Icon for: Timothy Foutz

TIMOTHY FOUTZ

University of Georgia
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Timothy Foutz

    Timothy Foutz

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 04:38 p.m.

    Our research team would like to know

    1. What is your current perspective of how elementary school students are taught to code?
    2. What are the skills an elementary school teacher needs before trying to teach coding?
    3. What resources (e.g., Scratch, robots) do you believe is the most useful for elementary school teachers who are trying to teach coding?
  • Icon for: Nancy McGowan

    Nancy McGowan

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 11:55 p.m.

    Tim, 

    1. Our gateway to coding is Code.org because of its simplicity and engaging graphics.  Our 3rd-5th grade students also work on Scratch.
    2. The key to teach coding is either providing sound professional development in how to teach the coding or for the teacher to have ample time to explore coding and develop their own lessons.
    3. Useful resources include:  Beebots (K-2 developing logical thinking), Code.org (logical thinking with gradual progression to aid in developing if/then scenarios. Tynker is also a very good program and very similar to Scratch.  Both programs appeal to the creative/artistic students as well. 

     

  • Icon for: Timothy Foutz

    Timothy Foutz

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 09:27 a.m.

    Thank you for your input.  The teachers that are participating in the CALC project use Scratch and Code.org.  I wonder if younger students need a physical item (e.g. ozobot) to keep them engaged.

  • Icon for: Nadine Bonda

    Nadine Bonda

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 01:14 p.m.

    This is an exciting project.  Through your video, it looks like students love it.  I am wondering what reaction you got from teachers when this was first proposed and how you worked with the more reluctant teacher.  Thank you.

  • Icon for: Timothy Foutz

    Timothy Foutz

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 02:11 p.m.

    Thanks for your comment. The project began with a group of teachers who have a wide range of coding skills.  About a quarter of the teachers who had zero experience with coding approached the project with some reluctance. I have dedicated some time visiting those teachers and working with them in a virtual environment but was not able to engage them to any great extent.  I found the best approach was to send undergraduates to the teacher’s schools and have the undergraduate work with them.  This appears to be helping, but it is still too early in the project to tell if this approach is working well.

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Researcher
    May 15, 2018 | 01:28 p.m.

    I am curious — is coding required in elementary grades in Ga.?    I definitely think it's great for teachers to have the chance to learn this stuff.  

    My own preference would be for the teachers, once equipped with this knowledge.  to work in the context of a learning trajectory that pays attention to computational ideas as they emerge in non-computer-related tasks, in the early grades, and gradually move towards actual programming (and robots are a great medium for that!) in middle school.  

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    Timothy Foutz

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 02:18 p.m.

    Coding is not required in Georgia. Fortunately, we are working with a school district superintendent who has the desire to increase all k-12 student’s exposure to coding. Plus, the school district’s Content Specialist has been working to expand opportunities students have for learning computer science content and to have hands-on experiences with robotics. The teachers participating have a wide range of teaching responsibilities ranging from STEM-specialty classrooms to social studies. So I am happy to see that the school district is working hard to bring CS into no-Computer related classes

  • Icon for: Kinnari Atit

    Kinnari Atit

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 16, 2018 | 12:47 p.m.

    Hi! 

    This project sounds fascinating. Can you please speak more to the kinds of scaffolds teachers needed to implement what they learned in your class into curriculum they teach every day? Did you develop lesson plans with the teachers? 

    I ask because your work is extremely relevant to our work (http://videohall.com/p/1124)! 

    Thanks! 

     

    Kinnari 

  • Icon for: Timothy Foutz

    Timothy Foutz

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 03:51 p.m.

    The participating teachers enroll in a graduate level course that we teach on campus. Assignments are structured in a manner that the teachers will have a lesson plan by the end of the course. This coming fall semester, members of the research team will act as instructional coaches and help each teacher implement the lesson plan.  This is our first time teaching the course; so we look forward to see how this fall works.

  • Icon for: Karen Economopoulos

    Karen Economopoulos

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 04:59 p.m.

    Is the coding content connected to the mathematics or science content of specific grade levels? Is it used to support and/or deepen existing content in terms of the concepts/skills/topics of the grade? If so could you give us an example?

  • Icon for: Timothy Foutz

    Timothy Foutz

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 10:20 a.m.

    We are designing the CALC approach with the philosophy that coding is relevant to the learning practices outline in the elementary school standards.  If this design is successful, this approach will support the learning of coding by providing teachers with a formal, structured means to · trace the growth of students’ understanding, and misunderstanding, of ideas (in this case coding) as they form, · facilitate students’ use of evidence, not opinion, to select a solution among multiple solutions (suc as different sequencing of the code), and · help each student realize she/he, as well as others, is a legitimate participant in the activity of developing, assessing and implementing an idea (e.g., coding of a robot).  So, the project focuses on collective argumentation to connect learning practices and with less emphasis on connecting coding content to mathematics or science content. 

    This project has just completed using our initial concept of the CACL approach. So our activities are focused on the re-design of the approach. This re-design will be used during the next academic year.

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    Xiaoxue Du

    Graduate Student
    May 18, 2018 | 11:15 p.m.

    I was very curious about the second research question that what are the skills an elementary school teacher needs before trying to teach coding? Could you share more about your research study and methods? Also, what would you think is the right level of coding project to give to the teachers in order to develop their skills and strengthen their confidence. 

     

  • Icon for: Timothy Foutz

    Timothy Foutz

    Lead Presenter
    May 19, 2018 | 09:15 a.m.

    The project has just completed othe class taken by the teachers and are currently analyzing the data.  So the skills the teachers need have not been identified as of the time of this response.  Entering the project, we had a concept that the teachers need skills in argumentation and those skills need to be adapted for coding.  This fall we will follow the teachers as they implement our concept and we will collect the knowledge needed to see if the concept is correct.  I am sorry that this response is not directly answering your questions but it's the best I can provide given the stage of the study

  • Icon for: Michelle Zhu

    Michelle Zhu

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 19, 2018 | 08:46 p.m.

    It is a really exciting project. We would like to explore similar approach of PD for teachers. I have some questions: When the teachers sign up the graduate level course on campus, does the instructor have any problems of accommodating various teacher's background in coding? Also, since teachers are usually very busy, can they commit enough time to this course which I assume coming with quite a bit reading and assignments? Thanks! 

  • Icon for: Timothy Foutz

    Timothy Foutz

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2018 | 07:46 p.m.

    We have a wide range of coding skills in our first set of teachers and had challenges in accommodating all skill levels and work loads. This first year was focused on proposing our concept and then determining what knowledge is needed to make the concept workable. We will be working this summer to adapt the CALC prototype to help ease these challenges

     

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    Trevor Haney

    Graduate Student
    May 20, 2018 | 07:37 p.m.

    This seems like a very interesting project and one that I look forward to seeing more information from in the future. When introducing coding in the elementary school, do you find a push back from teachers who do not wish to introduce coding or feel that this might replace another subject area? Also, will the students be introduced to a number of different recourses to code? Could a combination of multiple approaches work to better introduce students to coding?

  • Icon for: Timothy Foutz

    Timothy Foutz

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2018 | 07:50 p.m.

    We have not had push back. We even had teachers develop lesson plans for content areas outside of STEM.   Our focus is on reasoning skills and learning approaches that will not lock coding into its own category but as a learning approach that is applicable across disciplines.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.