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  1. Lien Diaz
  2. Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology, Constellations Center for Equity in Computing
  1. Allie McFadden
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/allie-blinder/
  3. Communications Officer
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology, Constellations Center for Equity in Computing

CAPS HYBRID INSTRUCTION FOR EQUITY IN EDUCATION.

NSF Awards: 1837640

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

The global pandemic created one of the most challenging times of our lifetime and teachers rapidly had to figure out the best ways to provide instruction for students in an online environment. The necessary school closures in Atlanta Public Schools had a tremendous impact in communities located in south Atlanta. This video highlights how the Constellations Center adapted to the needs of teachers in Atlanta Public Schools to continue teaching and learning in computer science courses. The Constellations Fellows helped with the transition to virtual instruction while applying principles of cognitive coaching to support teachers navigate effectively through the change from in-person to online instruction. The Center’s approach was to quickly adapt and ensure that teachers continued to be supported and nurtured so they could do the same for their students.

Our video also details how we further supported teachers outside of Atlanta Public School through virtual summits and workshops throughout the year. Finally, we discuss our podcast, VOICES for Social Justice - a podcast that aims to shine a brighter spotlight on the negligence of lifting our poor communities, and the lack of equitable access to upward mobility and quality education and healthcare.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (16 posts)
  • Icon for: Allie McFadden

    Allie McFadden

    Co-Presenter
    Communications Officer
    May 10, 2021 | 03:47 p.m.

    Hi everyone - thanks for viewing our video! For many, this past year has been incredibly challenging. While many problems were already prevalent in our education, healthcare, and justice systems, 2020 brought them to light and forced society to look at them. Our video highlights how Constellations pivoted during the pandemic to continue supporting our amazing partner teachers and provide exceptional professional development opportunities to educators around the world. We also launched our first podcast, VOICES for Social Justice - a monthly podcast that features conversations with experts on issues like privacy, supporting the Latinx community in STEM, the current state of the American education system, and more. All of these projects have been difficult, but incredibly rewarding and full of hard lessons learned.

    What is something you learned in 2020?

    P.S. if you want to subscribe to VOICES, it's available on Spotify, Apple Podcast, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcast. You can learn more about it at http://constellations.gatech.edu/voices-social-...

     
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    Lien Diaz
  • Icon for: Renee Fall

    Renee Fall

    Researcher
    May 10, 2021 | 06:14 p.m.

    Hi Allie: So great to see how your Center was able to support teachers during the pandemic and 2020. Have there been lessons learned from your work with Atlanta teachers about how best to support CS students to continue to learn through remote /hybrid learning and/or during social upheavals? 

     
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    Lien Diaz
  • Icon for: Lien Diaz

    Lien Diaz

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership
    May 12, 2021 | 12:43 p.m.

    Hi Renee,

    Here are a few summaries from the Constellations Fellows: 

    Fellow 1: - work on ensuring reliable internet access --- and be fluid in navigating through real life experiences while conducting remote teaching and learning (e.g., “, electrical outages because of neighboring construction projects or storms, bandwidth buffering with multiple family members and / or apartment tenants on video calls concurrently, dropped calls, limited equipment, sharing devices, malfunctioning hardware, incompatible software…”)

    - improve on differentiated lessons for students with disabilities

    - encourage and support teachers and students to extend past their comfort zones. 

    - encourage teachers to take risks with assigning different types of activities that are engaging, challenging, representative, inclusive, relevant, interactive, co-constructed, realistic, creative, etc.   

    - for students: provide opportunities for them to take the initiative to engage in safe, open, and thought-provoking discussions, whether it is about content, careers, culture, or community concerns and be willing to try to comprehend their truths or experiences. Become a better listener! 

    Fellow 2: 2020 and the virtual norm have taught me that we can't revert back to old methods and beliefs of doing things. The toothpaste is now out of the tube! While the pandemic brought about a litany of problems and challenges that we couldn't foresee, it also forced industries including education, to think outside the box and become innovative in how they would serve their customers. 

    Teachers--as they so commonly do--were forced to tweak their teaching methods to accommodate this NEW ecosystem. That pivoting lead to some remarkable discoveries like students participating more in the online class, improvement of grades, and more present students during tutorial days (convenience of online versus making after-school arrangements for in-person).

    Students, who were self-ranked before by brands of clothes they wore, their weight, their skin color,  their gender, or if they possessed good looks, were now all reduced to being viewed as the same black zoom window (box) with a name across the middle, a leveling of the field of sorts. 

    And while some may argue that the opportunity cost for gaining these new insights equaled isolation and that the cost was unbearable, the gains in developing and implementing new pedagogy strategies for teachers and the gains in students' grades and students offering more opinions and views during online class, can't be ignored.

    Fellow 3: Flexibility has been the biggest key to supporting teachers during this period. While we navigated the rough terrain together, our foundation, anchored in respect for each other, allowed teaching and learning to persevere.  We were flexible in the roles that had, whether it was lead instructor, lesson planning or just an ear to hear concerns, the support provided melded into whatever was needed at the moment. 

     

     

  • Icon for: PATRICK HONNER

    PATRICK HONNER

    Facilitator
    Teacher
    May 11, 2021 | 08:58 a.m.

    Hi-

    As a teacher involved in math and CS education, I’d like to hear more about the professional development you provided to teachers. What kinds of support were teachers looking for? And how did you provide it? I'm also curious to know how your experience with your first virtual summit last year has informed your plans for this upcoming summit this summer.

     
     
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    Lien Diaz
  • Icon for: Lien Diaz

    Lien Diaz

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership
    May 12, 2021 | 12:23 p.m.

