In response to educators expressing an interest in adopting curriculum that provides secondary school students with an introduction to computer science providing them with a strong foundation in computational thinking, problem solving, computer science and programming skills, Microsoft has partnered with Harvard to bring CS50 Computer Science Principles (CS50 CSP) to secondary schools, globally.
Adapted for secondary school success by Harvard University’s Professor David J. Malan and with Microsoft’s support, the curriculum is based on the This is CS50 course, which originated at Harvard University and is now also taught at Yale.
Due to the robust amount of student-facing resources, CS50 Computer Science Principles (CS50 CSP) is able to scale up or down to accommodate students with no previous programming/computer science experience and those who have experience in using one or multiple text-based programming languages. CS50 CSP provides students with a true introduction to computer science, including but not limited to just programming.
Training Course for Educators
CS50 CSP Educator Implementation Training is a 2 and 1/2-day, in-person workshop designed to prepare teachers for teaching CS50 CSP in their classrooms. The workshop guides teachers through key components of the CS50 learning experience, and highlights the pedagogy and methodology that has made secondary school student success a reality for educators in the CS50 Pilot. Educators receive hands-on experience with the curriculum and a deep understanding of the course’s three guiding principles:
1. Rigor: The curriculum provides engaging and challenging curriculum that is designed to consistently introduce students to and engage them in computer science problem sets that are real world based and relevant in today’s 21st century economy.
2. Accessibility: The curriculum is designed to ensure all students, regardless of background are capable of success;
3. Community: A key component to student success is educator engagement in a vibrant online educator community and on-the-ground experiences that are student-focused.
Audience and objectives
This training is designed for teachers who plan to teach CS50 CSP in a classroom setting. It is assumed that educators’ experience with programming and/or teaching programming will vary, but that all participating educators will feel confident in a text-based programming environment. Teacher learning objectives include:
· Become familiar with C Programming language and the span of computer science and computational thinking concepts addressed in the course. Educators receive answers to specific questions about programming concepts and skills during problem set walkthroughs . It is expected that some participants will require further study beyond the workshop days to gain sufficient knowledge and skills to be ready to teach the course. All participants are expected to complete pre-course work, which is estimated to take approximately 12 hours.
· Experience an introduction to CS50. This includes a behind the scenes look at the course design and pedagogy.
· Learn about Objectives and Assessments. Understand expectations and assessments and how to position students for success.
· Understand how to use the course materials. This includes making use of suggested teaching strategies, addressing learning challenges that students may encounter, preparing and presenting lessons, and providing students’ all necessary resources. Demonstrations of how to maximize the use of features in the course’s integrated development environment (IDE) are also provided.
· Learn tips and tricks for creating and growing your school’s computer science learning community. Educators are provided with tips and tricks to create a computer science learning community at their school and they are encouraged to connect with the larger CS50 community and come together for events such as hackathons, final project fairs and puzzle day.
· Leverage the Support of Microsoft. Connect students, through Skype in the Classroom, to MSFT CS50 Alumni and other MSFT subject matter experts who work on projects that are relevant to students’ lives. Student connections to real developers and engineers deepens their learning experience and helps illustrate the wide range of computer science career options and demonstrate how computer science is relevant to students’ lives.
· Understand how to teach the course. This includes the general teaching approach, the CS50 guidelines for grading (just part of the course’s secret sauce), and flexible use of course resources.
· Understand further preparations that may be needed to be ready to teach the course. This includes preparing student devices and or computer labs for using the course IDE and other online resources. Connecting with other CS50 educators and sharing resources to gain knowledge about programming concepts and to stay one step ahead, as well as further study of the course resources to be ready to use them on a daily basis.
Upon Workshop Completion
Educators completing this two and ½ day workshop
· Receive a Certificate of Participation from Harvard, in which the hours of participation are recorded.
May apply to run their own their CS50 CSP Implementation Workshop for other educators in summer 2017.