Everybody Wins When Everybody Codes

Everybody Wins When Everybody Codes


Well good morning everybody. Glad to see you. thanks for wading through the poster
session crowds. it’s quite amazing isn’t it? and for some of you this must be your
first session for the for the whole conference and so we’re glad that you
chose this one thank you for making your way here today I’m Jane Krauss.
I’m Sylvia Martinez and we’re doing Everybody Wins When Everybody Codes. yeah so we
thought we’d have a little fun and introduce each other:
so this is Jane Krauss she is the queen of PBL and if you haven’t read at least
one of her books about project-based learning you definitely should and her
latest book computational thinking and coding for every student.
[Krauss] the teachers getting started guide so this is for people who really are
wanting to get their feet wet. and Sylvia Martinez the inimitable Sylvia
Martinez, who is probably why all of you are here is … she is a
technologist herself she is an electrical engineer who worked in the aerospace field and in game design and all the way moving into education
with a real clear and strong voice about constructionism and constructing to make
meaning and you probably know her best because of her work around making
and maybe you want to say more about Invent to Learn. [Martinez]: my shameless plug.
[Krauss]: and we’re not selling books at ISTE but these are available on Amazon. [Martinez] yes
the place where everyone buys books so we assume that you’re in the room
because you have sort of a shared belief that everybody wins when everybody codes
we just assumed that that’s why you came because that title grabbed
you in some way and so what we’d like to do is just … here’s our agenda for today.
let’s just talk a little bit about why are we here and why
CS for all? what’s our concern about getting computer science
opportunity in front of more of our kids? and you know what’s the landscape what
are the advances in CS education because things are cooking fast. last year in
computer science there were a lot of sessions at ISTE this year … it
looked to me like there are at least double as many and I don’t think this is
going away and you’ll kind of you know it’s not the flavor of the week, for
instance, I haven’t seen very many Second Life sessions in the
catalog this time, where five years ago there were people out the door for
those sessions and I don’t think this is a bright, shiny object or flavor of the
week I think this is here to stay and so it’s great to have you here and in some
way even by coming to the session committing to you know getting your kids
engaged in computer science. [Martinez]: and we know that when we say CS for all we
really do mean all, but there are some issues about equity and inclusion for
students who aren’t your typical suspects for going into computer science
so we’re gonna touch on some of those things and then we’re going to talk
about making and physical computing and how some of those opportunities that
again you know there’s a ton of sessions here about the maker movement this year
some of those opportunities tie really well into STEM, the E in STEM,
engineering computer science and pulling all of those things together in really
fantastic ways and then we’re gonna talk about how to make those things happen
now what we’d love to do if we had time and this wasn’t such a big room
and we weren’t being videotaped we would have loved to ask
each of you where you teach and what your interests are and things
like that but let’s just do kind of a quick like pulse of the room how many of
you are thinking about coding for elementary? [Krauss]: holy cow [Martinez]:
middle? high school? there’s a really nice spread how many of you already have a computer science class in your school? excellent.
[Krauss]: how many of you are teaching it? [Martinez]: fantastic. how many of you are doing it in an after-school setting, a makerspace, a library? So, a fair number.
How many of you are thinking about expanding your computer science
offerings? fantastic well this is so exciting
coding is something that’s near and dear to my heart when I was in college and I
learned to program a computer it was a transformative experience for me
having things come off of the paper and actually work in real life really
connected me to how I felt engineering could be and I think a lot of
people feel that way, is that when you look at the world as challenges things
you can tackle and solve the computer becomes this incredibly
powerful tool that when you give kids the opportunity to master it, it can change
their lives. [Krauss]: so we’re just gonna do a little level setting here and I don’t
know if you would agree with this definition but it’s the one I’ve been
going with lately but computer science is truly about posing a problem. it’s
about problem finding and problem posing and posing a problem in such a way that
a computer can help you solve it, right? and it allows us to do all of these
things. increasingly computer science is also about the social impacts of
computing and so I’m hoping within your computer science programs, you’re looking
at the social impacts and … boy, if we have had life lessons every day
through this last election cycle and, just you know, the Sony
hacking, there’s just so many social implications for computing both good and
bad. I like this picture because it also exemplifies something that I like to
impress upon kids in particular is computing isn’t just for computing’s sake
to make something happen on a computer but this is an instance where this woman
is a software engineer and she created software that aids in the restoration of
ancient art and so this idea of computer science and its intersections across all
the disciplines is really kind of where we can grab more people
there aren’t a lot of differences in the biological sense between boys and girls
but one of the things we know is that somewhat some boys really enjoy just the
fact of the computing and what they are able to do with the computer
with coding and girls somewhat not all but some appreciate more what you
accomplish with the computing so that’s just a little distinction right
there but that’s kind of a cue to you to be talking to young women about … here’s what you can accomplish you know you like biology? well guess what,
you can do with bioinformatics you know and those kinds of conversations. [Martinez]: you know if you asked a computer science professor what computer science is you’d
get a much more formalized answer and there are, in fact, academic computer
science programs where you don’t learn to program at all, it’s all about
discrete mathematics it’s about the theory behind computers but in k-12, I
know that we believe very strongly that coding should be at the heart of what
computer science means because that’s how to hook the kids interest we can
teach them formal algorithms and sorting you know techniques and things like that
but really the “do” is the most important part at k-12, and one of the people I
think is seminal in this field Seymour Papert who invented …
[Krauss]: Rest in peace. [Martinez]: yes, he died about a year ago,
he invented the Logo programming language, I don’t know
if any of you saw Mitchel Resnick the creator of Scratch out in
the poster session. Scratch is like a granddaughter of Logo, so he created a
programming language that kids could use to learn to think, and he said that in
learning to think … in teaching the computer to think, they see
