1158 Views
  1. Margaret Cozzens
  2. http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/~midgec/
  3. Distinguished Research Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Rutgers University
  1. Kristi Adams
  2. Assistant Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Cottey College
  1. Tamra Carpenter
  2. http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/~tcar/
  3. Research Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Rutgers University
  1. Jim Kupetz
  2. Teacher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  1. Steve Lubetkin
  2. http://www.linkedin.com/in/lubetkin
  3. Managing Partner
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Lubetkin Communications
  1. Suzanne Wilson
  2. Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of Connecticut

Computational Thinking Professional Development

NSF Awards: 1812982

2020 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

About this Instructional Program for Teachers - Computational Thinking for High School Teachers

The “Teacher Professional Development for Embedding Computational Thinking in Mathematics and Science High School Classes” project—called CTPD Online for short—is developing an online professional development (PD) course for high school math and science teachers to help them learn about computational thinking and bring it into their classrooms. Course materials are delivered largely online, but online use is preceded by short in-person workshops held in various locations around the country. Online delivery allows teachers to weave professional development into their already-packed schedules and provides a scalable way to offer professional development to teachers across the country.

CTPD Online includes three primary areas of activity: 1) design and development of materials for the PD course; 2) delivery of materials to teachers around the country; and 3) research testing the efficacy of the professional development delivered.

The project is led by DIMACS in partnership with the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, and it is conducted with support from the National Science Foundation under grant number 1812982.

 

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Original Discussion from the 2020 STEM For All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: Margaret Cozzens

    Margaret Cozzens

    Lead Presenter
    Distinguished Research Professor
    May 4, 2020 | 02:47 p.m.

    Welcome to the Computational Thinking Professional Development online course.  As you can tell from the video, we have succeeded beyond even our expectations with creating a 4 week summer course or 8 week academic year course for high school teachers in all fields.  We have hosted the course in Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Montana, New York, and this summer in Massachusetts and Utah.  Though the course was designed for math and science high school teachers, we have had teachers from many other fields take the course, as well as 3td grade and 7th grade teachers.  We are contemplating developing a version of the course specifically for teachers grades 3-8.  Do you think we should?

    Midge Cozzens

  • Icon for: Janice Cuny

    Janice Cuny

    Facilitator
    May 8, 2020 | 11:01 a.m.

    It would be great to have a course for teachers of grades 3-8!

  • Icon for: Jim Kupetz

    Jim Kupetz

    Co-Presenter
    May 4, 2020 | 08:51 p.m.

    I would also like to welcome you to CTPD.  As Midge already mentioned, we originally wrote the materials for high school math and science teachers. The biggest surprise for me, in the online courses, has been the recognition by non-STEM teachers that not only is this material useful in their classrooms, but some aspects of it are already taught, often with different terminology.  This cross-curricular aspect of the course is a launching point for student learning.  When connections can be made, especially to subjects students find appealing, the concepts will be learned and used at a deeper level.    Thank you for your time in viewing the video and responding.  I look forward to discussing this topic.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kathy Haynie
    Tara Craig
  • Icon for: Kristi Adams

    Kristi Adams

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 10:54 a.m.

    Welcome to to CTPD online. When we started this program we had no idea what was going to happen or how the program was going to be received - it was a "grand experiment" as Midge often stated. What we have discovered is that if you provide teachers with opportunities to be creative and open with ideas, then a community of practice quickly develops. Our teachers have taken the program and ran with it, we are seeing teachers implement computational thinking across all content areas (like Jim mentioned) and sharing their ideas with their colleagues thus changing the landscape of computational thinking in schools. As a team, we look forward to discussing any aspect of our program and ways that we can reach more teachers across all content areas and grade levels.

    Wishing you the best, cheers!

    - Kristi

     
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    Kathy Haynie
  • Icon for: Sarah Young

    Sarah Young

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 11:17 a.m.

    I'm from Utah! I work for the Utah State Board of Education, and would love to know more about the upcoming summer institute for our teachers. I work with the CS Utah leads, and we would be happy to recruit or even shadow for a day. 

    Specifically, I am curious if you have plans to adapt your summer institute for virtual or social distancing protocols? We are struggling with that at our office, and would love to know more about your plans. 

  • Icon for: Margaret Cozzens

    Margaret Cozzens

    Lead Presenter
    Distinguished Research Professor
    May 5, 2020 | 01:43 p.m.

    Hi Sarah
    We have not completely decided yet whether we will be able to have our one day workshop in person or if it will be by remote learning. Carl Anderberg, Helen Bosch and Neal Legler are coordinating the Utah course so I will alert them to your questions. I am sure they will welcome you helping them recruit. Kristi may want to weigh in on this as well.
    Midge

  • Icon for: Kristi Adams

    Kristi Adams

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 04:53 p.m.

