Message from Patrice Gans

My name is Patrice Gans. I’m running for the position of K-8 Representative on the CSTA Board of Directors and would like to introduce myself and ask for your support.
I currently teach K-8 technology and computer science at the Fraser-Woods School in Newtown, CT. I am very interested in promoting computer science in K-12 education and believe we can achieve this by

  • increasing participation in CSTA from K-12 educators,
  • advocating for national educational standards which include computer science, and
  • creating a computer science curriculum which engages students in the elementary grades.
    I believe computer science, which is at the core of the development of new technologies, should be taught to all students. Teaching computer science is essential to the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills. Computers are an integral part of life in the 21st century, and our schools have an obligation to prepare our students for this future.
    As an elementary school technology teacher, it has become apparent to me that students develop their love for computers and their desire to explore their capabilities during their elementary school years.
    Traditionally, students are first exposed to computer science in high school AP computer science classes. However, I believe it is extremely important to grab students’ attention long before their first AP course. Consequently, I believe that the age which students are taught critical computer skills is an important issue. Any venue which introduces younger students to basic programming concepts while, at the same time, igniting their curiosity and imagination would be an ideal addition to the elementary education curriculum.
    In regards to advocacy, we should push for legislation that requires computer skills in the K-12 curriculum. A bill had been proposed, The Computer Science Education Act (of 2010):
    but did not make it past committee. I believe a more united effort is needed for this to come to fruition.
    I have been working with my local CSTA chapter in Connecticut to advocate for computer science educational requirements. It would be an honor to have the opportunity to represent the K-8 community on a national level, and I’d greatly appreciate your vote during the CSTA board elections.
    Let’s work together to make computer science a vibrant addition to our schools. Together we can be instruments for change for our students and society.
    Patrice Gans
    Technology Teacher
    The Fraser-Woods School

  • Candidate: Dr. Veronica McGowan

    Editor’s Note: Candidates for the upcoming CSTA election have been invited to post brief blog statements so that members can have a chance to get to know them a bit better.
    Hello CSTA Members,
    I am running for the Collegiate Faculty Representative position on the CSTA Board and welcome correspondance with you. I am an assistant professor in the Computer and Business Information Systems Department at Delaware Valley College and highy invested in improving computer science education in American settings.
    I have taught computer science and have served as a grade level and special education teacher at various school districts in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I am certified in both Elementary Education and Special Education for grades K – 12. My industry experience was as a programmer for the Internal Revenue Service in Philadelphia. My primary academic focus is programming and Web design.
    I have recently graduated from Widener University’s Doctoral Program in Academic Leadership. My dissertation addressed faculty perspectives on the effectiveness of the e-assessment tools of a content management system for improving selected student-based factors. My research interests include improving teaching and learning in computer science and mathematics classrooms, curriculum development, and educational technology strands such as course management systems, academic and institutional promotion and use of Webpages, and serving students in online settings.
    I also serve as the Post-Secondary Representative for the board of the Special Interest Group Computing Teachers of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and sit on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Computing Teachers and the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.
    Thank you for reading my profile and have a pleasant conclusion to the spring semester,
    Veronica McGowan