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Just in Time: Tips For Computer Science Teachers When They Need It

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A high school computer science teacher works with a student.

New online professional development resources for computer science teachers are in the works.

Credit: Purdue University

Researchers at Michigan State (MSU) and Purdue universities are developing a set of new online professional development resources to provide "just-in-time" support for new computer science (CS) teachers and for experienced CS instructors teaching new courses for the first time.

The program provides instruction to teachers via the Web in real time. The project is part of the CS 10K initiative, which aims to build a talent pool of future computer scientists by developing new high school curricula in CS, and implementing that curricula into 10,000 high schools, taught by 10,000 well-prepared teachers.

However, training 10,000 CS teachers is difficult because they often do not have pre-service training as computer scientists. "We believe that in order to meet the goal of 10,000 CS teachers, we really need to not only target the pre-service teachers, but also the in-service teachers," says MSU's Aman Yadav.

The researchers created a collection of materials for new or still-learning CS teachers in order to supplement their training. The materials include videos, written instructions, slideshows, and links to activities or additional tools.

After an initial pilot study, the researchers expanded the program to include 30 new teachers, with whom they will gather impressions and test the efficacy of the professional development on the teachers and their students' performance.

From National Science Foundation
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Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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