Illinois Education & Technology Conference

For 29 years, IETC has focused on leading the conversation around technology integration, engaging instructional practices, and emerging trends.

This year, we’re committed to continuing those conversations at a brand-new location that will help Midwest educators like you build the present and future of educational technology – together. At the heart of our event, we focus on technology integration strategies, engaging instructional practices, digital tools and resources, and emerging trends. In other words, IETC is the best place to learn about both the present and future of educational technology.

Dive Deep into Illinois’ New Computer Science Standards (South Cook ISC)

Looking to learn more about Illinois’ new CS learning standards? This two-part interactive workshop will offer a chance for curious teachers and instructional coaches to dive deep into how these guidelines will apply to students at all grade levels.

During the first half of this session, we’ll illustrate how you can connect your existing programming to the standards while simultaneously refining your district’s overall CS learning vision. Along the way, we’ll explore where your program may already be aligned to the standards, and where you may need to fill in some gaps before the standards come into force. Then, in the second half of the session, we’ll investigate tools and curricular options to directly address the standards, both in standalone CS programming as well as through core curriculum integration. You’ll walk away with both a high-level map of your district or school’s Computer Science plan, and enough details and resources to begin implementing it in the near term.

Code.org CS Principles Summer Workshop

Code.org‘s Computer Science Principles curriculum introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world. More than a traditional introduction to programming, it is a rigorous, engaging, and approachable course that explores many of the foundational ideas of computing so all students understand how these concepts are transforming the world we live in.

Hosted in partnership with Code.org, this multi-day workshop will introduce educators to the CS Principles curriculum and demonstrate how it can be utilized to fulfill new and emerging CS education requirements. Participants will walk away with a plethora of resources for making CS learning engaging for all learners, as well as the skills and confidence needed to be an effective CS educator.

This year’s cohort will take place August 1-5, 2022 in Bloomington, IL, at the Parke Regency Hotel and Conference Center. Through scholarships, first-time participants may be able to attend at little-to-no cost. Those that take part in the full program have the chance to earn up to 59 PD hours. In addition to this multi-day event, four quarterly workshops will be held over the course of the following year to provide curriculum users just-in-time support and an opportunity to assess their progress.

Code.org CS Discoveries Summer Workshop

Code.org‘s Computer Science Discoveries is an introductory computer science curriculum geared toward grade 6-10 students of all skill levels. Mapped to CTSA standards, the course takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as problem-solving, programming, physical computing, user-centered design, and data, while inspiring students as they build their own websites, apps, animations, games, and physical computing systems. CS Discoveries also provides a flexible teaching framework, allowing its lessons and projects to be taught in a single semester, two semesters over multiple years, or as a full-year course.

Come discovery the many ways CS Discoveries can help your students grow as CS learners during this year’s summer cohort!

Hosted in partnership with Code.org, this year’s cohort will take place July 25-29, 2022, in Arlington Heights, IL, at the Courtyard by Marriott Chicago Arlington Heights/South. Through scholarships, first-time participants may be able to attend at little-to-no cost. Those that take part in the full program have the chance to earn up to 59 PD hours. In addition to this multi-day event, four quarterly workshops will be held over the course of the following year to provide curriculum users just-in-time support and an opportunity to assess their progress.

The Robots are Coming! Integrating Robotics Across the Curriculum

Looking to learn more about integrating robotics into your curriculum? Interested in discovering the latest models designed for use by K-8 students?

Join us for this hands-on workshop, where participants will have the chance to test drive some of today’s most popular K-8 robots (Micro:bits, Sphero, Makey-Makey, Dash & Dot, Cosmo, and Root, to name a few). Participants will also be able to travel to multiple concurrent stations, where they can test robots using pre-programmed task cards or get creative by programming a task card of their own.

Illinois’ New Computer Science Standards

To ensure students are equitably prepared for the demands of the future workforce, ISBE has published a new set of standards for computer science learning in K-12 public schools. How can we as school leaders and classroom educators develop programs that align with these standards and meet expectations? Come discover how as we strive toward creating CS learning experiences that are enriching and engaging for all students.

During this 1-hour session, we will:
* Unpack the CS Standards to reveal their organization and integration across grade levels;
* Demonstrate how to interpret each standard’s exception to determine how your current CS offerings match up;
* Model the planning involved with developing a scope and sequence that ensures all standards are addressed at each grade level; and
* Explore resources that teachers can implement in classrooms to help students achieve mastery of the standards.

