1. Rafi Santo
  2. Research Associate
  3. Building Multi-level Alignment in Local Computer Science for All Implementations for Sustainability
  4. https://www.csforall.org/projects_and_programs/cs-visions-rpp/
  5. CSforALL
  1. June Ahn
  2. https://ahnjune.com/
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Building Multi-level Alignment in Local Computer Science for All Implementations for Sustainability
  5. https://www.csforall.org/projects_and_programs/cs-visions-rpp/
  6. UC Irvine
  1. Leigh DeLyser
  2. http://www.csforall.org
  3. Managing Partner
  4. Building Multi-level Alignment in Local Computer Science for All Implementations for Sustainability
  5. https://www.csforall.org/projects_and_programs/cs-visions-rpp/
  6. CSforALL
  1. Juan Sarmiento
  2. https://sparcha.wordpress.com/
  3. Research Assistant
  4. Building Multi-level Alignment in Local Computer Science for All Implementations for Sustainability
  5. https://www.csforall.org/projects_and_programs/cs-visions-rpp/
  6. New York University, CSforALL, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Joseph Kern

    Joseph Kern

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 12:43 a.m.

    My state (KS) just adopted new CS standards and is setting up a task force to help districts and teachers understand how they should be implemented.  Of our 309 school districts, 293 are considered rural, so we have some unique challenges in helping teachers at small school overcome their isolation.  Our project (Agricultural Applications of Computer Science) is investigating how to introduce CS to schools through a bottom-up approach by focusing on interested teachers who know nothing about CS but see its potential impact in science, agriculture, or other areas.  For our pilot schools who have started turning our little intervention into a bigger CS program, your 3 insights will help create a better top-down strategy that their administrators and community members can get behind, to create a more successful, less ad-hoc program.  Very interested to see what sort of toolkit becomes available from your project.

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  • Icon for: Leigh DeLyser

    Leigh DeLyser

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 10:09 a.m.

    Thanks for the comment Joseph!   You can check out the toolkit that CSforALL uses with school districts at www.csforall.org/script - We've worked with over 200 districts across the country so far and you can reach out to the CSforALL team if you have questions about bringing SCRIPT to your area.

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    Abby Funabiki
    Todd Lash
  • Icon for: Sara Vogel

    Sara Vogel

    Graduate Student
    May 13, 2019 | 11:07 a.m.

    I love this project (not surprisingly!) An aspect of your video that was particularly powerful was how the rep from TST Boces could so quickly and confidently share the rationale his district prioritizes for CS education. That shows real careful thought which will no doubt bring clarity and purpose to their initiatives. 

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    Todd Lash
    Leigh DeLyser
  • Icon for: Mac Cannady

    Mac Cannady

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 12:22 a.m.

    Such great work lead by an incredible team. 

    I wonder if you could say a little about what makes district change for CS different or more complex than other changes that districts might be attempting to do. What are the specific challenges faced in this content area and what strategies are particularly important to attend to in implementing computer science in a district? 

    Thanks for sharing this video!

     
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  • Icon for: Rafi Santo

    Rafi Santo

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 10:21 a.m.

    Ditto to what Leigh Ann said.

    A couple of other things that we're noticing:

    - Compared to other efforts around disciplinary improvement around, say, Math, Reading or Science, in CS there's often no existing instructional system (or even, instruction) in place. I.e., no curriculum, assessments, PD efforts, regular teacher collaborative time, coaching, etc. More than that, there's pretty much never a local definition of 'what counts' as 'computer science'. So district leadership teams need to do a whole lot of work to think together about what they want to accomplish in terms of learning goals and pedagogy, and then building out from there.

    - We're seeing really particular issues around buy-in on the part of teachers, a lot of which have to do with the fact that at the K-8 level many efforts focus on CS integration, with not as much 'stand-alone' CS. This means showing teachers in all disciplinary areas ways that CS or CT can be relevant to what they're teaching. This might be easier with math or science teachers where there are lots of obvious overlaps, but less so in other disciplines. This isn't to say that there aren't buy-in challenges when a district wants to take a new approach to, say, math instruction, but the nature and scope of the buy-in challenges differ.

     
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  • May 14, 2019 | 09:49 p.m.

    Really cool project! I'd love to hear more about incentivization for schools and school leadership to support allotting more time to PD, teacher collaborative time, and coaching. I've been evaluating a project that tries to support content area teachers in engaging with multilingual learners, and some of the challenges that program has faced have centered around building in institutional supports for valuing the work that teachers are doing within their schools and between schools in their district.

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  • Icon for: Leigh DeLyser

    Leigh DeLyser

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 08:32 a.m.

    Good morning Mac!

     

    There are two significant challenges with CS education, although one presents an exciting opportunity. 

    First, CS is a subject that few teachers or administrators experienced during their academic years. Although a teacher or administrator may not have majored in mathematics, they did encounter it multiple times during their school years, and therefore have a mental model of what math is and what it looks like as a basic subject. 

    Second, there is a persistent deficit narrative - "there is not enough, or no CS". Although the deficit narrative can drive a sense of urgency, it is dis-empowering for school and district leaders who feel they lack the relevant knowledge (see first reason) and don't have any local expertise to draw from.

    There is an opportunity here though. District leaders, school leaders, and teachers have a wealth of professional experience about schools, children, and the communities where they serve. Combined with the lack of "we've always done it this way", we have the opportunity to create CS education that represents the best of what we want for students and create not just isolated experiences for students that are disconnected, but coherent sequences that spiral and build confidence and content knowledge in kids.

     
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  • Icon for: Joseph Kern

    Joseph Kern

    Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 09:35 a.m.