    Hi Patrick, 

    This year's work with teachers is absolutely anchored on the prior years of work and trust between our program and the schools, more specifically, between the Constellation Fellows and the teachers in APS. Our PD was pretty comprehensive: 1) coaching session - a cycle of lesson planning, analyzing student work, reflecting, modifying instructional strategies, and continual revision of the process; 2) customized workshops for the community of APS teachers; and 3) additional PD opportunities via our summits, or the CSTA conference in which we attend as a team with the teachers. 

    We believe the one-on-one time with teachers is super essential, it was written in an MOU and the Fellows promoted the coaching time as an integral part of the program. It was not about us teaching them, it's truly more about tailoring how we build their capacity for sustainability.    

  • Icon for: Marion Usselman

    Marion Usselman

    Facilitator
    Associate Director, and Principal Research Scientist
    May 11, 2021 | 10:46 a.m.

    Hi Lien and Allie--Thanks for a really nice video, and I am pleased to hear about your Voices podcast series.  Do you think that some of the podcasts might be useful for teachers in the classroom?  I would love to hear some voices of inspiring people who have "made it" in computing--perhaps starting with your Dean, Charles Isbell, and the many successful alumni of the Georgia Tech College of Computing.    

     
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    Lien Diaz
  • Icon for: Lien Diaz

    Lien Diaz

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership
    May 11, 2021 | 12:25 p.m.

    Hi Marion,

    That's a great idea! We haven't had a specific episode where we talk about how guests have "made it" but we have a line up of guests that have shared their experiences as CS educators managing challenges with the pandemic and social justice matters. Their perspectives are usually focused on how to best support students to get through it all. I think the podcast would absolutely be suitable for students depending on the topic(s) being discussed in the classroom. For example, we have an episode where information about Technolochicas is being discussed. Leveraging Latinx female techies in sharing their stories with young students is super important. They can then "see themselves" as belonging in the field. 

  • Icon for: Marion Usselman

    Marion Usselman

    Facilitator
    Associate Director, and Principal Research Scientist
    May 11, 2021 | 01:08 p.m.

    Perhaps we could put together a teacher guide for the sessions that make the most sense for K-12 classrooms. We also have videos of Georgia Tech students from underrepresented groups talking about why they went into CS and the challenges they have overcome.  It would be great to push dissemination of both resources to teachers.

     
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    Victoria Lennon
    Lien Diaz
  • Icon for: Lien Diaz

    Lien Diaz

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership
    May 12, 2021 | 12:24 p.m.

    Would love to do that! 

  • Icon for: Victoria Lennon

    Victoria Lennon

    Senior Communications Specialist
    May 18, 2021 | 06:55 p.m.

    As a native Atlantan, my heart sings while watching this video and learning more about the work the Center is doing with APS. As a member of the CS for All Teachers project team, I love the idea of teacher-focused dissemination of these resources. 

  • Icon for: Khyati Sanjana

    Khyati Sanjana

    Facilitator
    Senior Manager
    May 12, 2021 | 11:27 a.m.

    Love that equity and diversity are at the forefront of this project. I am curious to know how this collaboration has impacted students' interests in Computer Science? Have you seen an increase in students taking the AP CS exam as a result of your work with Atlanta?

     
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    Lien Diaz
  • Icon for: Lien Diaz

    Lien Diaz

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership
    May 12, 2021 | 01:05 p.m.

    Hi Khyati,

    We have provided strong encouragement for a broader approach to student recruitment, directly providing any student who wants to take an AP CS course the opportunity to do so regardless of their races, gender, identity, or ability.   

    In the first year, there were 109 students enrolled in APCSP courses across 5 high schools, 63% took the APCSP Exam. Last year, due to the school closings because of COVID-19, there were 55 students enrolled in APCSA, 44% took the APCSA Exam; 134 students enrolled in APCSP and 73% took the APCSP Exam. We expect to have over 50% of students enrolled in either of the APCS courses to take the Exam this year. 

    We have collected student testimonials on their perspectives of CS. Here are a couple of student quotes: 

    "Until Constellations came to our school I had never done any kind of computer science and had pushed it off as something that was really hard and probably would never understand. The Constellations fellow breaks it down really well and has helped me not only learn binary and other cool stuff, but that anything is possible."

    "Without Constellations coming to my school, I wouldn’t have known that I could really learn the skills to actually do cybersecurity and computer science in real life. this class helped me realize my potential and let me know that an opportunity like attending Georgia Tech was available to me."

    Since we started our work in APS, there have been at least 4 students in our program who have graduated and continued to study CS in college. Four more than there were before. :) 

     

  • Icon for: Khyati Sanjana

    Khyati Sanjana

    Facilitator
    Senior Manager
    May 14, 2021 | 10:29 a.m.

    Lien, 

    Given the year we have had, the growth is growth. The quotes are reflective of students not being aware of their own interests and to think of the possibilities if the opportunity was presented earlier. I wonder how these four students can impact the younger group to create more interest in computer science.

  • Icon for: Lien Diaz

    Lien Diaz

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership
    May 14, 2021 | 11:54 a.m.

    Thanks, Khyati. We have created resources that include students' voices. We are working to stay connected with students so they remain a part of the Constellations community. 

  • Icon for: Lien Diaz

    Lien Diaz

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership
    May 14, 2021 | 11:52 a.m.

    Thanks, Khyati. We have created some resources that include students' voices. We are also working to keep in touch with them so that they remain a part of the Constellations community. 

  • May 18, 2021 | 05:47 p.m.

    Good project. Like the way you continued despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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