Illinois educators who attend live can earn 1.0 PD credit.

Aligning Teaching to the New IL Computer Science Standards

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has just released its finalized K-12 Computer Science learning standards. Now’s the time to dig into the text of each standard and learn how these new learning requirements may impact your school or classroom.

Join us for this workshop as we open up the new K-12 Computer Science learning standards and break them down into digestible and actionable segments. Along the way, we’ll explore programs you can use to integrate these standards into the curriculum as well as the conceptual framework underpinning these standards’ intent and purpose. You’ll walk away with a solid understanding of how to approach these standards, their progression across grade levels, and the tools you’ll need to bring them to life for your students.

Bring Computer Science to Your Students with Code.org Trainings & Free Curricula

Right now, computing is one of the fastest growing and highest-paying professions in the United States. Supply for these technically-skilled jobs cannot keep up with demand, with over 23,000 CS-related positions in Illinois alone going unfilled in 2019. With an average salary of $84,000, today’s students have a real opportunity to succeed if they enter this field, but only if their teachers today can lay the right groundwork.

However, inexperience teaching CS skills and concepts remains a challenge for many Illinois K-12 teachers. Fortunately, Code.org provides a wide array of curricular resources for educators of all experience levels to choose from — including four full curricula geared toward elementary, middle, and high school students. 

Using these curricula, new and seasoned CS teachers alike can provide age-appropriate CS learning experiences to their students. In turn, Code.org’s curricula can help Illinois districts meet new state-level CS learning mandates while preparing their students for a fruitful future in the computer science field. 

Free Computer Science Curriculum from Code.org

CS Fundamentals

Audience: Elementary students (K-5), ages 4-11

CS Fundamentals lays the foundation for computer science learning with a blend of online and “un-plugged” non-computer activities. Students learn computational thinking and problem-solving skills as well as the basics of programming and digital citizenship. 

This curriculum’s flexible framework also makes it ideal for a variety of elementary classroom implementations, including as part of a weekly lab, library activity, supplemental math/language lesson, or regular classroom schedule.

CS Discoveries

Audience: Middle and high school students, grades 6 – 10

Using the groundwork laid in CS Fundamentals, CS Discoveries introduces middle and high school students to a variety of computer science concepts, including programming, physical computing, user-centered design, and problem-solving. Over the course of this curriculum, students use their bolstered CS skills to create unique projects using the online Web Lab, Game Lab, and App Lab. These labs give students the opportunity to learn web, game, and app development through a hands-on approach that deepens learning beyond rhetorical lessons. 

CS Discoveries is also mapped to the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) K-12 Standards, making it a great starting point for educators interested in using evidence-based curricular content. The CSTA K-12 Standards were also used as a blueprint for Illinois’ new Computer Science Standards, meaning this curriculum can be used to efficiently meet this new state-level teaching mandate.

CS Principles

Audience: High school students, grades 9 – 12

As students move on to high school, they can explore deeper computer science applications with CS Principles. This rigorous, engaging, and approachable curriculum is designed for all students, regardless of whether they’ve participated in prior CS coursework. In it, students deepen their computational-thinking skills through inquiry-based activities, many of which help them understand the growing impact of computing tools in our society.

Like CS Discoveries, CS Principles is aligned to the CSTA K-12 Standards. Whatsmore, this curriculum is also aligned to the AP Curriculum Framework. As a result, students who participate in this College Board-endorsed curriculum will be well-prepared to take the AP CS Principles assessment. 

Computer Science A

Audience: High school students, grades 9 – 12

Computer Science A (CSA) is a brand-new curriculum from Code.org that introduces experienced high school students to the skills they’ll need to excel in college and careers. Over the course of this curriculum, students learn the essentials of software engineering and object-oriented design while also working with industry-standard programming languages like Java.

Currently, CSA is recommended for students who have completed CS Principles or CS Discoveries and are interested in learning more real-world applications for their CS skills. CSA participants will also be able to earn college credit by taking the AP Computer Science A exam, with which the CSA curriculum is aligned. 

Computer Science PD Opportunities with Code.org

Many teachers have never written a line of code, much less taught computer science to others. Code.org has recognized this experience gap and made it easier to grow your CS teaching capacity in the near-term. In particular, Code.org offers its annual Summer Professional Learning Program to help students grow their CS teaching proficiency and discover the best methods for integrating their several CS curricula.

