1. Jill Denner
  2. https://www.etr.org/about-us/our-staff/jill-denner/
  3. Senior Research Scientist
  4. Next Door to Silicon Valley: A Researcher-Practitioner Partnership to Address Disparities in Access and Expectations for Computer Science Education
  5. ETR Associates
  1. John Pearce
  2. Executive Director
  3. Next Door to Silicon Valley: A Researcher-Practitioner Partnership to Address Disparities in Access and Expectations for Computer Science Education
  4. FamilyCodeNight.org
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Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Jill Denner

    Jill Denner

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 05:20 p.m.

    We are excited to share our video that shows participants and organizers of the first-ever Spanish Family Code Nights. While our partner organization (familycodenight.org) has been doing these events all across the US, we were honored to adapt the approach to better serve Spanish-speaking families. We hope that this video can lead others to offer these fun one-hour events at their schools, and use them to catalyze a family-engagement movement to achieve Computer Science for All.  

     
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    TRACY WRIGHT
    Shuchi Grover
    Marcia Quackenbush
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    Deanna Clarke

    K-12 Administrator
    May 15, 2019 | 01:46 p.m.

    HI,

     The video was outstanding. Where can we go to learn more about starting this at our District.

     

     
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    Carol Fletcher
  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 02:37 p.m.

    You can reach us at info@FamilyCodeNight.org, and visit our website to download the Event Kit for the program.  We will be updating the Spanish language resources soon! 

  • Icon for: MARY SPRAGGS

    MARY SPRAGGS

    Graduate Student
    May 12, 2019 | 05:22 p.m.

    I love seeing STEM events that involve family! What a great way to engage the entire family, make students happy, and give family members an appreciation of the complexity of computers.

     
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    Rebecca Zarch
    Jill Denner
  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 12:47 p.m.

    Mary, your response underscores exactly what launched this as a national effort in the first place: at our own child's elementary school, hosting that first evening Family Code Night, and seeing the unique, loving, and inspiring experience taking place in every parent-child pair in the room!

  • Icon for: William Spitzer

    William Spitzer

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 10:14 a.m.

    It was so great to hear the diverse mix of student, teacher and parent voices in this video, and I really appreciated the bilingual nature of the video. The "tamales" were a great example of how to make a technical subject accessible, and it was great to hear about the family coding nights as a community asset-based approach.

    I was curious to learn more about how you are evaluating the impact of this program on families and schools. The video alludes to creating a movement and increasing demand for computer learning in the schools, and it was wonderful to hear about the lessons learned and the toolkit you have available to help others implement the program. It would be great to hear more about how you are promoting and tracking these broader impacts.

  • Icon for: Jill Denner

    Jill Denner

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 12:36 p.m.

    Good question about evaluation. We are seeking funding to do a study of the conditions under which Family Code Nights lead to changes in parent, teacher and child knowledge and interest in computer science, as well as to more opportunities for children and families to learn to code. What we have observed from the 3 Spanish Nights was that it did increase interest and confidence, and led parents to ask for more events. 

  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 12:53 p.m.

    Hi William, and thank you for your comments and question.  Probably the most significant Family Code Night evaluation result came from our very first "Night":  First, children and parents expressed their interest "with their feet," with 140 turning out with two weeks notice in our 300 student elementary school--and having a wonderful evening.  And second, when we surveyed attendees, literally 100% of respondents asked for follow-up programs.  This response -- delight and fresh demand for learning coding and computer science -- is what got us focused on helping schools across the country host this event, to build demand and understanding from the grass-roots of each school community.  Re: promotion and tracking, we've built a new model for statewide promotion and proliferation of Family Code Nights in North Carolina, and recruit and recognize participating schools via an community-engaging program map, all at www.NCNights.org. Happy to hear added input or inquiries at www.FamilyCodeNight.org.  -jp

     
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    Sara Vogel
  • Icon for: Jeannie Whitlock

    Jeannie Whitlock

    i3 STEM Lead Instructional Coach
    May 13, 2019 | 01:23 p.m.