themselves think and that’s the basis, that’s where learning happens and
Edith Ackermann, who’s another fantastic theorist, who unfortunately passed away
just about six months ago as well, said that children learn because they’re
offered an occasion to use their own experience as a lever to actively
explore mathematical ideas and I think we’re used to that in other things, we
give kids puppets and tell them fairy tales to activate their
imagination, to put them in charge of worlds that they can create, but in
mathematics it’s very difficult to find worlds that children can be in charge of
and I think new coding languages for children offer those kinds of opportunities and new opportunities for older children as well. {Krauss]: yeah so we’re gonna show a little quick video from the AP computer science
principles from the college board site I don’t know if some of you may have seen
it before but just one of the things I like about it is just the enthusiasm
everybody has every single person in this and it gets at … just computers
help us to think and so just … oh it’s not coming through the … we might back up
and play it again [Martinez]: let me try what worked before… : I see computer science everywhere. smart medicine that can monitor your body.
national security issues sonar technology to view the inside of your body. it’s saving lives, it’s helping people. Computers have
transformed everything we do. computer science principles is a broad
introduction to computer science it’s not about syntax, it’s about
creativity. they can read and understand how the internet functions. by the time the course is over they’ll have several apps that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t
for their learning. I asked my students to look at the world and to think about things that are in their world in terms of data. they can actually understand how instructions are given to the computer. we went from talking about how the Internet travels and how computers started to where the
first computer bug came from, an actual bug I have people from the basketball
team football team people in interior design theater tech people somebody
takes my class they’re in the band they want to learn about music I’ll teach it
to ’em on a program has to do with music I felt like I was in the studio just
making a hit for everyone. this is what I’ve been waiting for
forever, just showing your flavor, just showing everything through code is
just amazing. being able to press you know enter or run and see my world pop up it’s just like painting or drawing. That cursor is your paintbrush. a lot of girls are intimidated because they see computers as like a guy thing if more
girls were encouraged then that wouldn’t be an issue anymore. you don’t
even think you’re creative and then you have a course that makes you see
yourself as creative. it kind of feels like a new light has turned on. computer science I feel like has really
helped me with my confidence. the biggest change I’ve seen students is their confidence this class teaches kids how to think. computer science can empower computer science is a source of making that could lead to that power. my friend and I, we just looked at each other we’re like oh my god we finally got the code. we have breakthroughs we make discoveries. Wow a
bunch of ones and zeros did that? coming into that class I’ve seen I can design my own thing it’s such a powerful thing. Awesome. [Krauss]: so there you go. is there anybody here teaching computer science principles course? the new course? it’s
the biggest … very few … but just so you know it’s the biggest roll out of a
new AP course ever and it’s gonna be really interesting to see this spring
who took the course and then took the test and how demographics are changing
because in the past it was the test, along with the Latin, that was
taken the least often and so it’s like the biggest roll out that they’ve
seen in the history of the College Board so it’s gonna be really
interesting to see one of the things that’s really nice about this course and
about other courses we’ll talk about later is it’s really inclusive of
students’ interests, it’s project-based kids are inventive while they’re in the
course, it’s responding to their … they can develop their own interests within the
projects that they do within the course and it’s just got a lot of those kinds
of inclusive features baked into the curriculum and so we’re gonna see kids
that come out of this and they’re gonna really be ready to go on and have next
experiences in computing so if you’re teaching at any of the younger grades
and imagine, just imagine that they end up in CSP, ultimately, it’s just
nice to think, you know, with the end in mind right? that the work that your kids
are doing ultimately maybe they’ll just be rock stars in that course and beyond
of course. [Martinez]: so we want to talk a little bit about CS for all, you’ve been
hearing about this everybody should be coding, you know, President Obama
learned to code. I don’t think President Trump is gonna learn to code, but he
might, I think he could. yeah and you know the idea is that computer
science is for everyone so the question is how are we getting there [Krauss]: yeah and if I could just talk for a second about a few of the impediments and there are
kind of attitudinal impediments societal impediments to this. I just have to tell
a quick story about my experience I am an education consultant and I do a lot
of work with the National Center for Women in Information Technology. it’s a nonprofit organization and I was doing some work
and I was traveling home and luckily got an upgrade and I ended up sitting on the
plane you know I’ve been traveling for a week I was really tired and I’m I was
just I’m usually pretty sociable but I just got on the plane and I just wanted
to decompress and have that free drink and you know just relax and then
there’s this guy sitting next to me businessman and he starts chatting me up
and I really was trying to give him the signals that I was … like I’d pulled out
my book … you know where are you from and then I tell him but I go back to my book
and this and that and finally he asked me well what do you do, why are you
traveling and I said well I’m doing work on behalf of the National Center for
Women and Information Technology, it’s a nonprofit organization of 900
organizational members from k-12-serving institutions to at least 4 or 500
colleges and universities, every industry big deal that you can think of and not
just tech companies but for instance MasterCard, they say you know
you think of us as a credit card company but really we’re a tech company because
how else could we get millions of transactions going around the globe
every hour right? and so companies like that, Bloomberg News and Turner
Broadcasting and pharmaceutical companies who all have this backbone of
technology right? and then we also have an entrepreneurial group, so I
was telling him about these 900 members and how every member is committed to
increasing the meaningful participation of girls and women in computing and so I
tell him that whole thing and he says I don’t know why we keep trying to
shoehorn people into careers that they’re not really meant for
and I thought oh boy oh boy where do I start do I start with
the business case, the social case, the innovation case, the equity case, the
personal case so I’ll just run you really quickly through all of those.
