Watson Chronicle

WATSON COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

Support for Educators in the Field

CESTEM Hosts Computer Science Workshop for Teachers

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Shelby Morge and Chris Gordon led a CESTEM workshop in August titled “Computational Thinking and the NC Computer Science Standards.” During the workshop, K-8 teachers learned about the new North Carolina Computer Science standards and reflected on what they look like in the classroom. Participants also engaged in computational thinking through cross-curricular, computer-based, and non-computer-based classroom tested activities.

Twelve teachers participated in the two-day workshop, held at UNCW’s Watson College of Education.

“We decided to offer the workshop because the computer science standards are new in NC and are an expectation for all K-12 teachers to address,” Morge said. “The workshop was a great opportunity for teachers to collaborate face to face for the first time in a long time, while engaging in hands-on activities that encourage computational thinking and the development of computer science skills.”

“CESTEM was happy to host this interactive workshop for teachers in our region,” said Interim CESTEM Director Heddy Clark. “We hope that our Technology Loan Program will be a resource for teachers as they plan engaging lessons that address the new North Carolina Computer Science standards.”

The NC K-12 Computer Science Standards were developed by the CS Steering Committee (as part of the State Board of Education’s Special Committee on Digital Learning and Computer Science) in collaboration with the Department of Public Instruction, the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State’s College of Education, and the Lt. Governor’s Office.

The CS Steering Committee was guided by the report to the North Carolina General Assembly: Expand Computer Science to All Students in North Carolina K-12 Schools (2018). The report clearly outlines goals for CS in K-12 Education stating:  “The overall goal is to provide opportunities for all North Carolina students to learn computer science and gain the skills needed to: (1) create and contribute, not just use and consume, in the digital economy; and (2) actively engage as informed citizens in our complex, technology-driven world. Through collaboration and communication with multiple stakeholders, a coordinated statewide computer science initiative will strengthen pathways from kindergarten to career, address equity gaps, leverage successful programs, and encourage cross-sector partnerships throughout the state.”

Morge is an associate professor of mathematics education in the middle grades program at UNCW. Gordon is an assistant professor of education at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

For more information on UNCW’s Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, visit the CESTEM website.