1. Todd Lash
  2. Graduate Research Assistant
  3. Project TACTIC: Teaching All Computational Thinking through Inclusion and Collaboration
  4. https://ctrl.education.illinois.edu/TACTICal
  5. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  1. Maya Israel
  2. http://education.illinois.edu/faculty/misrael
  3. Associate professor
  4. Project TACTIC: Teaching All Computational Thinking through Inclusion and Collaboration
  5. https://ctrl.education.illinois.edu/TACTICal
  6. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Public Discussion

Continue the discussion of this presentation on the Multiplex. Go to Multiplex

  • Icon for: Maya Israel

    Maya Israel

    Associate professor
    May 14, 2018 | 09:44 a.m.

    Our Project TACTIC team is hard at work developing pedagogical strategies that support all learners, including those with disabilities. We would love to hear about other folks who are doing similar work. 

  • Helen Meyer

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2018 | 11:59 a.m.

    Interesting video and ideas. I like the teaching challenges you discuss as a means for PD for a wider range of teachers.

  • Icon for: Maya Israel

    Maya Israel

    Associate professor
    May 14, 2018 | 01:50 p.m.

    Thanks Helen. I agree that teacher PD is key to reaching a broad range of learners. I am still struggling with how to reach a broader range of teachers with the info learned through this project. The TACTICal Teaching Briefs are one mechanism, but I'm hoping to find other ways of reaching a broader audience. 

  • Icon for: Alan Peterfreund

    Alan Peterfreund

    May 14, 2018 | 12:14 p.m.

    Maya:  Excellent video.  What challenges have teachers faced, if any, in using these pedagogues in their classes?  How long does it take them to feel comfortable with these approaches?

  • Icon for: Maya Israel

    Maya Israel

    Associate professor
    May 14, 2018 | 04:02 p.m.

    Hi Alan. This a great question. We have found several challenges. Mainly, there is not a lot of information about how UDL and other pedagogies "look" in the context of CS education. Part of our job is to develop PD and vignettes/resources to help teachers see examples of UDL in practice. Also, special education teachers may be familiar with UDL, but they often do not get PD on CS ed, so they have some serious knowledge gaps even if they are familiar in general with the pedagogies we are implementing. At this point, I'm not sure we have teachers who are truly comfortable, but they are getting more knowledgable with experience and, hopefully, more comfortable. We still use a great deal of coaching to support teachers as they gain expertise in both CS ed and UDL/accessibility. 

  • Icon for: Angie Kalthoff

    Angie Kalthoff

    Technology Integrationist
    May 15, 2018 | 01:47 p.m.

    One way to reach a broad audience of educators and give them credit for their work is through micro credentials and badges. Would the of use either of strategies be something you would consider?

    When thinking about the push for more CS in elementary schools and the CS for All movement, how are you going to ensure this will reach everyone in a school and not just the students of the teachers who are interested in implementation?

  • Icon for: Maya Israel

    Maya Israel

    Associate professor
    May 15, 2018 | 02:01 p.m.

    Wow! These are great questions. The issue of broad implementation is a real problem. For the purpose of our research study, we are working with teachers who are willing participants, so we are definitely not reaching more reluctant teachers. However, for broad implementation with all teachers and all their students, we would have to do a great deal more PD and coaching. 

    Also, we haven't thought a great deal about how micro-credentials might be used to bring inclusive CS practices to more teachers. It's definitely food for thought. 

  • Icon for: Andreas Stefik

    Andreas Stefik

    May 15, 2018 | 02:13 p.m.

    Hey Maya,

    Thanks for sharing this video. It's great to see what you folks are up to. Questions:

    1) The video mentioned teaching debugging explicitly. Just curious: what specific content are you teaching in regard to debugging strategies? Also, any data yet on whether or not teaching that explicitly makes a difference (and compared to what)?

    2) The video says for all, but are the tools/approaches you are using BVI accessible or is your intent to target certain kinds of students?

  • Icon for: Maya Israel

    Maya Israel

    Associate professor
    May 21, 2018 | 07:56 a.m.