there are not enough people involved in computing to fill the job demand right?
it’s also not diverse. so when you think about women that’s a real unexploited
pool of talent that needs to be in the workforce it’s also a social case
it’s interesting that when they look at tech patents, you know, and when you think
about patents they’re kind of a indicator of innovation wouldn’t you say,
patents? when patents are examined and they look at the work groups that
produce patents mixed gender groups produce patents that are more highly
cited than any patents by groups that are either all-male or
all-female. there’s just something about the secret sauce of having diverse you
know contributions so what I like to think is that the diversity of thought
that comes with race, gender, life experience, it all contributes to
innovation, you know we end up with better products and services
that we all need when all kinds of minds are at the table, so that’s one good
reason for CS for all is we want all kinds … we want diverse participation so
that we have better innovation and then there’s the equity case of course I
don’t know if you know anybody who’s gone into a tech job recently but they
make a very good living and that shouldn’t just be available to Asian or white males right? I mean everybody should have access to that
kind of activity and then also in terms of CS when you think about
it not every person who learns to code needs to necessarily go into computer
science but the computational thinking that they develop, will really put them
in good footing for just general good thinking and being able to pursue other
fields of STEM or just life generally and so … that poor
guy right? he left me alone the whole rest of the trip. [Martinez]: so you got your wish.
[Krauss]: so I should have gotten that gotten that done earlier right? but I don’t think he
was necessarily convinced but I really do feel that there’s … we all benefit when
everybody participates and so that’s kind of my case for why CS for all.
[Martinez]: so now the how.
[Krauss]: yeah, so one of the things that I just like to … this is just brief, but … there’s a lot of level setting going on and kind of scanning what’s
going on and you know can’t you tell that it’s
just in the zeitgeist now that coding coding computer science, it’s just a lot
of attention in all kinds of sectors parents want kids to learn to code that
just everybody is interested in this right now and it is just such … the wild
wild west there’s just so much going on and so how can we find out what’s going
on and make sense of it all and lay out road maps for school districts and for
states to be able to do CS for all if that’s they want to do one of the
things that was just produced in the last … I guess it was May was the state of
the states landscape report and Google and EDC and MassCan in Boston brought
together stakeholder groups from I think it was 13 states they’re kind of at the
vanguard you know you hear about like Texas, CS for Texas, there’s a lot of states
that have big initiatives going on around computer science and they brought
them all together and they said how can we codify some sort of general themes so
that we can say here we are kind of at the vanguard we don’t have it all
figured out but here we are in the front and how do we make some coherence out of
this and where do we stand and so there’s this landscape report and you
can find out more about your own state but I’m just gonna very quickly show you
kind of some of the policies there’s these nine policy statements and I won’t
go through all of them but just really quickly show you sort of a map of what’s
going on around the country and then you can be thinking well,
you know that one state seems to have it going in that one area that I care
about, and so I might check in with them. — this way, yeah, okay — so this, I’m not showing all the priorities but these are the states that have adopted
K-12 computer science standards a lot of them are in progress but these
states have them so. [Martinez] this is also an opportunity if you’re not in one of
these states to go to a source that you can just say look our neighbor is doing
this here’s what they’re doing we don’t have to start over. [Krauss] and there’s great
transparency so you can go to these states and find out what they’ve got
another priority is that there’s state funding for computer science education,
right? I mean you can write standards all day long but if you don’t have a way to
fund new courses or teacher professional development or things like that then you
have a problem so these states right now are right there and little
Rhode Island over there Richard Culatta our new CEO of ISTE, their state was the first state to have statewide funding
for computer science for K-12 so it’s pretty cool that he’s a … and I
think ISTE’s really going back to their roots in computer science with him in charge. so those are the state level funding. another priority is
computer science teacher certification so that’s coming along nicely. you know
that you can actually be certified to teach in computer science.
