What’s Up with Computer Science Principles?

Parents, administrators, politicians… everyone is talking about how important Computer Science is. In the new economy, computer science isn’t an optional skill, it’s a basic skill. You know, computer science is all around us so why not expose our students to it? CS Principles is an AP course that is an introduction to computer science. This is designed to be broadly appealing and accessible and part of that means breaking down stereotypes about what it means to be a computer scientist and what it means to be computer science. Our CS Principles course also has been designed for teachers who don’t have any background in teaching computer science. I didn’t have much background and I went ‘let’s try it’ and found out I loved it. It’s accessible to everybody and that’s the coolest thing. Anyone can take the curriculum and be successful. The curriculum itself has a lot of supports built-in but then we have an entire professional learning program that sits on top of that curriculum designed to make the content more approachable and accessible to teachers of various backgrounds. Teaching the curriculum after the PD has been really easy to implement because we were prepared. They make it so that you can understand the material and they make it so you want to come back. It felt very comfortable after the PD teaching this curriculum because everything I need is provided. If you commit to teaching this course you’re committing to a five-day summer kickoff experience where you’ll come together with other teachers who are just starting the program, as well as 4 ongoing support workshops and those are opportunities for you to get back together with those folks you were working with over the summer and to see what’s coming up in the curriculum. We share our ideas. We share our lessons. We share our thoughts on how the lessons are going. And this can help you to teach your activities and your lessons better to your kids. Students can leave this course and start doing real stuff in the world immediately. In years from now when students have had opportunities to take courses like CS Principles, it’s going to be a different landscape. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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