    In doing some dissemination on our project I've noticed that some schools responded positively to the nearly total lack of knowledge of CS on the part of admins and teachers.  These are schools that are looking for ways to revamp their STEM programs and develop more inquiry-based and PBL courses, which are built around a growth mindset.  These are educators who like the idea of having all of the school stakeholders diving into the unknown together and learning as a team.  It's all about opportunity, and it sometimes is easier when you look around and notice that none of the other school know what they're doing either (just like when NGSS and MTSS were new).  They just need that foot in the door from programs like this, that guide them through the process.

     
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  • Icon for: Rafi Santo

    Rafi Santo

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 10:30 a.m.

    Totally! I think there are really wonderful opportunities and openings for distributed leadership and collective learning in an area like CS because the playing field is a bit more level from the start. And passionate teachers that have been doing the work already can really be elevated as instructional leaders to help others in a planning group.

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  • Icon for: Susan McKenney

    Susan McKenney

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 09:40 a.m.

    This is lovely - thanks for sharing your work! Could you also describe any experiences that have given rise to new/powerful approaches to getting CS expertise into schools? Specifically, we are looking for good examples of initiatives that encourage enrolment in CS teacher preparation, or initiatives that bring sufficient CS expertise to science or math teachers so that they can teach CS.

    Thanks for thinking along! 
    Susan

     
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  • Icon for: Rafi Santo

    Rafi Santo

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 10:28 a.m.

    We're seeing lots of different approaches on developing CS expertise, most of which I think track fairly well in their form with what we see in other disciplinary areas, the challenges are more how they're configured and rolled out in relation to one another.

    As an example, one district we're working with had their core CS leadership team (made up of admin, building leaders, teachers) worked with a consultant over the course of about four months to study and make sense of the K12 CS framework and other standards/guidance documents, and during this period, did a lot of deliberation about what kinds of valued learning goals they had around CS/CT. This was really critical upskilling of those doing the core planning work that could then support strategy development, including their approach to instruction, and thus, PD. The group then identified an external PD provider that aligned with the instructional vision they'd developed, and started to bring them in to work with cohorts of teachers in pull-out PDs, with follow-on happening through principals making efforts to weave the ideas around integrating CT in their teacher observations.

    We also see things like utilization of content coaches who do lesson modeling for teachers, and support for lesson development during summers.

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    Susan McKenney
  • May 14, 2019 | 12:42 p.m.

    This video addresses such an important an usually overlooked approach to CS for All--changing systems and building networks. Thank you!  Can you share any strategies you are using to measure "systems change?"

     
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    Leigh DeLyser
  • Icon for: Carol Fletcher

    Carol Fletcher

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 16, 2019 | 07:29 p.m.

    The systems change lens is vital to understanding how we will scale CSforAll - thanks for taking the lead on this!

     
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  • Icon for: Rafi Santo

    Rafi Santo

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 12:07 p.m.

    Thanks Carol!

    Jill, to your question on measuring systems change, there's lots of different things that measurement can focus on here, depending on your purposes (research measures and improvement/formative measures of course being different).

    One approach we use is having district teams do self-assessments together during our workshops using the SCRIPT Rubric, which has them rate themselves in terms how they're doing in areas like leadership, materials and curriculum, professional learning, partnerships, etc. I think of this measurement mostly as a support for planning and decision-making, rather than necessarily being about showing evidence externally. As teams self-assess, it prompts reflections on where they're at, sharing of information across the team about things not everyone may know about, and reminders to consider decision-making in certain areas that may otherwise get lost in the shuffle.

    Beyond that, we've used district-wide surveys of those involved in CS instruction, where we ask about all sorts of things related to the instructional system overall - nature of CS learning opportunities at different grade levels, whether there are processes for planning/deliberation, presence of teams and collaborative time for teachers, presence and awareness around an instructional vision for CS, faculty buy-in around importance of CS, etc. Happy to share if it's useful!

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  • Icon for: Pei-Ling Hsu

    Pei-Ling Hsu

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2019 | 01:54 a.m.

    These three insights are very informative! Would you please elaborate more on the third insight-instructional visions? What are some examples of these visions?

     
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  • Icon for: Stephanie Wortel-London

    Stephanie Wortel-London

    Researcher
    May 15, 2019 | 09:01 a.m.

    Hi Pei-Ling! In terms of Instructional Visions, there are so many areas educators and their districts can have around "Why to teach CS", from personal joy and agency, to competencies and literacies, to civics, to workforce development. There are even more diverse viewpoint regardling what we are talking about when we talk about CS--which kinds of concepts and skill sets "count". As you might imagine, depending on what the educator's and district's answers are for these two questions, instructional strategies would look very different! Do you design a community engagement project leveraging CS and CT? Or do you design a creative poetry unit around these competencies? Or do you design a career exploration hackathon?

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  • Icon for: K. Renae Pullen

    K. Renae Pullen

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 09:33 a.m.

    Thanks so much for sharing your 3 insights. Very practical and helpful. As many districts continue to think about how to build quality CS learning opportunities within a system, many polices (e.g. time to teach CS) and procedures inhibit this from happening in K-12 classrooms. How do you approach these barriers within a system?

     
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  • Icon for: Rafi Santo

    Rafi Santo

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 11:54 a.m.

    I think goes back to the second recommendation we make in the video, related to building a cross-district, cross-level team that's committed to figuring out all of these challenges together. Ideally a group includes people that are in positions where they can advocate (or even better, have some control) over various levers, like scheduling, professional development, development of new courses, and credit policies. While having the right folks at the table doesn't eliminate challenges, it does create the conditions for creative problem solving around them using a systems perspective.

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  • May 19, 2019 | 10:23 p.m.

    Very inspiring video and much needed work.  Without playing favorites, can you recommend any districts that are doing an excellent job of leading this charge and implementing innovative CS programing in the class room or in after school programs? 

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