another is … so, for pre-service you know right now most of the training goes on
with in-service teachers and one of the challenges there is is you’re kind of
robbing one pocket to fill another pocket, you know, a lot of the people are
coming out of the math and science ranks and we don’t have enough math and
science teachers anyway and so it’s like just thinning out that population so
being able to have newly minted teachers who are teaching computer science is a
great thing so this is in progress and for instance in Texas you
can look and see on the CS for Texas website all of the universities that are
offering a computer science teaching teacher training. state-level computer science position, so just like maybe you
have a state ed tech director. we’re looking at state level computer science
people who manage. a requirement that the high schools offer computer science
we’ll look at where it’s elective in a moment, you probably know that, but these
schools are actually requiring kids to take computer science and then this is
what’s really coming along is that we are allowing computer science to count
toward graduation as either a math or science right? so things are progressing
and this is just one example … back to Rhode Island, I think I cut off Richard’s
head there, but that’s Richard Culatta and the governor of Rhode Island and
they were talking, you know, that was … they were celebrating those opportunities
that they were bringing to kids that were kind of under … they didn’t have good
access. so I’m just going to show you quickly, that is an eye bleeder there’s
no reason you should even try to see it but that is the idea of what a state
plan looks like okay? and I’ll just … we’ll look at this little part of it briefly. I
don’t know if … I think you can see it but the idea is that organizationally who’s
involved in this? you know what are the programs?
what’s the teacher preparation? what’s happening across the different grade
bands right? so when you look at it you could think okay there’s some coherence
to this I don’t have to imagine that my seventh graders that I’m getting have
never had computer science before. A friend of mine said we can’t all teach
loops every year, we just can’t. you know we need to understand that there’s
probably a curriculum spiral of some kind, but this is a start toward that.
and here’s another view from Boston Public Schools, just a kind of a
different way to interpret this a little more simple
but these are the kind of the computational themes that they’re going
to address and the way they’re gonna get at them at each of these great
bands and then there’s the skills and the apps and software and
the curriculum kind of laid out there. I think that’s a nice view too. [Martinez] and we also
know that this is happening worldwide this is the International Society for
Technology in Education. many of you are not from the United States. there’s
programs in the UK and Australia in Japan and Korea and Singapore to have
kids learn programming across the curriculum and almost everyone does this
sort of mapping sort of a: what do we want them to know? what tools are we
gonna use? how do we find the teachers who are certified and trained to do this?
And all parts of those problems have to be sorted out so we want to get to the …
what this looks like, and I think some of the best examples are when kids do
amazing things like this video about Maddy my name is Maddy Maxine. I live in
New York City. I’m 20 years old and I work at the intersection of fashion and
technology. as far as working in the fashion industry things really got
exciting when I was around 16 I got a scholarship for school from Teen Vogue and
then I interned that spring with Tommy Hilfiger for their runway show and
I realized that there’s this whole industry surrounding the making of
garments in order to dream big in the field of future fashion I think it’s
essential to know a little bit about code in the future, clothing will be
fully responsive to our bodies. when my body is getting warm, the clothing cools it down, when
I’m cold it warms it up as it shifts from day to night my clothes may
illuminate. the building blocks of all of these innovations are having an
understanding of code. I meet with a lot of people who are starting fashion
companies and they’ll be like oh I need somebody to build my website and I always
respond, well why don’t you learn to build it yourself and, generally, the answer
is like oh I’m not good at code or not good at math you know I’m not good at
all of these things and it’s not really a question of what you’re good or
bad at it’s a question of what you want to learn. I thoroughly believe that if you
get involved with code now you’ll be able to help build the future of the
fashion industry. so that’s a lovely series of videos from Google at madewithcode.com, but you know, you look at Maddy and you say, did she learn
computer science in a computer science class and fashion and fashion class and
math in a math class and engineering in the engineering class? and is she a
computer scientist or is she an engineer? or does she have a “good” STEM job? no
she’s a fashion designer that’s what’s propelling her into these
fields and I think we have to figure out how to not just make another class
called computer science that further segregates all these ideas, but give
kids opportunities to support their own passions in ways that feel natural and
good to them. so when you look at computer science across the grade levels
it really does look different you’re starting at a young age from simply that
coding is fun and I can do cool things with it I can see the computer as an ultimate tool in technology to make the world
into a place that’s … where I can play. in grades in middle schools
you can start to introduce more formal aspects of computer science emphasizing
that it’s in everything that these aren’t just sorting algorithms that sit
outside and don’t have anything to do with real life but we can use sorting
algorithms to you know make projects that we want to make
and in 9-12, we can then have pathways for some of the kids who want
to learn formal computer science but also for students like in that AP
Principles video, want to use it for music or your friend who restores art or
fashion design so having a lot of these options sounds overwhelming. how do we
teach everything? how do we teach every kid? I think by picking the right
languages and giving kids interesting challenges is where we start with that
and we also start with it at the youngest possible level people say Oh
