of PD would allow teachers to continue to grow, break barriers and be able to meet the needs of a diverse student body. I dare to dream of school administrators embracing CS, supporting teachers in their development, and using the positive experiences in the CS classroom to affect school culture. To the administrators who are already living this, the CS community thanks you.
In summary, I dare to dream of the boundless progress of CS education. I dare to dream of a future where all students are taught CS. I dare to dream of a future where teacher PD is on demand and easily accessible. I dare to dream of a future where administrators are active contributors to the success of CS education. I dare to dream of a future where the educational system is transformed to benefit all people irrespective of their race, nationality, or area of residence. This future is possible with advances in CS and all the efforts to address the digital divide. Computer Science has the potential to transform all classrooms, students’ experiences, what it means to be a teacher or administrator, and has the ability to transform education and society as we know it. The progress of the last ten years allows me to dream of a future where all students can realize their full potential. If the CS community continues to elevate ideas of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access, I see a future where this dream can materialize. #CSFORALL #DareToDream.
Chinma Uche 9-12 Representative