    Sarah,

    Thank you for your question!

    We are working on putting together a virtual workshop. The virtual workshop will allow our program to reach scales we did not think were possible.

    Utah will be interesting because I think the workshop will probably be a blend of in person and virtual. As a team, we are discussing online pedagogy and trying to think about what is best for our teachers while keeping in mind the "virtual" comfort levels of our leadership team in Utah. If the team decides on in person only, then due to social distancing protocols and availability of space we may have to have two groups on different days instead of having all teachers participate in the workshop on the same day. We are looking forward to the upcoming workshops! 

     

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Sarah Young
    Kathy Haynie
  • Icon for: Jennifer Vermillion

    Jennifer Vermillion

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 04:11 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this important work! I work in a K-12 school and find that even at the Middle School level embedding CT and CS learning in areas of student interest is a powerful approach for bridging the familiar to new concepts. I am curious how your model helps facilitate the ongoing exchange of ideas among the participants beyond the in-person and online workshops.

  • Icon for: Kristi Adams

    Kristi Adams

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 04:40 p.m.

    Jennifer,

    Thank you for your post. We do not have any official ongoing requirements for teachers to continue exchanging ideas once the program is over. However, we encourage our teachers to stay in touch with each other (and us) and to use our platform as a way to continue their dialogue as they have access to contact information and a lot of resources. We also emphasize working together and the importance of dialogue early in the program and I think teachers feel safe to discuss and be creative with their ideas. Our leaders work hard to validate our teachers in all aspects of the program and this type of feedback appears to motivate the teachers to stay in contact with one another, especially for teachers who are in small, rural locations who may not have anyone else at their site to work with or their access to authentic professional development is limited.

     

     
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    Kathy Haynie
  • Icon for: Kathy Haynie

    Kathy Haynie

    May 9, 2020 | 11:30 a.m.

    Hi Jennifer,

    Project evaluator here :) 

    The initial face-to-face one-day workshop as well as requirements for responding to others' discussions on the CTPD course itself are elements of community building that can help foster ongoing collegial communication beyond the CTPD course itself.  

  • May 6, 2020 | 02:40 a.m.

    Dear Margaret,

    Fascinating project.

    We definitely need to collaborate on promising ways to conduct workshops this summer while sheltering in place.

    How are  you evaluating proficiency in computational thinking?

    Marcia

  • Icon for: Margaret Cozzens

    Margaret Cozzens

    Lead Presenter
    Distinguished Research Professor
    May 6, 2020 | 07:24 p.m.

    Hi Marcia
    It has been years since we saw each other. We have Kathy Haynie as evaluator and Suzane Wilson as director of research and they have set up assessments.

     
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    Kathy Haynie
  • Icon for: Kathy Haynie

    Kathy Haynie

    May 9, 2020 | 11:50 a.m.

    Hi Marcia,

    On the project evaluation side of the research-evaluation equation, I developed and vetted a project logic model that supported our (CTPD development- facilitator team) collaboratively-defined success criteria for: (1) the CTPD course itself, (2) teacher professional development (via the CTPD course), and (3) classroom use of CT. The teacher PD success criteria (categories drawn from Guskey 2000) included participants’ engagement, participants’ reactions, participants’ learning, and participants’ use of new knowledge/skills. The main source of evidence for participants’ learning are analyses of the CTPD courses themselves (discussions, assignments, etc.) as well as facilitator interviews. A secondary source of evidence is a post-participation teacher survey focused on classroom use.

    There are research efforts underway with more rigorous measures of teacher CT.

    I’m happy to share more about the evaluation work.

    Best,

    Kathy Haynie

    kchaynie@stanfordalumni.org  

     

  • Icon for: Michael Daley

    Michael Daley

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 6, 2020 | 08:01 a.m.

    This is a great project and I appreciate your effort to support computational thinking. CT is such an important practice of science. NGSS has helped to promote CT but probably still not enough. I hope experiences such as your program will help teachers find meaningful opportunities to integrate CT into their curriculum.

  • Icon for: Margaret Cozzens

    Margaret Cozzens

    Lead Presenter
    Distinguished Research Professor
    May 6, 2020 | 08:55 a.m.

    Thanks Michael

  • Small default profile

    Kathy Haynie

    Researcher
    May 6, 2020 | 10:08 a.m.

    Nicely done! Excellent encapsulation of this important work. 

  • Icon for: Margaret Cozzens

    Margaret Cozzens

    Lead Presenter
    Distinguished Research Professor
    May 6, 2020 | 10:51 a.m.

    Thanks Kathy

    As the project evaluator you know it well.

    Midge

  • Icon for: Janice Cuny

    Janice Cuny

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 06:46 p.m.