kids you know little kids they shouldn’t be on the computer, they should be
playing outside, yes, and they should be playing with the computer and the most
powerful thing you can do with a computer is play. learning about patterns
learning about representation learning about sequencing, and thinking through
these big ideas in a way that you can control. languages like Logo, languages
like Scratch, are designed with child development in mind. child development
experts say that when children play they are themselves exploring the world. so
when things are biosyntonic that’s a developmental term meaning it
relates to the child’s body they can control things when they want to see
something they walk over to it they pick it up they touch it. computer languages
like Logo replicate that on the screen when you tell the turtle or the scratch
cat where to go or what to do you’re actually putting yourself into that body
it’s an appropriate childlike thing to do, it’s
not a childish thing to do. and you know all of these pathways can be using canned
curriculum, but even if you have canned curriculum and there’s some excellent
curriculum examples out there at all levels, it’s just a start. it’s a place to
get started because it might not work for you. it might not work for your
community, it might not be what you’re interested in and the interest of the
teacher is huge in hooking in the interest of the students you know we
can’t just import someone else’s passion into the classroom
kids like to see their teachers who are knowledgeable and passionate about
something we’ve all heard the story right? group of kids they’re not doing
well a teacher comes in and says hey let’s build an airplane or a submarine
or enter a robotics contest and all of a sudden, these kids blossom. was the
magic the airplane or the robotics? No, it was the teacher’s passion and willingness
to go out there and tackle something that looked impossible. so this part of …
you can’t buy this in a canned curriculum you have to try it out for yourself and
this is more than just classic computer science this is more than just teaching
kids about ones and zeroes and more than teaching what we often call technology
classes in schools. a lot … for a lot of school technology class means learning
how to use a computer to do your schoolwork the same way you’ve always done it just
a little more electronically or digitally or easier to share. computer
science can be much more than that and I think that there are incredible examples
out there of fantastic curriculum as a place to start and you can look
outside of computer science for example Engineering is Elementary is a fantastic
elementary level curriculum that starts to touch on computer science because you
don’t have time to do 17 new things you have to integrate a lot of this. at
middle school Project GUTS is fantastic [Krauss] you talk about that and I’ll talk about
bootstrap. Growing up thinking scientifically … Project GUTS is out of
New Mexico, actually, it’s Growing Up Thinking Scientifically (GUTS) and it’s
computer science embedded within science and so it’s a course where
they’ve just done a mash up right? and so you’re learning coding on the
way to solving problems in science right? and Bootstrap, I don’t know if there are any
Bootstrap teachers here, or if you’ve heard of it? it’s actually a kind of more
8th, 9th, 10th grade … it’s actually teaching algebra through computer
science. one of the things that’s interesting about that is that kids do
better in algebra learning it through computer science than they do without
it’s been really well tested by the National Science Foundation and it’s
well researched curriculum and teacher training, of course, so … [Martinez] so when people say you don’t have time this is the answer. [Krauss] yeah in bootstrap … I think it is a semester-long, it can replace a semester of algebra and you could teach algebra
that way. one of the things that’s interesting about the results is not
only do kids do well in algebra in that course but when they take their next
algebra classes even if they’re not using computers or computer science
anymore the computational thinking that they gain, the algorithmic thinking that
they developed, actually has them doing better in subsequent algebra classes and
you know when I think about the areas where girls start falling away from STEM,
it’s often when they get to the more abstract subjects of math like algebra
and if we, through computer science, could get them … give them that lift to
get … to be really competent in algebra so that they can continue into higher order
math, I think that we’re solving some of our problems with
under-representation of women in STEM. I just like seeing curricula like these
developing. [Martinez] There’s a lot of time, a lot of schools use math as a barrier to
computer science, as a hurdle you have to go over. I can tell you when I was a video game designer, a lot of the programmers had been told that they weren’t allowed
to take computer science in school because they were “bad at math.” “Were bad at math” meant they didn’t want to do things the teacher’s way. you know there’s
always … everyone … I always get some nodding … this is not necessary to
put that barrier in place people can can learn to program computers. and I can
tell you the video game programmers that I knew were excellent mathematicians it’s
just not the math we teach in school the mathematics of putting a video game
together are exceptionally difficult and you know we don’t teach
anything like it. I know the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics says
that 50% of all mathematics has been invented since World War II right? and
we don’t teach any of it and almost all of it has computation in it. the computer
changes math fundamentally and we have to figure out how that fits into the
curriculum and I think we have to start young I can’t emphasize this enough. a
lot of people say, Oh block-based programming, that’s not real computer
science. I can assure you it is. in fact there’s a new variant of scratch called
snap which has been used at UC Berkeley freshmen computer science classes and it
looks just like this. it just has a few things added. it has first class objects
added to the scratch computing language. [Krauss] yeah the Harvard CS 50 course … the first lesson kids … young people, they feel like kids to me … the first assignment that they have in CS 50
class, which is actually an online course that you can take, they do their first
lessons in scratch, so it’s not baby stuff it’s real computer science. [Martinez] yeah.