    What a great turnout!!! I am curious to know what types of advertising strategies did you use to get parents there.

  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 02:22 p.m.

    Thanks Jeannie.  We suggest direct invitations to all school families via multiple media:  that is, send a few emails, send home a flyer, use school robo-call or texting systems, include in the school enewsletter -- you know, the usual suspects for family communication!  Our Event Kit has easily customizable flyers, posters and emails you can use.  You can get the Event Kit at www.FamilyCodeNight.org.

     

  • Icon for: Jill Denner

    Jill Denner

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 10:03 a.m.

    Jeannie--at the Spanish Family Code Nights we asked parents how they heard about the event. Most (48%) said that they heard about it through a flyer in their child's school folder, although school email and text were also common. But I agree with what John said--advertising in multiple ways and having teachers, school staff and administrators spread the word was also key. One of our schools used their morning Principal Coffee ("Cafecitos") to give parents who don't have computers at home a brief intro to the Hour of Code.

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Michael Lee

    Michael Lee

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2019 | 04:05 p.m.

    This is awesome work! Does your stated outcome of "increase interest and confidence" apply to both the children and their parents? How did you evaluate this? I would love to learn more so that we can apply some of your methodology and techniques to our work on the East Coast (45%+ of our students speak Spanish at home)!

     
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    Carol Fletcher
  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 04:35 p.m.

    Wow: Michael, I love your video and your program!  We work with schools nationwide, and would love to work with you.  Very strong agreement on the value of near-peer engagement -- for us, this is a precise fit when older students serve as Code Coaches or even Presenters at elementary school Family Code Nights, which would nicely feed your middle school programs.  Our support for Spanish language Family Code Nights is growing, as our video w/ ETR indicates.  Please get in touch if you'd like to chat about possible collaboration, info@FamilyCodeNight.org.

  • Icon for: William Spitzer

    William Spitzer

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 10:28 a.m.

    Jill and John, thanks for your responses about evaluation. I think it's really important when you have a program like this that is working well you are able to understand more about why it works, this is really helpful to others in the field trying to do something similar. I am really happy that you are pursuing this kind of evaluation strategy!

  • Icon for: Sara Vogel

    Sara Vogel

    Graduate Student
    May 13, 2019 | 12:23 p.m.

    So excited to see another project that places multilingualism front and center in such a community-focused, authentic way! This is generating all sorts of fun ideas for future work we might do with families in our schools.

     
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    Jill Denner
  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 01:00 p.m.

    Hi Sara, really enjoyed your video as well, and we'd welcome collaborating on multicultural Family Code Nights in NYC.  Get in touch via www.FamilyCodeNight.org, or 415 388 0184.  -jp

     
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    Sara Vogel
  • Icon for: Lucía Alcalá

    Lucía Alcalá

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2019 | 03:22 p.m.

    Hi Jill, This is an exciting and promising approach to broaden participation in computer science. I work with Maya communities in Yucatan and I've been interested in bringing something like a 'family code night' event to the communities. Through a government initiative, 5th and 6th graders received laptops but they don't really use them. I would be interested in exploring this approach in the Maya community or other indigenous communities. 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Jill Denner
    Marcia Quackenbush
  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 03:45 p.m.

    Hi Lucia, Jill and I would be happy to work with you on Family Code Nights for Maya and other indigenous communities.  What kind of setting, space and facilities would you have in mind for your events?

  • Icon for: Lucía Alcalá

    Lucía Alcalá

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2019 | 07:06 p.m.

    Thank you, John! The setting would be a community room or the patio in one of the elementary schools. The communities I work with are pretty small (~800 - 1300 members) but the elementary school seems to be the place where children and parents can get involved in the coding activity. I know they are eager to find ways to use those laptops, particularly since they have extremely limited internet services. I'd love to hear more about your ideas on this. 

  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 08:08 p.m.

    When you say, "extremely limited internet services," do you mean at home?  Is there decent wifi in the school community rooms?  If so, you're probably in good shape.  Perhaps you and Jill and I should have a Zoom web conference call on this in the weeks ahead -- I'd love to help you make this happen!

