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Extending the Pipeline: Why K-12 Computer Science is Essential to Higher Education

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Computer Science Teachers Association. My Background. Introduced to computers in 6th grade ... in front of a computer. Too much work. Not fun. No long-term ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Extending the Pipeline: Why K-12 Computer Science is Essential to Higher Education


1
Extending the Pipeline Why K-12 Computer
Science is Essential to Higher Education
  • Robb Cutler
  • Computer Science Teachers Association

2
My Background
  • Introduced to computers in 6th grade
  • C.S. Degree
  • Software Engineer / Architect
  • K-12 Education
  • AP CS and Advanced Topics Courses

3
Defining Computer Science
  • Problem Solving
  • Algorithmic Thinking
  • Systems Analysis
  • Logic
  • Not just programming (though it plays a big part)

4
CS is Clearly Important
  • Technology-oriented world
  • Necessary for success in other disciplines
  • Basic skills are assumed
  • Advanced skills are often required (though often
    not explicitly)

5
Teaching CS in Kindergarten
  • Sorting
  • Searching
  • Recursion
  • Boolean Arithmetic
  • Queues
  • Everyone Does It!

6
Teaching CS in Elementary
  • Sorting
  • Searching
  • Recursion
  • Boolean Arithmetic
  • Queues
  • Everyone Does It!

7
Teaching CS in High School
  • Programming
  • AP Computer Science
  • Almost No One Does It
  • 86,000 AP Physics tests
  • 87,000 AP Chemistry tests
  • 132,000 AP Biology tests
  • 256,000 AP Calculus tests
  • 20,000 AP Computer Science tests

8
Wheres the Disconnect?
  • Other disciplines move to formalize learning
    along a steady, coherent, well-articulated
    curricular track
  • Everyone is required to take English, Math,
    Science, History K-12
  • Why Not CS?

9
CS is not accessible
  • Perception as geeky
  • Always sitting in front of a computer
  • Too much work
  • Not fun
  • No long-term reward
  • Not perceived as important

10
So, Why is This a Problem?
  • CS enrollments are down
  • The percentage of incoming undergraduates
    indicating that they would major in CS declined
    by over 60 percent between the Fall of 2000 and
    2004, and is now 70 percent lower than its peak
    in the early 1980s (Higher Education Research
    Institute / UCLA)

11
So, Why is This a Problem?
12
But There arent Any Jobs
  • Not true
  • Information technology appears as though it will
    be a growth area at least for the coming decade,
    and the U.S. government projects that several IT
    occupations will be among the fastest growing
    occupations during this time. (ACM Report
    February, 2006)

13
But There arent Any Jobs
  • Offshoring?
  • Only 2-3 of IT jobs lost annually through
    offshoring
  • U.S. IT sector's overall growth should outpace
    that loss of jobs, expanding opportunities for
    those trained in fields such as software
    architecture, product design, project management
    and IT consulting. (CNNMoney.com citing ACM
    Report February, 2006)

14
How Can K-12 Help?
  • Pipeline begins early (even Kindergarten!)
  • Increase interest by underrepresented populations
  • Better prepared students in CS enhance your
    programs
  • Recognition of CS as an essential discipline

15
Understanding K-12 Issues
  • Class sizes
  • Teaching periods per day
  • Vastly different learning levels
  • Students often not engaged
  • One person department
  • CS vs. Technology
  • Battle for funding
  • NCLB
  • Feeling of disconnect with higher ed.

16
Working Together - CSTA
  • Membership and advocacy organization representing
    K-12 computer science
  • In development since 2000 with ACM K-12 Education
    Task Force and first CSIT Symposium
  • Model Curriculum for K-12 CS Education in 2003
  • CSTA launched in 2005

17
Working Together - CSTA
  • 4000 members
  • Professional development
  • JETT / TECS / CSIT Symposia
  • Development of resources
  • Support for national curriculum and teacher
    standards
  • Research into K-12 CS education

18
Working Together
  • Help us help you with pipeline issues
  • K-12 teachers need your support to help keep
    their knowledge and skills current
  • Your research can inform our work
  • Improving K-12 CS education gives you better (and
    more) students
  • Improved communication helps everyone

19
Challenges
  • Join CSTA http//csta.acm.org
  • Become involved in K-12 CS in your local area
  • Understand their issues
  • Offer guidance and support
  • Host a TECS workshop
  • Lobby your admissions office to encourage formal
    computer science as a course of study for high
    school applicants
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