there’s a lot of material out there ISTE has standards for computer science
educators, I have to say when I looked at this I was a little dismayed to see that
the abstract stuff is right up front. I think that’s a mistake that we make in a
lot of computer science standards is we put the abstract stuff first and I think
the “doing” should be first. [Krauss] well you know what’s interesting about
the ISTE computer science teacher standards. they’re changing, they’re under
redevelopment now, so it’s gonna be interesting to see how … [Martinez] I should go online [Krauss] yeah and be
one of the reviewers. I think that came up in the keynote, in the plenary last night.
the other thing that’s going on is that if any of you are … the Computing
Teachers Network, if you’re in that PLN at ISTE, you probably belong to one
of the professional learning networks at ISTE, it’s part of your membership,
but if you go — even if you’re not a computer science teacher, you can
certainly belong to the computing teachers PLN — and that’s where all of the
new things that are going to be happening at ISTE around computer
science are going to be broadcast so it’d be a really good network to join.
And you don’t have to just join one network, one of the PLNs, so I’d
really advise that if you pick … Add a PLN, add this one
because it’ll keep you up to speed on developments that are happening and I
know one of the things that ISTE is really interested in is helping in the
pre-service space. this pre-service teacher preparation space and so it’d
be a good place to go to learn what’s going on. [Martinez] and there’s a lot of crossover, too, with
the CSTA, the Computer Science Teachers Association so I think actually joining
both is a really good idea. so you know when we say CS for all we really
want to make sure that we really do mean everyone and there’s … I think we all know
some of the statistics. you know girls are going into sciences in college,
but it’s … it looks 50/50, but it’s not really, it’s quite unevenly distributed
girls are not taking computer science and engineering courses and the thing is,
we know we can make this happen if you go back to the 70’s this is how many
women were going into science degrees. when there was a lot of
emphasis put on recruiting women, supporting women, getting them into
science degrees, the rates went up incredibly. in a lot of biology and
and sciences like that women are more than the majority. however, in computer
science and engineering and also physics the number of women has been going
down lately. now we know that there were some cultural issues. we know that boys
get more encouragement than girls from their parents, from their teachers. even
when it’s not intentional and noone’s trying to be “mean” to kids, it just leaks
out because we’re all in this culture where boys are supposed to be better at
math and they like technology better so we just sort of say, okay well,
my robotic Club is all boys that’s just how it is. [Krauss] and there’s one more note on that. Joanna Goode who is one of the curriculum developers of
Exploring Computer Science, which is another one of those very inclusive,
amazing courses, it’s a 9th grade computer science course, she says
the privilege of advanced preparation interferes with everybody, you know with
CS for all. there’s certain kids with encouragement — and it tends to be
white and Asian boys — who are a tiny step ahead because they got started sooner, so
it makes them look like they’re better at computer science than other people
who didn’t have the privilege of advanced preparation. and part of that’s
because of all the encouragement that they’re getting that boys are gonna be
good at this and all that so we just need to disrupt that in a way and
there’s just some some classroom methods some classroom practices that
are gonna be — we’ll talk about them a little more — but that kind of disrupt
that so that it doesn’t look like there are certain kinds of people who somehow
have a computer science gene because there’s no such thing but they might
have earlier preparation and then that causes them to look like they’re smarter
but it just ain’t so. [Martinez] so it’s definitely not just boys and girls, a lot of
minority students want to take computer science, but they don’t have
opportunities at home, they don’t have access at schools. and this starts very
young. by age six, kids already say that boys are better at programming and robots.
the nice thing about this study is it was very easily changed with just a
small amount of exposure to building robots and programming and there on, what the kids said completely changed. so I want to show you a video
from Harvey Mudd which is one of the engineering colleges that took a look at
its record of gender equity and decided to do something about
it and there’s been a number of engineering colleges that have had
exceptional improvements in equity, so this is a video from the American
Association of University Women just a short clip. so the Harvey Mudd example
is a good one of how some small changes and some big changes can
make a big difference in the number of students, in fact double the number of
students, in the program so looking at the computer science program, Harvey Mudd
did three different things: they looked at their introductory course and they
changed it, they looked for research opportunities for both male and female
students right out of the gate just in that first year and second year of
college, and third, they sent their students to the Grace Hopper Celebration
for Women in Computing. put all these things together and you see the
number of female students graduating in computer science at Harvey Mudd college is
around 40% now. it’s a useful model because it gets down to the brass tacks:
what do we need to teach students to make them enjoy and think about enjoying
this field? [Martinez] so I want to take a look at that one
slide where she talked about the three things that they did
and talk about the k-12 version. they updated the introductory course. now they
didn’t dumb it down they did what Jane talked about, they made it less reliant
on prior experience they changed the challenges to things in media, used
languages like processing that the students probably didn’t have in high school. it leveled the playing field for entry-level students [Krauss] they also changed it
so that there were different flavors of that introductory course so they had the
green introductory course which was for bio majors and they had the brown that
was for math majors and so they made it very much applied computer science
within the discipline so every project that they’d work on was
within like if you’re a biology student all the projects were biology projects
that involved computer science so that was a nice treat, too. [Martinez] and so I think
we can take and make our own k-12 version the number one is to get kids
coding with hands-on science, real research, real tools as early as possible
and to make it real. you know, this is about research this is about changing
the world and kids can do amazing things in their classrooms today we don’t have
to teach them about being a computer scientist we can let them do it today.
