Computer Science Principles Summer Cohort – Chicagoland

Code.org Computer Science Principles 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.

This year-long course can be taught as an introductory course and as an AP course – no prerequisites required for students or for teachers new to computer science! In addition, the Code.org curriculum is available at no cost for anyone, anywhere to teach. More information about Code.org CS Principles is available on Code.org.

Attendee: New computer science teacher

Workshop Length: A year long program includes a one week summer workshop, 4 days of follow up workshops and online support.

Registration Process: Attendees must apply to be part of the CS Principles cohort. Application details are available on the links below.

Fee: $1200 per teacher. Scholarships are available through the application process and provided on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to attend the program at no cost, attendees must meet ONE of the following criteria: 

  • The participant’s school has students from marginalized racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in computer science where the rate is ≥ 50%. 
  • The participant’s school is non-rural with a percentage of students eligible for Free-and-Reduced-Meals at ≥50%. 
  • The participant’s school is rural with a percentage of students eligible for Free-and-Reduced-Meals at ≥40%.

As you know, planning for the upcoming summer is full of uncertainty. We plan to hold our summer workshops in-person (in both Springfield and Chicagoland) unless restrictions due to COVID-19 force the sessions to be held virtually.

Computer Science Principles Summer Cohort – Springfield

Code.org Computer Science Principles 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.

This year-long course can be taught as an introductory course and as an AP course – no prerequisites required for students or for teachers new to computer science! In addition, the Code.org curriculum is available at no cost for anyone, anywhere to teach. More information about Code.org CS Principles is available on Code.org.

Attendee: New computer science teacher

Workshop Length: A year long program includes a one week summer workshop, 4 days of follow up workshops and online support.

Registration Process: Attendees must apply to be part of the CS Principles cohort. Application details are available on the links below.

Fee: $1200 per teacher. Scholarships are available through the application process and provided on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to attend the program at no cost, attendees must meet ONE of the following criteria: 

  • The participant’s school has students from marginalized racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in computer science where the rate is ≥ 50%. 
  • The participant’s school is non-rural with a percentage of students eligible for Free-and-Reduced-Meals at ≥50%. 
  • The participant’s school is rural with a percentage of students eligible for Free-and-Reduced-Meals at ≥40%.

As you know, planning for the upcoming summer is full of uncertainty. We plan to hold our summer workshops in-person (in both Springfield and Chicagoland) unless restrictions due to COVID-19 force the sessions to be held virtually.

Computer Science Discoveries Summer Cohort – Chicagoland

Computer Science Discoveries is an introductory computer science course for 6 – 10th-grade students. 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 can be flexibly taught as a single semester, two semesters over multiple years, or as a full-year course. Options are even available for less than one semester. Our curriculum is available at no cost for anyone, anywhere to teach.  More information about Code.org CS Principles is available on Code.org.

Attendee: New computer science teacher

Workshop Length: A year-long program includes a one-week summer workshop, 4 days of follow up workshops and online support.

Registration Process: Attendees must apply to be part of the CS Discoveries cohort. Application details are available on the links below.

Fee: $1200 per teacher. Scholarships are available through the application process and provided on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to attend the program at no cost, attendees must meet ONE of the following criteria: 

  • The participant’s school has students from marginalized racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in computer science where the rate is ≥ 50%. 
  • The participant’s school is non-rural with a percentage of students eligible for Free-and-Reduced-Meals at ≥50%. 
  • The participant’s school is rural with a percentage of students eligible for Free-and-Reduced-Meals at ≥40%. 

As you know, planning for the upcoming summer is full of uncertainty. We plan to hold our summer workshops in-person (in both Springfield and Chicagoland) unless restrictions due to COVID-19 force the sessions to be held virtually.

Computer Science Discoveries Summer Cohort – Springfield

Computer Science Discoveries is an introductory computer science course for 6 – 10th-grade students. 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 can be flexibly taught as a single semester, two semesters over multiple years, or as a full-year course. Options are even available for less than one semester. Our curriculum is available at no cost for anyone, anywhere to teach.  More information about Code.org CS Principles is available on Code.org.

Attendee: New computer science teacher

Workshop Length: A year-long program includes a one-week summer workshop, 4 days of follow up workshops and online support.