    Thanks for these great questions: (1) We are looking at debugging from a more metacognitive strategy perspective--the idea of helping kids slow down, think about their own thinking, and attempting to isolate where in their program the bug might be. Once they do that, we have them use some self-questioning strategies as well as more concrete strategies such as using the "wait" block in Scratch. If they then can't figure out the problem, they transition to the collaborative problem solving strategies. (2) The main focus of this study is on students with learning disabilities and students receiving Tier 2 intervention supports through their schools Response to Intervention programs. I do think that this focus on metacognition is not disability specific, but (as you know) the platforms that we are currently using are not accessible for students who are blind or visually impaired. That's frankly one of the major limitations of this work. 

  • Icon for: Karthik Ramani

    Karthik Ramani

    Donald W. Feddersen Professor of Mechanical Engineering
    May 15, 2018 | 11:58 p.m.

    Nice explanation of 1. learner variability 2. authentic collaboration and 3 explicit instruction vs creativity balance. I would like to understand 3 through some specific examples. I have always struggled with 3. And also in doing so the coaching has to be personalized more if one allowed wilder creativity - also means that failure can happen ...how do you balance that part that the student succeeds? Does succeed mean more learning - what about learning through failure - or - mistake making? When is collaboration not useful? I would like to see the text that was scrolling (it was very interesting) in greater detail - where can i get to see that portion?

  • Icon for: Maya Israel

    Maya Israel

    Associate professor
    May 21, 2018 | 07:59 a.m.

    The balance between explicit instruction and promoting creative open-inquiry is quite challenging. In this project, I look at it as building scaffolds that can then slowly be removed, depending on the needs of the students. For example, for students who have experienced a great deal of failure, they often do not attempt to problem solve or give up quickly rather than persist. For students with this learner profile, we offer more explicit instruction at first but the expectation is that as students gain proficiency, those scaffolds are removed. This does not mean that all choice is removed for these learners. They can still have ownership of their projects. Our website has many of these resources. https://ctrl.education.illinois.edu/tactical 

  • Icon for: Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Jodi Asbell-clarke

    May 17, 2018 | 04:40 p.m.

    Hi Maya - great video. We have also been finding a connection between CT and at-risk learners in our work with the game Zoombinis. Have you found strategies that have been able to highlight the cognitive assets that some students with learning differences have that overlap with CT skills (e.g. systematic thinking, creative problem-solving)? Love your work!!!

  • Quinn Kaufmann

    Graduate Student
    May 19, 2018 | 11:46 a.m.

    Hello!  This was a great video to really showcase the benefits of combining collaboration and instruction. The students (and teachers) are clearly engaged in their learning.  I like how you mentioned there are strategies provided for teachers if they are struggling with the process. I agree with another comment that the text seemed really helpful and didn't know if there was a way to get a copy of that. Well done!

  • Icon for: Susan Jones

    Susan Jones

    May 19, 2018 | 03:25 p.m.

    When you said "teaching to debug" ... I thought, aha! There is a big part of the bridge between "explicit instruction" and "creativity."   (I provide academic support to community college students. Learning to "debug"  -- to figure out how to get where you need to go and where things are breaking down -- is a pretty huge life skill... and thought pattern that can be taught, I'm thinking...)

  • Icon for: Joyce Ma

    Joyce Ma

    May 20, 2018 | 04:39 p.m.

    Hi Maya, 

    Thank you for sharing your project.  I really appreciate how thoughtful you and your team are in disseminating lessons learned in a useful format for teachers. 

    I am curious about the collaborative computing observation instrument you mentioned in your video and if it could be applied to the informal learning environment of a museum.  Would you be willing to share it (when you are ready) or point me to a paper that describes it?

  • Abigail Donmoyer

    Undergraduate Student
    May 20, 2018 | 05:12 p.m.

    I love that you are including students with exceptionalities. Far too often they are over looked when it comes to teaching CT or other skills, but they are capable of doing amazing things when given the opportunities. I really like the you created the briefs for what challenges may arise in a classroom. This would be especially helpful to new teachers (soon to be myself) if they are using TACTIC within their school. If I want to look further into TACTIC, where should I go/look for the best information?

  • Icon for: Julia Cin

    Julia Cin

    K-12 Teacher
    May 21, 2018 | 05:01 p.m.

    Hi Maya, 

    The briefs are very helpful. I would love to be involved in professional development to help support all kids in this area.  Would the group consider hosting PD through Zoom or Skype?


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