As a Code.org Regional Partner, the LTC has the pleasure of hosting a full slate of CS professional learning cohorts during summer 2022. Illinois educators can participate in these cohorts for little-to-no cost and walk away with the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to make high-quality CS learning a mainstay in their classroom. 

Here are the Code.org-sponsored CS workshops and cohorts currently scheduled for this coming summer:

CS Fundamentals Workshops

Code.org offers two CS Fundamentals professional learning opportunities that vary depending on teacher’s needs.

First, a one-day, introductory workshop designed to help elementary educators explore the CS Fundamentals curriculum. During the workshop, participants get a hands-on introduction to computer science pedagogy and an overview of best practices for integrating the CS Fundamentals curriculum. 

After that, teachers can move on and take part in the Deep Dive workshop, which is geared toward teachers who have already started teaching CS Fundamentals but are looking for a deeper understanding of implementation strategies. Best of all, both workshops are available to Illinois attendees free of charge.

Learn more about upcoming CS Fundamentals workshops on our Code.Org Professional Learning Hub page.

CS Discoveries and CS Principles Summer Cohorts

For both CS Discoveries and CS Principles, teachers have the opportunity to join a cohort of peers and participate in a year-long professional learning experience. 

The program kicks off with a five-day summer workshop that prepares teachers to implement the Code.org curriculum in their classrooms. Afterward, teachers participate in quarterly workshops throughout the following year to ensure they have the support and guidance needed to fully implement their new curricular resources.

UPDATE March 22, 2022: This year’s CS Discoveries and CS Principles workshop locations have been announced!

CS Discoveries will take place July 25-29, 2022, at the Courtyard by Marriott Chicago Arlington Heights/South in Arlington Heights, IL. Learn more and register through Code.org’s professional learning portal.

CS Principles will take place August 1-5, 2022, at the Parke Regency Hotel and Conference Center in Bloomington, IL. Learn more and register through Code.org’s professional learning portal.

CSA Cohort

To support the rollout of the new CSA curriculum, Code.org is offering a new type of summer program to interested educators. This program starts with the same five-day summer cohort as previous programs and continues with year-long implementation support on a quarterly basis. Then, participants are invited back the following summer for a two-day workshop designed to help curriculum users assess their progress and make plans for even deeper levels of curricular integration.

The inaugural CSA cohort will take place this summer in Bloomington, IL, from June 13-17. To learn more and apply, visit Code.org’s professional learning portal.

Supporting Computer Science Education

This is an exciting time as Illinois K-12 schools move towards providing all students with opportunities to learn computer science. It is, however, a process and the LTC is here to support you as you grow your personal CS teaching capacity.

Be sure to check out our growing collection of free CS resources to help your classroom take the next step toward fully harnessing this future-ready content area:

  • Computer Science Education Hub. Here, you’ll find the latest information about LTC-hosted computer science programs, PD opportunities, and resources – including ISBE-approved standards and definitions.
  • Code.Org Regional Partnership Program. Through our Regional Partnership with Code.org, the LTC provides free or low-cost professional learning opportunities for new computer science teachers. Visit this page to learn more about these one-day and year-long programs, as well as for quick access to Code.org’s free K-12 curricula.
  • Computer Science Resource Database. Filterable by type, topic, grade level, and cost, this growing database of curricular resources provides a launching point for schools and educators interested in making CS learning a mainstay in their classrooms.

Get Illinois Ready for the Hour of Code with Tynker!

It’s that time of year again – time for the Hour of Code in Illinois! Extend the excitement for coding and computer science throughout your community and throughout the school year. Join us for a webinar that will give you everything you need to run a successful Hour of Code. In this webinar, you will learn to:

– Easily manage your classes for all of your Hour of Code Activities
– Inspire your students with activities based on UN Sustainable Development Goals, from NASA, and over 30 more
– Connect Tynker Hour of Code activities to the new Illinois Computer Science Standards
– Reward your students with Tynker certificates and badges
– Extend the Hour of Code excitement to the entire school year

MakeCode

In this session, educators can learn about MakeCode and how it can be utilized to bring computer science to life for all students. With fun projects, immediate results, and both block and text editors for learners at different levels, this is one CS resource you won’t want to miss.