A great organization that’s making waves recently is the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). Under the umbrella of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) the CSTA has been leading the charge for teacher education in Computer Science all over the United States.
February 9th – Computer Science Teachers Association
With the recent push for Computer Science education, both locally for me, and nationally – the CSTA is suddenly thrust in the spotlight. Established for years, they’ve been working to assist educators with teaching strategies but, as I’ve pointed out in previous post, Computer Science Education is a bit of a moving target with new programs and academies coming out every week.
A newer approach, that I like and very much believe in, is the idea of teaching concepts rather than a language. The courses that I teach typically focus on a “how has computer science impacted your life vibe” and that throws a lot of students off. Students today still have the idea that Computer Science is sitting at a computer writing long lines of code (so basically the Matrix).
But it’s not. Computer Science is Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, working together and basically every other “21st Century Skill” educators are now pushing, but then attaching a curriculum to it. CSTA is working with International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE – look for it in an upcoming post) to develop K-12 Technology Standards but realistically they are very connected with Computer Science and the skills we want to teach. As CS Education comes into focus, keep your eye out for changing policies and hopefully your young ones coming home with a completely different (21st century) skill set.
Visit the page above to visit CSTA and sign up for their National Conference – July 10th – 12th in San Diego, CA. Also note the new webpage they will be moving to. It’s a very exciting time to be part of this movement!