and connecting to mentors, they send their undergraduates to the Grace
Hopper Institute not to see women engineers or see women computer sciences
but to develop relationships you know I think a lot of schools bring in
women and say look an engineer and then that’s it. that’s not what really works
what really works is connecting students to people who are working in real fields
and it doesn’t have to be women to inspire girls it just has to be someone
who will talk to a kid look them in the eye and say that’s a really interesting
idea let’s try that and connect to them on a personal level and I think
that in spite of everything we try it’s really hard to get out from under our
cultural you know norms that boys are good at computers and girls are good at
you know collaborating there are things I think especially in computer
science classes we need to watch. For example very often when you say about
making something or designing a universe, or a user interface, the criteria is
make something so easy your mom could use it right? there’s a subtle hint of
gender discrimination. you know “that’s a man’s job” “man up” “there are ladies here”
“you ‘whatever’ like a girl” “you guys” I say “you guys” all the time I
am trying not to. [Krauss] folks. [Martinez] Right, “scholars” you know whatever, the
thing is we know if you walked into a room of boys and said “ladies” that’s an insult if you walk into a room and say “you guys”
everyone’s supposed to feel good about that. I think we have to watch our language not to the point of being frozen — it’s
like oh my god I can’t say anything — but really thinking about the experience in
our classrooms, of making sure that our sample data is inclusive, of making sure
that the heroes and the leaders that we use as examples aren’t just
white men. that we don’t introduce biases in algorithms. you
probably know the story when the Apple Watch first came out and it was supposed
to measure heartbeat it didn’t work for black people. nobody tried it. hello, you
have to think about these things. Face recognition software that
doesn’t work, name recognition software that doesn’t work. well why? because guess
who programmed it and tested it on them and their friends. so you know bringing
some of these ideas into the classroom I
think helps all students understand that the world out there … that algorithms are
not neutral, that computer programs are not neutral, they reflect the biases of
the person who’s writing them and those have to be tested and questioned. and to
do that I don’t think there’s any better place than the
NCWIT website to get resources. there’s contests, there’s handouts, there’s things
for all kinds of different groups I think the counselors for computing is essential getting your counseling staff onside
getting the kids into class even recruiting them if you’re in high school,
recruiting them from middle school and making sure that the counselor doesn’t
put them in study hall because they think oh they won’t want
computer science. Yes, they will. [Krauss] Or astronomy will look better on your
transcript, you know, those kinds of messages. I actually manage the
counselors for computing program and so I work with counselors a lot and they
get so activated as soon as they think of it as kind of an equity and social
justice consideration they just get right on the job and start thinking
differently about their messaging around what courses kids should take we also
have some awards I don’t know if any of you have had young women apply for the
award for Aspirations in Computing but the idea is that it supports young women
and their interests in computing it puts them into a network, it shines a
spotlight on them, so that the world knows that women do computing and they
also have an educator award and a collegiate award so there’s some of the
award programs and they start every September 1st, but this is just a lot
of the resources if you want any of them you could see me and I can hook you up,
but they’re useful resources. [Martinez] I think there’s so many resources out
there. Intel has this fantastic infographic and about a 20-page handout
about women and talking about maker … using the maker programs as a way to
computer science and engineering because this is what attracts and keeps girls.
real things, being able to make a difference in the world. That’s on intel.com, Girls in Tech is what it’s called and I really believe that this
area of physical computing is essential when we talk about computer science.
computer science should not just live on the screen. there are amazing new
technologies, micro-controllers and small computers that you can program and build
things that interest you. so on this slide there is a toy using an Arduino
microcontroller, a jack-o-lantern (fun!), gloves that read sign language using
pressure sensors and different kinds of sensors in the glove, and ballet
shoes that track dance movements. now every single one of these uses the same
design process of planning of writing code of working on the hardware and
software together and then debugging and troubleshooting cuz nothing ever works
the first time and yet I think you can see this would attract and be of
interest to a very different kind of kid, but basically they’re learning the same
thing in the same rigorous way now one of the issues with physical computing
right now is the software is terrible there’s a lot of crummy software that
just puts hurdles in front of kids but I can tell you there’s a lot of new stuff
I was like downloading press releases last night. there’s scratch for
Raspberry Pi now, there’s all sorts of new things coming out. when you
can connect these block-based programming languages to the real world —
and this is true — you can use them to build things that work in the real
world. you can also program for things like 3D printers by using parametrics
kinds of programming languages or something like Beetle Blocks now Beetle
Blocks is another Logo programming language but it takes the turtle off the two-dimensional screen puts it into the third dimension and then you can print out what your beetle drew in three-dimensional space [Video] You ready? This is the dog. It’s time to sleep, it gets dark. You can wake him up. You can feed him. adjust his eyes, you can drive him. [Martinez] This is an example of what I call low floor, high ceiling. this is a Hummingbird’s robotics kit. you can program … you can make a cardboard
robot — fun, whimsical, it’s a dog that responds to your touch and
sound. and you’re programming, you’re learning about electronics, but that’s
not where it ends. when kids get access to technology like this.