Registration Process: Attendees must apply to be part of the CS Discoveries cohort. Application details are available on the links below.

Fee: $1200 per teacher. Scholarships are available through the application process and provided on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to attend the program at no cost, attendees must meet ONE of the following criteria: 

  • The participant’s school has students from marginalized racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in computer science where the rate is ≥ 50%. 
  • The participant’s school is non-rural with a percentage of students eligible for Free-and-Reduced-Meals at ≥50%. 
  • The participant’s school is rural with a percentage of students eligible for Free-and-Reduced-Meals at ≥40%. 

As you know, planning for the upcoming summer is full of uncertainty. We plan to hold our summer workshops in-person (in both Springfield and Chicagoland) unless restrictions due to COVID-19 force the sessions to be held virtually.

Promoting #CSforSocialJustice During Computer Science Education Week 2020

2020 has been a year of change across the world, particularly when it comes to social change. Individuals and organizations across the US have refocused their attention on the needs of marginalized communities, helping those people seek justice and improve their standing in society.

The folks over at Computer Science Education Week have recognized these important societal shifts and centered them in this year’s celebration of computer science learning and advocacy. This year’s theme, #CSforSocialJustice, has been designed to inspire students to learn new computer science skills and put what they’ve learned into practice while advocating for a more just society.

As a Regional Partner for Code.Org, the Learning Technology Center of Illinois is committed to furthering their goals of advancing computer science education, both now and in the future. To help educators participate in Computer Science Education Week (December 7-13), we’ve compiled the following teaching resources geared toward new learners.

Computer Science as a Catalyst for Change

There’s a lot in store for Computer Science Education Week 2020, including the CodeByte mini-lesson series presented each day of the week by Code.Org. Though these video lessons will be available for viewing after their completion, you can also check out these free resources for opportunities to engage social justice topics while also teaching key CS skills:

Build a Website with BSD Education

BSD Education has put together an interactive coding project that will help students learn the basics of HTML and CSS while also thinking about people who inspire them. As part of their “Code is: Your Voice” series, this project can help students research important social justice figures and present their findings through a self-created webpage.

Remote and distance learners can work through this project’s steps with ease as well, thanks to its informative video tutorials and step-by-step organization.

Learn to Pitch Your Passion with Google CS First

As part of their ongoing efforts to promote accessible computer science education, Google has created the CS First curriculum. This free resource collection includes material for all learning levels, with a focus on making the CS learning experience fun and intuitive.

One particular lesson from the CS First curriculum – Pitch Your Passion – can help students identify a social cause that is close to their heart and communicate it to their peers. During this lesson, students will use Scratch to create a public service announcement that brings attention to an issue they feel strongly about. This lesson can be facilitated remotely as well, making it ideal for starting a class-wide discussion among remote learners.

Through CS First, remote learners without reliable computer access can also learn in-step with their classmates. Their new CS First Unplugged activity booklet, for example, uses analog learning materials to get students thinking like computer engineers.

Promoting Social Justice and Computer Science Education Year-Round

Promoting social justice and teaching computer science skills should be a year-round pursuit, beyond Computer Science Education Week. These following resources can make that happen for your class:

Teaching Social Justice in the Primary Classroom

Attitudes toward social justice form early in life, making it all the more important to instill young learners with a firm sense of right and wrong. These teaching strategies from instructional coach Monica Washington can help K-5 students understand social justice ideas in the context of their own life, including what is fair and unfair. This guide also includes useful links to further lessons on the topic, from Edutopia, Teaching Tolerance, and more.

Teaching Social Justice in High School

As they grow toward adulthood, many high school students begin to make their voice heard on issues that matter to them. This resource guide from Anthony Salciccioli can help foster that voice by teaching students to listen critically, with a spirit of openness and generosity. In addition to a curated reading list, this guide’s lessons also offer students an opportunity to understand the roots of injustice, and the role protests play in resolving societal grievances.

Hour of Code Resource Library (Grades K-9+)

To facilitate engaging CS learning year-round, Code.Org hosts a massive library of coding activities for pre-readers all the way through grade 9+ students. These activities are available in 45+ languages and allow students to learn CS skills while engaging with some of their favorite entertainment properties, such as Minecraft, Disney, and more. Each activity is designed to take about an hour to complete, making them ideal for use during an Hour of Code.

