Massachusetts teachers awash in summer computing workshops

Computer science (CS) educators in Massachusetts have dozens of workshops to choose from this summer to hone their technology and teaching skills, thanks to the Expanding Computing Education (ECEP) Alliance, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), and other providers. A full listing of CS professional development has been compiled by the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE).

To kick off the summer, hundreds of teachers will gather in Quincy, Mass. for CSTA’s annual conference, July 15-16. Day one offers three-hour workshops on web coding, computational thinking and game design, and CS Principles curricula, among other topics. Day two features keynotes by Selena Deckelmann, an expert in open source software and technology communities, and Hadi Partovi, co-founder and president of Code.org.

UMass Lowell will host 40 middle- and high-school teachers at “CS4HS” (Computer Science for High Schools), July 24-26. The three-day workshop, co-sponsored by ECEP, will feature a deep dive into App Inventor, a blocks-based programming system for mobile devices. Teachers will develop their own apps as well as ways to use App Inventor in the curriculum.

Later in the summer, ECEP will co-sponsor a workshop to build a learning community of 8th and 9th grade teachers who will offer Exploring Computer Science (ECS) in their schools. A yearlong, college-prep introduction to computer problem solving, ECS was developed in partnership with teachers and piloted in the Los Angeles Unified School District. It has since been adopted in Chicago, Oregon, Santa Clara, Utah, and Washington, DC. Massachusetts teachers interested in becoming part of the ECS workshop (one of BATEC’s summer institutes) or community should contact Kelly Powers, Greater Boston CSTA chair, at kelpowers@gmail.com.

In addition, teachers can learn Scratch online, get up to speed on Big Data, try out algebraic videogame programming, and prepare to teach Advanced Placement Computer Science, and more. Check out caite.info for more details on the workshops offered by several providers, as well as student summer learning opportunities.