Computer Science Principles: Getting Started

After attending the CS Principles Summit in July, I was convinced that I needed to get this course started at my school site. The Summit was so informative and inspiring.

I had planned to attend the summit online, but due to some cancellations I was able to attend in person. If you were not able to attend either online or in person, you are not out of luck. You can still view the agenda and links to the recorded sessions.

The Summit began with Deborah Seehorn’s introductory remarks summarizing the rationale for the CS Principles course and welcomed all of the participants that were attending in person and virtually. Chris Stephenson also added her introductory remarks.

Fran Trees and Owen Astracan discussed the history and development of the CS Principles course. There were some audio issues. The first few minutes you cannot hear Owen speaking but hang in there the audio does return. Then Fran spoke about the course outline. I will be using this document at the computer science curriculum meeting that I am attending this week to promote CS Principles. I also plan on forwarding it to my principal. He had offered to inquire about the process to offer the course as a pilot. My plan is to begin recruiting for the course to offer it Fall 2015. I am also actively recruiting other schools in the district to pilot the course next year because currently only 2 high schools out of 6 offer computer science courses.

Jeff Gray and Kelly Powers were next on the Agenda. They discussed information that could be used for recruiting. The information was very informative!

Next on the agenda was Flash Talks. There were audio issues again so I would fast forward the video 5 minutes to the point where audio returns. The pilot teachers discuss successes and challenges resulting from CS Principles. The resources by presenter with their links are:

Lien Diaz and Rich Kick are the presenters for the next session. Lien discusses statistics behind why the course has been developed as a future AP course. Her slides are available for viewing. The participants had an opportunity to ask their questions. Lien and Rich answered each question. Rich is a pilot teacher and shared his resources with attendees.

The session facilitated by Emmanuel Schanzer and Rebecca Dovi was the one that really started by thought process about how to get this course started at my school and in my district. They presented a set of questions we were expected to answer in our group. The groups presented their responses in the next session facilitated by Rich Kick.

The summit overall was a great experience for me. I had to opportunity to create a plan to ask my district to allow me to pilot the course next school year.

Myra Deister

CSTA At-large Representative

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About Myra Deister

Myra Deister earned a bachelors degree from Cal State Long Beach with a major in mathematics and a minor in business education. Additionally, she has earned masters degrees in Software Engineering from National University and education and mathematics from Cal State Fullerton. She has taught junior high, high school and community college mathematics and computer science in both the Garden Grove, Fullerton Joint Union High School Districts and North Orange County Community College District. Her course load includes AP Computer Science A, Computer Science AB, Fundamentals of Programming and Pre-Calculus. She is actively involved with Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and serves on their Board of Directors. She also serves as a member of the board of directors for Orange County Computer Using Educators (OCCUE). Currently she is serving as the adviser for Sunny Hills High School Orange County Academic Decathlon team.