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Steve Kelly

What would an exceptional middle and high school computer science curriculum include? -... - 48 views

  • What would an exceptional middle and high school computer science curriculum include?
  • This isn't a complete answer, but one thing the very first introductory classes should require is that the students turn off all their electronic computers and actually learn to walk through  algorithms with a computer that exists only on paper. (Or, I suppose, a whiteboard or a simulator.) This exercise would give the students a grounding in what is going on inside the computer as a very low level.My first computer programming class in my Freshman year of high school was completely on paper. Although it was done because the school didn't have much money, it turned out to be very beneficial.Another class I had in high school, that wouldn't normally be lumped into a Computer Science curriculum but has been a boon to my career, was good old Typing 101.
  • If you followed the CS Unplugged curriculum your students would know more about CS than most CS grads:http://csunplugged.orgIt's a really great intro to basic computer science concepts and very easy for students to understand.  Best of all you don't even need a computer per student if your school doesn't have the budget,
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  • For younger students, I think that the ability to make something professional-looking, like a real grown-up would, is paramount.  Sadly, I think this means that LOGO and BASIC aren't much use any more*.
  • So, we have a few choices.  You can try to write phone apps that look just like real phone apps, design interactive websites that look just like real interactive websites, or do something with embedded systems / robotics.  Avoid the temptation to make these things into group projects; the main thing every student needs to experience is the process of writing code, running it, debugging it, and watching the machine react to every command.
  • It is important to consider what an 11 to 18-year old is familiar with in terms of mathematics and logical thinking. An average 11-year old is probably learning about fractions, simple cartesian geometry, the concept of units, and mathematical expressions. By 15, the average student will be taking algebra, and hopefully will have the all-important concept of variables under his/her belt. So much in CS is dependent on solid understanding that symbols and tokens can represent abstract concepts, values, or algorithms. Without it, it's still possible to teach CS, but it must be done in a very different way (see Scratch).
  • At this point, concepts such as variables, parenthesis matching, and functions (of the mathematical variety) are within easy reach. Concepts like parameter passing, strings and collections, and program flow should be teachable. More advanced concepts such as recursion, references and pointers, certain data structures, and big-O may be very difficult to teach without first going through some more foundational math.
  • I tend to agree strongly with those that believe a foundational education should inspire interest and enforce concepts and critical thinking over teaching any specific language, framework, system, or dogma.
  • The key is that the concepts in CS aren't just there for the hell of it. Everything was motivated by a real problem, and few things are more satisfying than fixing something you really want to work with a cool technique or concept you just learned.
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    Great resource for teachers (especially those of us not initially trained in Computer Science) about what should 'count' as Computer Science.  Worth the read!
Colette Massoglia

Middle School Curriculum | Curriculum - 119 views

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    Curriculum documents MS including powerstandards and resources
Gene Tognetti

A Summer of Android - 93 apps to try - 2 views

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    Great list of Android apps for education - 93 in total - sorted by Pre-k, elementary, Middle School, High School and "apps for everyone.'  Some interesting (and new) apps to try!
Randy Yerrick

Middle School Chemistry | Download Free Science Activities, Access Chemistry Multimedia... - 113 views

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    Great website with lesson plans and lots of multimedia covering basic chemistry topics. Though titled "middle school chemistry" much of the material can be referred to or used for basic high school chemistry or even biology (such as the basics on bonding, water molecules, etc).
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    Agreed. The chapter on the periodic table is worth it just for the animations, let alone the lesson plans and other resources. What a good get, Holly. Kudos to the American Chemical Society for setting it up.
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    Worth a bump, I stumbled upon this gem today. Excellent resource, there is even a free pdf textbook.
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    Middle School Chemistry lessons with worksheets and standards.
Holly Barlaam

CAST Science Writer - 85 views

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    Free website takes students through each step of the writing process to write a research report. 
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    Tool that supports students in writing lab and class reports. This tool is geared toward middle school and high school students.
Tanya Hudson

Storybird - Create and share beautifully illustrated digital stories! - 91 views

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    Collaboarative Digital Storytelling
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    This site is wonderful for younger students and older ELLs. Using exquisite art graphics from an extensive library of images children create online storybooks. The fanciful and beautiful graphics inspire the creator to write a story. The program then publishes the online book with a default "private" setting. This site appears to be carefully monitored and supervised. Excellent for ELA.
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    This site is wonderful for younger students and older ELLs. Using exquisite art graphics from an extensive library of images children create online storybooks. The fanciful and beautiful graphics inspire the creator to write a story. The program then publishes the online book with a default "private" setting. This site appears to be carefully monitored and supervised. Excellent for ELA.
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    Choose an artist, then create a story by selecting artwork. 
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    Story Bird widely used story book maker website. It has great templates picture bank. It's ease to use and the results look wonderful. http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/English
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    Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print.
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    Combine your words with high-quality artwork from talented illustrators around the world.
Liz Dodds

Our Courts - Homepage - 6 views

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    A free computer game for teenagers created with the help of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has made its online debut. "Supreme Decision," the first of several planned web-based games, went online in August as part of a project called Our Courts. In it, students can play a Supreme Court law clerk helping a justice with a tie-breaking vote over a First Amendment case. Backed by the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and Georgetown University, the Our Courts project is designed to teach middle school students about the Constitution and the courts. O'Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, has said more people can name an "American Idol" judge than the three branches of government. Besides teaching about civics, she hopes the Our Courts project will help students learn how to analyze problems and develop arguments. In "Supreme Decision," students play a law clerk and must help fictional Justice Irene Waters write the majority opinion on whether a school can ban students from wearing music band T-shirts. Another game, called "Do I Have a Right," will be released soon. In that game, students will play the director of a constitutional law firm who must decide which amendment resolves a problem posed by a client.
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