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Extending the Pipeline: Why K-12 Computer Science is Essential to Higher Education Robb Cutler Computer Science Teachers Association.

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Presentation on theme: "Extending the Pipeline: Why K-12 Computer Science is Essential to Higher Education Robb Cutler Computer Science Teachers Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 Extending the Pipeline: Why K-12 Computer Science is Essential to Higher Education Robb Cutler Computer Science Teachers Association

2 My Background Introduced to computers in 6th grade C.S. Degree Software Engineer / Architect K-12 Education AP CS and Advanced Topics Courses

3 Defining Computer Science Problem Solving Algorithmic Thinking Systems Analysis Logic Not just programming (though it plays a big part)

4 CS is Clearly Important Technology-oriented world Necessary for success in other disciplines Basic skills are assumed Advanced skills are often required (though often not explicitly)

5 Teaching CS in Kindergarten Sorting Searching Recursion Boolean Arithmetic Queues Everyone Does It!

6 Teaching CS in Elementary Sorting Searching Recursion Boolean Arithmetic Queues Everyone Does It!

7 Teaching CS in High School Programming AP Computer Science Almost No One Does It… –86,000 AP Physics tests –87,000 AP Chemistry tests –132,000 AP Biology tests –256,000 AP Calculus tests –20,000 AP Computer Science tests

8 Wheres the Disconnect? Other disciplines move to formalize learning along a steady, coherent, well-articulated curricular track Everyone is required to take English, Math, Science, History – K-12 Why Not CS?

9 CS is not accessible Perception as geeky Always sitting in front of a computer Too much work Not fun No long-term reward Not perceived as important

10 So, Why is This a Problem? CS enrollments are down –The percentage of incoming undergraduates indicating that they would major in CS declined by over 60 percent between the Fall of 2000 and 2004, and is now 70 percent lower than its peak in the early 1980s (Higher Education Research Institute / UCLA)

11 So, Why is This a Problem?

12 But There arent Any Jobs… Not true –Information technology appears as though it will be a growth area at least for the coming decade, and the U.S. government projects that several IT occupations will be among the fastest growing occupations during this time. (ACM Report – February, 2006)

13 But There arent Any Jobs… Offshoring? –Only 2-3% of IT jobs lost annually through offshoring –U.S. IT sector's overall growth should outpace that loss of jobs, expanding opportunities for those trained in fields such as software architecture, product design, project management and IT consulting. (CNNMoney.com citing ACM Report – February, 2006)

14 How Can K-12 Help? Pipeline begins early (even Kindergarten!) Increase interest by underrepresented populations Better prepared students in CS enhance your programs Recognition of CS as an essential discipline

15 Understanding K-12 Issues Class sizes Teaching periods per day Vastly different learning levels Students often not engaged One person department CS vs. Technology Battle for funding NCLB Feeling of disconnect with higher ed.

16 Working Together - CSTA Membership and advocacy organization representing K-12 computer science In development since 2000 with ACM K-12 Education Task Force and first CS&IT Symposium Model Curriculum for K-12 CS Education in 2003 CSTA launched in 2005

17 Working Together - CSTA members Professional development –JETT / TECS / CS&IT Symposia Development of resources Support for national curriculum and teacher standards Research into K-12 CS education

18 Working Together Help us help you with pipeline issues K-12 teachers need your support to help keep their knowledge and skills current Your research can inform our work Improving K-12 CS education gives you better (and more) students Improved communication helps everyone

19 Challenges Join CSTA: Become involved in K-12 CS in your local area –Understand their issues –Offer guidance and support –Host a TECS workshop Lobby your admissions office to encourage formal computer science as a course of study for high school applicants


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