  • Icon for: Lucía Alcalá

    Lucía Alcalá

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 19, 2019 | 08:29 p.m.

    Hi John,

    The school has minimal internet services, not always reliable, intermittent at the most, but varies across communities. We work with one community that has decent wifi services in the middle-school, and I think that would work. I had the pleasure to meet Jill and to visit the ETR offices when I was a grad student at UCSC, and  I look forward to exploring the possibility of expanding 'family code night' to our Maya children (my email is lualcala@fullerton.edu, in case you are interested in a possible collaboration). Again, congratulations on your fantastic video and research projects! 

  • Icon for: Rebecca Zarch

    Rebecca Zarch

    Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 11:23 a.m.

    This is a fantastic video- I liked getting a glimpse into the event.  How frequently are they held?  Do the same people come to multiple events?

  • Icon for: Margaret Glass

    Margaret Glass

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 11:28 a.m.

    Hi,

    I love your video! Congratulations on the success of Spanish Family Code nights. I am curious about what your next steps are with respect to spreading this example to reach more Spanish-speaking families. Is this something that will be scaled through familycodenight.org? Do you plan to test other events in North Carolina? What are the factors that might affect the ability to hold events for Spanish families in other communities?

    Looking forward to leaning more!

    Margaret

  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 12:43 p.m.

    Hi Margaret, we definitely want to spread Spanish Family Code Nights nationwide, and are seeking funding to do so.  We will work with interested districts or funders in any geography in the country to make this happen, and would welcome contacts to explore this further.  We also have Spanish language resources already available, so please get in touch for more info.  You can reach us at info@FamilyCodeNight.org.

  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 12:44 p.m.

    Also, Margaret, are you NC-based?  If so, please be sure to get in touch as we indeed have programs in place there we should talk about!

  • Icon for: Margaret Glass

    Margaret Glass

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 08:07 a.m.

    Hi John,

    While I am not in NC, I do have network connections in the state and am happy to reach out to them and connect them to your programs.

  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 09:50 a.m.

    Thanks Margaret, let's get in touch!  Could you give me a call or email?  415 388 0184 or info@familycodenight.org.  -jp

  • Icon for: Lien Diaz

    Lien Diaz

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 14, 2019 | 11:38 a.m.

    Hi Jill! The video is great and makes me so glad and proud you are working on this. There is a special place in my heart for working in Hispanic/Latinx communities and just want to thank you for your awesome work.  Have you also worked in the upper grades (middle and high school)? Wondering what family code night look like with at this level. All the best! 

     
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    Marcia Quackenbush
  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:03 p.m.

    We've done Family Code Nights at middle schools, and they work very well, though of course by those grades parents have a little less magic and impact upon belief-formation for the child, with kids more inclined towards 'aww mom' and eye-rolls as we know!  K-5 is the sweet spot for Family Code Night.  That said, there is a terrific opportunity here for older students:  give middle and high school students, especially those with some coding experience or classes, the leadership and mentoring opportunity of acting as Code Coaches or even Presenters at a K-5 Family Code Night.  A great community service and college resume credit, and older students are rock stars to K-5 children.  Few can inspire younger children's aspirations and self-belief like an older student from their own community and background as a role model!  A real win/win for all involved.

  • May 14, 2019 | 01:31 p.m.

    Really love this idea of family engagement, and really enjoyed watching this video :) Would love to see your findings from this project as a "toolkit" that can be used by others who may want to start similar activities in their communities.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Marcia Quackenbush
  • Icon for: Jill Denner

    Jill Denner

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 10:35 p.m.

    Thanks for watching our video! As you know, the English toolkit already exists. We are working on the Spanish one, complete with planning and recruitment strategies, as well as the script for the one-hour event.

  • Icon for: Elysa Corin

    Elysa Corin

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 02:53 p.m.

    Great video, it was wonderful to see the interest and excitement these events are generating.  Do you try and build on that interest and excitement after the Code Night event has ended, perhaps by providing supports or sharing resources with families about how they might continue coding together at home?  Is sustaining that interest an important part of your model, or are you more focused on the Code Night event and generating that initial interest/exposure to coding?  Thank you!