Programs and Workshops for Encouraging Diverse CS Learning

There are also numerous programs and workshops designed to engage diverse learner groups in the joys of computer science learning. Be sure to check out these groups to help your students advance their CS learning beyond just one week:

Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is an organization that has made it their mission to close the gender gap in technology fields. To do that, they offer a variety of programs, including coding clubs and at-home activities, to help girls and young women learn the skills needed to succeed in one of the fastest growing economic sectors. Girls Who Code also helps their participants hone their bravery so that they can be resilient, persistent, and ambitious when advocating for their place in the coding community.

Black Girls Code

Black Girls Code was founded to help reach one of the most underserved communities when it comes to computer science education – black and brown girls. Through their programs and their advocacy efforts, this organization continues to support its target audience as they build their skills, confidence, and experience in the computer science field.

Doing Our Part to Promote Computer Science Education

During Computer Science Education Week and beyond, the LTC is committed to developing the expertise and capacity of computer science educators across Illinois. That’s why, in partnership with Code.Org, we are again offering our Code.Org “Discoveries” and “Principles” program to interested educators, regardless of grade level or subject area.

This full-year program is designed to jump start each participating school’s ability to offer coding instruction that aligns with Code.Org’s curriculum. During the summer, participating teachers will attend nine professional development workshops aligned with the courses they intend to teach. After that, participants will receive follow-up support as they begin to implement their new knowledge and skills.

To learn more about this program, contact the LTC’s Director of Professional Learning, Brian Bates (bbates@ltcillinois.org).

CS Fundamentals

Event Description

CS Fundamentals is an introductory workshop designed for elementary educators new to teaching computer science who want to explore how to begin teaching the CS Fundamentals curriculum. Over 85,000 teachers have participated in our original workshop! Join your peers and experienced facilitators to get a hand on intro to computer science, pedagogy, overviews of the online curriculum and teacher dashboard, as well as strategies for teaching “unplugged” classroom activities. At the end of the workshop, teachers will have:

At the end of the workshop, teachers will have:

  • A plan of of action to start teaching CS Fundamentals.
  • An implementation plan for teaching two CS Fundamentals lessons
  • Goals for how deep into the course they would like to try to get.
  • Strategies for teaching CS Fundamentals lessons.
  • A connection to the community of CS Fundamentals teachers.
  • A printed curriculum guide with pedagogy, tips, and best practices.
  • A certificate of attendance

More information about CS Fundamentals is available on Code.org.

CS Discoveries

Event Description

Computer Science Discoveries is an introductory computer science course for 6 – 10th grade students. 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.

Program Information

The Learning Technology Center, in partnership with Code.org, are offering Computer Science Discoveries and Principles professional learning programs to Illinois educators at low or no cost to develop the capacity and expertise of computer science educators throughout the state.

A limited number of additional scholarships are available to Illinois teachers from schools with a minimum free and reduced lunch rate of 50% (non-rural) or 40% (rural), or has a minimum underrepresented minority rate of 50%. Otherwise, the program costs is only $425 per teacher. That’s 86% off the national cost thanks to generous support from the Learning Technology Center and Code.org.

Participation in the full year-long program includes teaching materials, workshop supplies, nine days of professional development, and meals during workshops. Professional learning will occur during a week in the summer and four follow-up days throughout the school year. Additional travel costs are not covered and are the responsibility of the school or district.

Computer Science Unplugged with LEGO Education

Event Description

Join LEGO Education for a brief introduction to computer science through unplugged activities. Help your students develop a deeper understanding of computer science concepts and computational thinking through hands-on activities. Bring some bricks, and we will show you how to make magic in the hands of your students. Unplugged activities are a great way to introduce computer science concepts in a tangible, fun way. Techniques shared can be adapted for virtual classes and resources for lessons, activities, and inspiration will be provided. Please join us for ideas you can use immediately and in the future.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Leanna Prater, LEGO Solution Architect

The LTC joins Code.org as the newest Regional Partner

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois —  January 13, 2020 — The Learning Technology Center (LTC) is proud to announce a partnership with the non-profit organization Code.org to bring computer science to Illinois educators through professional development events, support, and advocacy. 