    This is a really well-done presentation and a terrific project. How do envision this work lasting beyond the end of the funded project? It would be a shame to have it end there.

  • Icon for: Margaret Cozzens

    Margaret Cozzens

    Lead Presenter
    Distinguished Research Professor
    May 6, 2020 | 07:26 p.m.

    Thanks Jan
    We have many plans for the future. Already we are letting others use the course, for example, Michelle Homp is using it for a summer class for MAT students at the U of Nebraska, easy as they also use CANVAS

  • Icon for: Monica VanDieren

    Monica VanDieren

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 7, 2020 | 12:54 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your project!  I loved your example of the tomography.  I teach multivariable calculus and find that even at the college level among STEM majors, students struggle with 3D visual reasoning skills, which are the heart of your tomography example.  Can you share your tomography example?  And, what kinds of outcomes have you measured with regard to that example.  Thanks again!

  • Icon for: Janice Cuny

    Janice Cuny

    Facilitator
    May 8, 2020 | 11:04 a.m.

    Can you talk about what you're doing for evaluation?  Has it provided feedback that resulted in changes to your approach?

  • Icon for: Tamra Carpenter

    Tamra Carpenter

    Co-Presenter
    May 9, 2020 | 11:16 a.m.

    Hi Jan,

    I hope that Midge can chime in to add to my response, but in partial response to your question, I'd say that the evaluation on our project has been extremely helpful. Kathy Haynie, our evaluator, has been deeply involved with all aspects of the project. She was embedded in the process to develop the course content, and has conducted detailed interviews with site leaders from our project who led the online courses and with teachers who have completed the course. I would not say that the evaluation has led to any wholesale changes in approach, but it has certainly led to significant adaptations of the course content to make it more accessible, digestible, and ultimately usable by the teachers in the course

     
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    Kathy Haynie
  • Icon for: Kathy Haynie

    Kathy Haynie

    May 9, 2020 | 12:06 p.m.

    Hi Jan,

    Please start with my response (above) to Marcia Linn. To answer your question about evaluation impact, I believe there was value (e.g., salience, goals alignment, buy-in) in leading the team through collaboratively developing success criteria for the course itself, teacher PD with the course, and classroom use of CT. I have to say Midge, the course authors and facilitators, and our Canvas expert have been incredibly pro-active about scouring the online CTPD implementations for things that are not working and need to be tweaked, both in the course itself (modules, etc.) and in looking at teachers’ engagement with the course (relevance, difficulty level, etc.). They cast a wide net with the ranges of teacher participants, and have been very mindful and reflective as this has proceeded. I have to say, this is one of the most harmonious and productive teams I have ever worked with, and I think that speaks to Midge’s depth of history with all the members of our CTPD team.

    I’m just now unpacking feedback on teachers’ use of CT with students based on four of the CTPD course implementations in 2019. And now with teachers forced into online teaching situations themselves, this adds more layers of complexity. I’m looking forward to sharing this information with the CTPD team (very soon) and providing results in the 2020 Annual Report.  

    Please let me know how I can best keep you looped in as we move forward!

    Best,

    Kathy

  • Icon for: Alan Peterfreund

    Alan Peterfreund

    Executive Director
    May 8, 2020 | 12:41 p.m.

     Great video explaining the project.  As you work with different states, has the presence or absence of standards affected the way you present and the use of the units?

     

  • Icon for: Margaret Cozzens

    Margaret Cozzens

    Lead Presenter
    Distinguished Research Professor
    May 9, 2020 | 10:13 a.m.

    Alan
    There seems to be very little variation across states and their curriculum requirements. . The teachers think hard about how to implement the lessons in their classrooms in the context of what they are teaching. We notices a community of practice in Montana where the teachers were all from the same state. In most places so far the teachers have come from the same state for the most part, though we had a VT and a few MA teachers in the NY group.

  • Icon for: Jim Kupetz

    Jim Kupetz

    Co-Presenter
    May 9, 2020 | 10:33 a.m.

    Alan, 

    In our early work on biomathematics modules (over 15 years ago) we were concerned about state standards and overwhelmed with the task of aligning our lessons to even a few states.  We have come to find that most teachers have grown so accustomed to aligning curriculum to standards, that if we provide a curriculum of value to the teachers, they will work out the standards alignment for their state.  And, as Midge mentioned, as time has gone on the standards from one state to the next are becoming more similar. 

  • Icon for: Tamra Carpenter

    Tamra Carpenter

    Co-Presenter
    May 9, 2020 | 11:04 a.m.