  • Icon for: John Pearce

    John Pearce

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 03:46 p.m.

    Yes, we are very interested in follow up activities!  Families take home their Program Card so they can pick up wherever they left off in the evening's self-paced puzzles (we use Code.org's Hour of Code puzzles).  We also provide a simple "Code On at Home" flyer with many hours of free coding games and activities.  And we provide kits and resources for follow up school events and clubs that parents can volunteer to help get going at their school.  This is all part of our Event Kit schools can use to host the program!

  • May 15, 2019 | 01:00 p.m.

    Very interesting and valuable! Can you share more information about what culturally relevant pedagogical tools or activities are used to develop the workshop content? Thank you!

  • Icon for: Jill Denner

    Jill Denner

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 10:34 p.m.

    Thanks Diley! The presentation script was adapted to include references to culturally relevant topics (like the tamale-making comment in the video), and we encourage families to work together on the computer, rather than assuming it will be one parent and one child. We also replaced the English video that is shown at the beginning of the English Family Code Night with this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGgdCryC8Uo&feature=youtu.be  Can you suggest some culturally authentic approaches you have used that might be appropriate for this -hour event?

  • Icon for: Carol Fletcher

    Carol Fletcher

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 16, 2019 | 07:34 p.m.

    Great Project Jill and John! Can't wait to share with my teacher network here in Texas.

  • Icon for: Jill Denner

    Jill Denner

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 10:26 p.m.

    Thanks Carol! I would love to hear what the teachers in Texas think about the video and the Spanish language tools.

  • May 17, 2019 | 01:58 a.m.

    Hi Jill and John, This is terrific.  I loved hearing the kids' and parents' voices.  And the teacher who led the activity is fantastic!

     
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    Jill Denner
  • Icon for: Jill Denner

    Jill Denner

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 11:36 a.m.

    Thanks Barbara! I agree that the presenter is fantastic. We were so fortunate to have a teacher and teacher-leader that knows how to integrate computational concepts and cultural references.

  • Icon for: Wanda Bulger-Tamez

    Wanda Bulger-Tamez

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 17, 2019 | 11:59 p.m.

    Amazing. Your video is an inspiration in how to expose students of all backgrounds to computer science at an early age.

     
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    Jill Denner
  • Icon for: Jill Denner

    Jill Denner

    Lead Presenter
    May 19, 2019 | 10:07 a.m.

    Thank you for watching our video! By opening these evenings up to whole families, the preschool age children also get to watch and participate. And the surveys we collected from parents show that they come not only to prepare their children for the future, but also to learn for themselves. 

  • May 20, 2019 | 06:56 a.m.

    This important movement clearly generates excitement across the entire community. Children and parents working together to solve challenges using computers creates a memorable shared experience. I am very interested to learn how this initiative develops, particularly your planned study of the conditions that motivate children and parents to seek more opportunities to code.

     
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    Jill Denner
  • Icon for: Jill Denner

    Jill Denner

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 03:03 p.m.

    Eoghan, thank you for watching our video. I am also interested in better understanding the conditions under which a one-time event like Family Code Night can lead children and parents to do more coding. We hope to get funding that would allow us to do some follow-up interviews to help us answer that question.

  • Icon for: Marcia Quackenbush

    Marcia Quackenbush

    May 20, 2019 | 12:51 p.m.

    I helped make this video. Many thanks to Jill Denner, John Pearce and David Manuel Torres for all the work that went into the Spanish Family Code Night program and the video. I appreciate all of the positive comments here--as an observer myself, I was incredibly impressed by the enthusiasm of students, parents, educators and school administrators. What an exciting and promising program!

     
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    Jill Denner
  • Icon for: Jessica Bell

    Jessica Bell

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 20, 2019 | 02:34 p.m.

    I love that you are bringing CS to FAMILIES.  This is an amazing approach to reaffirming students' interest and engaging their families in supporting their children's interests.

     
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    Jill Denner
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