Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Ignite Computer Science Education

Over the weekend, I attended Tomorrow's Classrooms Today conference organized by Evolving Educators at Rider University in Lawrence Township, New Jersey.   Every year, I attend this conference, but this year was special because I was asked to provide an ignite speech.  Without hesitation, I accepted.  I took this challenge to get out of my comfort zone, and to take a risk.  Did I mention, this was my first speech in this type of setting?

If you are not familiar with an ignite speech it is different because it only gives the presenter 5 minutes to make their point about a passionate topic.  Plus, there is a presentation which contains 20 slides and advances automatically every 15 seconds.

I was so nervous and excited at the same time because I spoke about the importance of Computer Science education. I have to admit, it was a great feeling when it was over. A sense of conquering my fear!  Sure, my timing was off, but my message was strong and for me that was the most important part.

Ignite Speech - main points:

Why is it important to teach?
  • It is all around us
  • We are great users of technology, but can you really define computer science?
What is Computer Science?
  • Study of algorithms
  • Art of creating and reinventing
  • Teaches you how to think and solve problems
Why learn it?
  • Allows students to be innovative, have leadership, confidence, empowerment, realize that failure is a learning process
  • 4C’s - communication, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity
  • 4P’s - problem solving, problem probing, persistence, perseverance
  • Students think differently about their world when they have an impact on society
  • Computing skills will help them be successful in life and in their careers
State Law
  • New Jersey just passed a law stating that all high schools must offer computer science classes starting in the 2018-2019 school year.
  • Widely used resource K-12
  • Students enrolled in the AP CS Principles course said in a poll they enjoyed their cs classes more than other school work.
  • It showed a huge growth rate in minorities and females too
  • Students exposed will most likely apply for higher paying jobs
  • More diversity to fulfill the jobs
  • Computing skills are necessary for all jobs
  • Experts are predicting that by 2024, 1.1 computing jobs will be available, and only 42% of people will be able to fill it.
  • We need to bridge the gap so that students are exposed to computer science and acquire these skills
  • It will prepare them for a digital economy and jobs that don’t even exist yet
Get Involved

My presentation reflection teaching Computer Science,Overcome the Fear and Embrace the Algorithm - A Computer Science Reflection

You can watch and listen to me speak about the importance of Computer Science Education on The Suite Talk.