    Hi Alan,

    Just to build on Jim's response a bit, we are finding that the science standards include notions of using computing, and several teachers have found that the content in this course really drive home how to include CT with only minor tweaks to what they might normally teach. The science standards allow teachers enough latitude to embed some of these ideas. The course content aims to aid in this process. For instance, we have a unit that compares electric and gas-powered cars in terms of both dollar cost and "carbon cost" and have included pointers to a number of external tools (such as from the EPA) and home-grown spreadsheets that they can use with their students. The topic is one covered in science classes, so the course provides ideas on how to enrich it with CT tools to assist in thinking and visualizing the issues. So, in the case of NGSS, I'd say the standards help set the stage, and teachers are delighted to get some ideas hooks for including CT.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Meena Balgopal
    Kathy Haynie
  • May 8, 2020 | 01:12 p.m.

    I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn about your project!  I'm involved in work that aims to integrate CT into literacy and math learning in preschool classrooms. Right now, we're thinking a lot about how to provide teachers an introduction to CT that gives them an entry ramp into this kind of teaching and learning that isn't too steep. We've already developed some teacher supports but we're trying to learn as many lessons as we can from the field from folks that have been exploring this with teachers in other grade levels. Do you have any lessons you could share from your work that might help us think about how CT can be best introduced to teachers that have no experience with this content area?  What really seems to work to build buy-in, comfort with the topic, and confidence?

  • Icon for: Jim Kupetz

    Jim Kupetz

    Co-Presenter
    May 9, 2020 | 10:47 a.m.

    Heather,

    Although our current project does not address your concern, I have some experience trying to teach CT to elementary teachers and encouraging its use in their classrooms.  In general, you want to remove as many roadblocks for their students as possible.  This may seem contradictory, but that usually means keeping arithmetic and written language to a minimum.  Use of "unplugged" activities has been very popular with our group.  Getting students to write out (using symbols such as arrows and blackened squares) the steps of an algorithm to draw something on graph paper is a good place to start.  Then up the complexity by involving multiple tasks and multiple tools to create 3D designs (possibly using building blocks of some variety).  All of this has to be accompanied by a written (drawings are fine for younger students) or oral explanation of the steps of the task created not by the organizer, but by the person doing the task to explain to someone else how to do the task.  The trick we use with our younger students is allowing them to write the steps without having to use words.  Arrows, colors and simple shapes have meanings to the students (most are familiar with this concept from board games.)   

     
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    Tamra Carpenter
  • May 9, 2020 | 05:38 p.m.

    YES, this is a great and helpful idea. We work a lot with 3-5th grade students. Im sure they'd learn a lot! Our own work concerns STEM stereotypes, especially ones that tend to work to dissuade young females from engaging in STEM. What tricks or techniques are you using to overcome these pernicious stereotypes. Our video this year takes one approach, but it is for kids a bit younger than yours. Thanks.

  • Icon for: Tamra Carpenter

    Tamra Carpenter

    Co-Presenter
    May 11, 2020 | 07:48 p.m.

    Hi Andrew,

    Many thanks for watching our video. We have had a few teachers in lower grades take the PD course, and we have been amazed at how receptive they are to including computational thinking (CT) ideas in their classrooms. (We have a little story on our project website talking about one particular third-grade teacher.) It seems like there would definitely be demand for PD on CT for lower grades. With respect to stereotypes, you raise a great point, though not one that we explicitly address in our project. Implicitly, though, we hope that by making CT more accessible and by illustrating computational thinking strategies that teachers may already be teaching and that students may already be using, we can reduce some of the barriers that may dissuade some students, particularly those who may not see themselves as a "typical" STEM student.

  • Icon for: Janice Cuny

    Janice Cuny

    Facilitator
    May 10, 2020 | 10:06 p.m.

    Nice project! Thanks to the whole team for putting this video together.

  • Icon for: Eric Hamilton

    Eric Hamilton

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2020 | 01:03 p.m.

    It is great to see DIMACS running this kind of professional development. I know it is not a focus of this project, but the ascendancy of design thinking in roughly the same time frame as CT.  This is an interesting parallel development in rethinking thinking more broadly.  Do you have any comments about this development?

  • Icon for: Margaret Cozzens

    Margaret Cozzens

    Lead Presenter
    Distinguished Research Professor
    May 11, 2020 | 01:53 p.m.

    Thanks Eric

    I must admit I have only known about design theory recently and in the context of make spaces.  My sense is that design theory is one instance of computational thinking with its own internal processes.  One tool of computational thinking is to break a problem into smaller solvable parts, which is also part of design thinking.  Do you have any more thoughts on the parallelism.

    Midge

  • Icon for: Margaret Cozzens

    Margaret Cozzens

    Lead Presenter
    Distinguished Research Professor
    May 12, 2020 | 08:47 a.m.

    Be sure and check out the project website at CTPDonline.org

    Midge

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