the hummingbird also runs about ten different programming languages. it
doesn’t just run Scratch, it runs Python and Processing and App Inventor.
you can make … that’s a genetics machine, that creates wave motion and then
graphs it on the screen, it connects to Vernier sensors. that means that the kids
don’t have to relearn something a lot of schools do too much right? we say we do
computer science and we’re like this week we’re doing Lego and next week
we’re doing WeDo and next week we’re doing Next and next week we’re doing
this … and we say okay we’ve done Scratch. well when do kids get good
at these things? and when did they step up to the next level? and when do they
think “I can use that to solve my problems in different classes or in my
world.” so I think curating the tools and technologies we pick is crucial there’s
all kinds of new things. I could show you a million slides but these are just some
things that are brand new: littleBits has a code kit for grades 3-8
that uses the Google Blockly app … [Krauss] Aren’t they giving away
littleBits? [Martinez] I don’t know, are they? What was [unintelligible] giving away? Oh Micro bits. [Martinez] Oh micro bits. Micro bits are also new. there are things like the Digital
Circuit Playground (Express). they’re giving away free and subsidized kits of
this little onboard computer it blinks, it buzzes, you can push a button, you can sew to those tabs using conductive thread. they also have a grade 7-9 curriculum, you can find that on adafruit.com and this is what the programming language looks like. again
block-based. if your kids have done Scratch they’re gonna look at this and
go I got it so this is adafruit’s
version of their coding language and this is Microsoft’s version of their new
coding language called MakeCode which also works for the micro bit.
Minecraft, SparkFun inventor’s kit, the Chibitronic circuit stickers, brand
new Chibi Clip, the software’s getting better, finally. so that’s a big step [Krauss] and it’s extensible I think, is the big idea. [Martinez] and if you think ugh this is all about electronics, what’s coming next is even more amazing. Nicholas Negroponte who has like predicted every invention and technology for the last 30 years says “Bio is the new digital” and
it’s not just because you can store data — like you can store 200 million
terabytes in a gram of water — it’s not just about that, but you can hack cells
you can program behavior in biological organisms and this is happening in
in high school biology classes right now so if your biology class hasn’t changed
yet it’s gonna and it’s all gonna be about programming and coding so I want to finish up with with one last example of a project that I love
because I think it really encompasses a lot of the things that we’ve been
talking about. this is a program in Turtle Art and in a culture … in a
4th grade unit of world culture where they were studying Islamic tile
patterns, learning mathematics behind Islamic tile patterns and they asked the
kids program this in Turtle Art and Turtle Art is another variation of Scratch. now a
couple of years ago that’s where this project would have ended you could have
printed them out or put them in a PowerPoint, put them on the bulletin
board but now this teacher named Josh Burker took it to a 3d printer and he extruded the 2d pattern into the three dimensions
now you’ve got a real thing that you can print out and use to stamp clay and if
it’s firing clay you can have the kids paint them and you have a classroom set
of tiles that arc from world culture through geometry to art to make a
beautiful thing that’s shareable so when this comes out at back-to-school night
or goes home to the parents you can talk to parents and say there’s math in
everything, there’s computer science in everything and we’re doing the kinds of
projects that connect these together when we talk about STEM, when we talk
about STEAM, this is what we mean. but it it requires the most precious thing that
we have in schools and that’s time. STEAM requires time, it requires carefully
curated technology tools and materials and the time for kids to be interested
and love the things that they do I think that’s the most important part of
computer science. we already talked
about the computer teachers Network so we’re at the end of our time here today
and we truly appreciate your attention we know you have fantastic things to go
on to for the rest of ISTE we thank you. Jane and I are both doing
sessions later on today I’m actually doing a session in a half an hour about
wearable technology where I’ll go way more into detail about how to make some
of these things happen and then tomorrow I’m doing a session on makerspaces. Wednesday tools for every phase of the project cycle and by the way
if you’re interested in the Logo programming language, gary stager
tomorrow about 4:45 is doing a session about … this is the 50th anniversary of
the Logo programming language and he’s gonna do like a history kind of thing. [Krauss] Oh cool. [Martinez] yeah it’s very cool and so again thank you very much we’re here come talk to us if you want.
we’d love to maybe visit your schools and talk more about this. thank you.

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