Code.org is dedicated to expanding computer science access and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. One of the major components to achieving their mission is through their rich computer science curriculums and programs that will be available to Illinois teachers, including their year-long Code.org Discoveries (6-8) and Principles (9-12) programs and CS Fundamentals (K-12) workshops. 

Applications for this year’s Code.org Discoveries and Principles professional learning programs are open. Participation in the full year-long programs includes teaching materials, workshop supplies, nine days of professional development, and meals during workshops. Professional learning will occur during a week in the summer and four follow-up days throughout the school year. 

“Our partnership with Code.org allows us to substantially grow the effort to bring quality computer science learning experiences to students in the state. In the last year, the LTC provided professional learning to over 4,000 educators, including in the area of computer science, and becoming a Code.org regional partner allows the LTC to more directly address a growing need for K-12 computer science resources and training. By capitalizing on the high quality, free Code.org curriculum and training provided by our organizations, schools have an easy entry point into the realm of computer science,” said Tim McIlvain, LTC Director.

For more information on Code, please visit ltcillinois.org/code and be sure to follow the LTC (@ltcillinois) and Code.org (@teachcode) to stay up to date on all our events and resources.

About Learning Technology Center
The Learning Technology Center is an Illinois State Board of Education program that supports all public K-12 districts, schools, and educators through technology initiatives, services, and professional learning opportunities. To learn more, visit http://ltcillinois.org or follow us on twitter @ltcillinois. 

Computer Science Week

This week we celebrate Computer Science Education Week in recognition of Grace Hopper’s birthday on Dec. 9, 1906. During this week, K-12 students are encouraged to participate in an “hour of code’ as part of the Hour of Code initiative to help students realize that they, too, can learn the basics of coding. If bringing coding into your classroom makes you a little nervous, don’t worry! You do not need any prior experience to have your students participate in an hour of code activity. Code.org, one of the leading resources for coding in schools, believes that “anybody can learn” and wants computer science in every school so that every child has the opportunity to be exposed to it. CS Week and Hour of Code have the goal of exposing students to code with the hope they will want to learn more about computer science going forward. As a former computer science teacher, this was always one of my favorite weeks of the year! 

The History of Computer Science Week

In 2010, Computing in the Core Coalition launched activities and events to support Computer Science Education Week. In 2013, Code.org launched Hour of Code during CSEdWeek which reached over 15 million students across 167 countries. Since then Code.org continues to develop materials and resources for teachers and students to use in the classroom beyond just the hour. 

Why is Computer Science important?

Simply put, technology is everywhere and is not going away. According to Code.org, 67% of new STEM jobs are in computing and the #1 source of new wages comes from computing jobs. As of 2017, there were over 20,000 open computing jobs here in Illinois. 

“The Hour of Code is designed to demystify code and show that computer science is not rocket science—anybody can learn the basics,” said Hadi Partovi, founder, and CEO of Code.org. “Over 100 million students worldwide have tried an Hour of Code. The demand for relevant 21st-century computer science education crosses all borders and knows no boundaries.”

When I was teaching computer science, I was always searching for new and impactful materials to supplement my CS curriculum. In 2013 Code.org jumped in to help support the CS movement, and I was very grateful for more resources to use with my students. The materials available are so much more than just an “hour” worth of material to use to teach computer science. Code.org provides an incredible participation guide that will help you get started today.

They also have developed a free online curriculum and offer free training to educators! The CS Fundamentals are for K-5 students, CS Discoveries are for 6th – 10th-grade students and CS Principles are for 9th – 12th grades.

Beyond the Hour of Code

If you are looking for more free computer science resources to use with students, check out this list below.

AI for Oceans by Code.org. Code.org is featuring a new activity this year to expose students to artificial intelligence. Meet AI, the robot that helps clean up the ocean. Check out this video from Code.org to learn about machine learning.

Scratch by MIT. Students create interactive stories, games, and animations using block-based programming. Scratch statistics since 2008.

CSFirst by Google. Uses Scratch to help students learn about coding. 

Swift Playgrounds by Apple. Learn to code on the iPad.

Microsoft Makecode. Students use a variety of devices to run programs on and receive immediate feedback.

As you venture into the coding world and your students want more challenges take a look at this list of  Computer Science curriculum resources.

Code.org. (2019). What’s wrong with this picture?. [online] Available at: https://code.org/promote [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].