1. June Ahn
  2. http://ahnjune.com/
  3. Building Multi-level Alignment in Local Computer Science for All Implementations for Sustainability
  4. New York University, CSforAll Consortium
  1. Leigh Ann DeLyser
  2. http://www.csforall.org
  3. Managing Partner
  4. Building Multi-level Alignment in Local Computer Science for All Implementations for Sustainability
  5. CSforAll Consortium
  1. Rafi Santo
  2. Research Scientist
  3. Building Multi-level Alignment in Local Computer Science for All Implementations for Sustainability
  4. New York University, CSforAll Consortium
  1. Juan Sarmiento
  2. https://sparcha.wordpress.com/
  3. Research Assistant
  4. Building Multi-level Alignment in Local Computer Science for All Implementations for Sustainability
  5. New York University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: June Ahn

    June Ahn

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 08:54 p.m.

    Hi everyone, welcome to our CSforAll Consortium and NYU Research-Practice Partnership. We're in the first year of our project, and helping school districts across New York State develop coherent visions and implementation plans for computer science education. This video highlights some of the goals and activities of our project thus far. We're excited for any questions and ideas, and we look forward to the discussion.

  • Icon for: Katie Rich

    Katie Rich

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 09:27 a.m.

    Hi June et al.,

    I was interested to hear in the video that you are collecting data about the processes your team is undertaking with your partner districts. What kinds of data are you collecting, and how do you plan to use it to make changes during the course of the project? How do you plan to use it to measure the impact you're making?

  • Icon for: June Ahn

    June Ahn

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 10:30 a.m.

    Hi Katie, thanks so much for your question! Our RPP grant is an exploratory project funded for two years, and as such we're focused on providing technical support to our partner districts (practice-facing) and collecting qualitative data (observations, interviews, video, artifacts of the work etc.) to develop in-depth case studies of how our partner districts end up planning and implementing as they try to jumpstart a new initiative (rolling our CSforAll), which is the research component of our project. We hope to develop a rich framework about what kinds of on-the-ground moves districts enact as they make sense of a new initiative, decide on what to do, and ultimately shape their roll-out of CS. We hope the rich description will then help seed future projects (ours and others) to test out some more specified conjectures for how to support a CS rollout for all, across different conditions.

     
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    Katie Rich
    Juan Sarmiento
  • Icon for: Alex Lishinski

    Alex Lishinski

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 12:02 a.m.

    To follow up on this, at the end of the video Leigh Ann said that the hope was that you would take what you learned from this set of school districts and create generalizable tools to share with the cs for all community that would be a resource for school districts across the country. I was just wondering if you could give a more concrete, specific sense of what those tools might look like. And to follow up on what I think Katie was getting at, since your specific grant is more exploratory, how would you see these tools playing into more focused research on implementing CS initiatives?

     

  • Icon for: June Ahn

    June Ahn

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 07:32 a.m.

    Thanks so much for your question Alex. We are right in the beginning of our project (we kicked off our technical support and partnership with our districts just this winter). However, there are three potential "tools" that are potentially promising outputs of our project from our initial experiences: (1) Rafi Santo (our project manager and research scientist) and his colleagues have been refining a set of materials and workshop facilitation resources that have been extremely helpful for our district partners to surface and make clear their overarching visions for "why CS", which is a fundamental part of building a coherent instructional system, (2) we are experimenting with helping our districts collect "practical measures"(see footnote *) to track the internal coherence and CS efficacy of their staff and teachers as a way to gauge progress. This is still a work in progress, but if we find that practical measurement around internal coherence seemed to help our districts with their planning and implementation, we will share those lessons and related tools with the world, and (3) we are learning that a key problem-of-practice for districts immediately, is resolving the tension of not knowing what CS curriculum, resources, and PD are a good match for their evolving planning & visions, which is an immediate and time-sensitive obstacle for implementation. My Co-PI Leigh Ann and I are hoping to develop tools for the field that may help districts better make that match as one byproduct of these learnings. Since we are an RPP and we begin with the work of our partners first, these ideas an constantly evolving and developing, so take the above potential "tools" that come out of the project as our best thinking at this moment in time (which I can guarantee we will iterate on with our partners over time). Thanks!

    (*) https://www.carnegiefoundation.org/wp-content/u...

     
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    Juan Sarmiento
  • Icon for: Leigh Ann DeLyser

    Leigh Ann DeLyser

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 09:32 a.m.

    Alex,

    Thank you for your question! In addition to the work June described, we are also integrating our learnings into the SCRIPT tools being created by CSforALL. You can read a little bit about the tools and download the self-assessment rubrics at www.csforall.org/script. In addition to the in depth longitudinal work we are doing with the districts as a part of this project, we are also conducting workshops and training script facilitators across the country. To date we have done workshops with over 70 school districts (including the ones supported by this grant) and are collecting various types of data and metrics about the current state of CS education in schools and how we can support the systems change that will produce rigorous, inclusive, and sustainable computer science education.

     
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    Juan Sarmiento
  • Icon for: Irene Lee

    Irene Lee

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 10:28 a.m.

    This is exciting and important work.  Thanks for your efforts in developing generalizable tools to share with the  CSforALL community.  Is there any thing you can share about specific district values and needs that make generality difficult?

     
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    Juan Sarmiento
  • Icon for: Juan Sarmiento

    Juan Sarmiento

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 03:12 p.m.

    Thank you so much for the question, which goes to the heart of the methodology in this project. One of the things we have found, while doing workshops with the Visions framework, developed by Vogel, Santo & Ching, is that indeed, schools have very diverse visions of the reasons that support the implementation of CS and the competencies, literacies and values that are associated with these reasons. What may be needed in a rural community in terms of CS varies from what may be needed in a city, to mention just one distinction that often gets overseen. From needs of diversity, CS literacy, different sets of competencies, focus on workforce development or on creativity, etc., the discourses surrounding CS are really diverse --and often unmet by much of the offer of curriculum and PD out there. So equity for these communities does not mean "equality" (receiving the same type of support) but the types of supports that the educators see that their students and communities need. If you refer to generality as the desire to have a set of tools that can be more or less applied to all circumstances, the contact with these schools is probably leading us to thing that that generality or scalability ("one size fits all) is not only challenging, but that it may be undesirable. 

  • Icon for: Irene Lee

    Irene Lee

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 05:27 p.m.

    Thanks for your response, Juan.  I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing about your findings.  I am encouraged that you are sensitive to the needs of various communities while at the same time looking for economies of scale and general principles or processes that may help us all.

  • Icon for: Rafi Santo

    Rafi Santo

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 06:11 p.m.

    I'll add in one more link that has some context on how we've thought about this issue of contextual/community need vs generality, which was a blog post we wrote up about the project here.

    The title of the post, "Supporting School Districts to Drive their Own Visions of CSforAll" does really get at the philosophy this project has taken. Essentially, we come in fairly agnostic on what kinds of values a given district should have about why they want to bring CS to their students (the "vision"), but with supposition on the process side that it's important to:

    1) have a vision so that you're not a ship without a destination, and ideally one that's collaboratively developed among district stakeholders at all levels. For this we use a framework for vision-setting that Juan Pablo mentioned.

    2) develop a coherent instructional system that uses that core vision to align things like curriculum, PD, scope and sequence, expanded learning opportunities, teacher teams, etc. - basically, all the different parts of an implementation. This is where the SCRIPT district planning tools/rubrics come in that Leigh Ann mentioned.

    3) use evidence to continuously improve the implementation, since districts are complex systems and creating visibility into how a local CSforAll implementation is playing out can be really helpful to course-correct and achieve/maintain an aligned/coherent K12 initiative. This is where the approach June mentioned above of developing tailored practical measures for districts that are based on their own implementation goals comes in.

    One way to look at it is that the 'economies of scale' you mention Irene are more on the process side, and less on the content side.

     

  • Icon for: David DeLiema

    David DeLiema

    Researcher
    May 18, 2018 | 01:17 p.m.

    June, Leigh, Rafi, Juan -- thanks for sharing your work. This is an inspired vision! I would love to hear a bit about how you get conversations started with teachers and district leaders. It's often hard to talk about computational thinking unless you ground it in a specific project context. Like many of us, your collaborators are likely wrapping their thoughts about computational thinking for the first time -- how does that play out in your planning sessions?

  • Icon for: Rafi Santo

    Rafi Santo

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2018 | 05:52 p.m.

    Thanks for the encouraging words David! And this is an interesting question. My sense is that because of our project's goals, we're probably approaching it in a way that looks a bit different from projects that are focused on professional development and capacity building around teaching CS.

    In that the project is not focused on capacity building around teaching, but rather around strategic planning around CSforAll initiatives and building capacity for implementation and continuous improvement around district-wide initiatives, we begin the conversation about CS around the questions of "CS for What?" - essentially, the entry point is collective deliberation around why a district wants to bring CS to its students. Is a district's rationale's rooted more in creative expression, in workforce preparation, in broadening participation, in creating critical technologists? Etc. 

    We start here for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, we firmly believe that an underlying rationale should drive what the implementation's vision, and ultimate shape, looks like, as opposed to choices about curriculum/PD/learning goals being made without some underlying cohesion around what it should lead to and how things across a district interconnect. Second is that we've realized that deliberating and debating about purposes of education, and even to some extent CS education, is actually an area where educators and administrators have a lot of capacity and experience to draw on. Even they may not always be familiar with the varied purposes and potential goals for CS, they're definitely experts in thinking about the needs of their students and communities, and their visions of what education is for more broadly. With some simple tools (we share a CSed Visions framework and have a mini card game that supports deliberation and debate), we find that folks are able to have a strong entry point into a planning and visioning process around their district's CSforAll implementations.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.