Establish local professional learning hubs for teachers to meet with their peers twice a semester and work together to test out CS lessons.

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Goal:
  • Strengthen teaching in CS classrooms by building a supportive and encouraging teacher community where teachers test out activities and lessons together.
Reason:
  • Consistent professional development gives computing teachers an opportunity to work together, share ideas, and communicate, which will help improve CS classrooms.
    • Common issues for CS teachers are a lack of professional learning opportunities and a scarcity of resources from their school (there may only be one or two CS teachers at their school).
  • Focus on learning hubs instead of one-day professional learning events or in-school one-to-one support. This has the benefits of personalised training and the support of the one-to-one model but is scalable and cost-effective.
Action:
  • Create a CS Teachers Hub in your community or local district that holds professional development public meetings twice a semester.
    • For each semester, choose a computer science content topic.
      • These workshops are not meant to be application training.
    • Topics should focus on core CS concepts.
      • Sample topics include: algorithms and sequences; loops and iteration; and decision making and conditional statements.
      • You can also have one of the two meetings be focused on “unplugged” activities and the other focus on activities that use a computer.
      • Don’t assume! Ask the participants what they want to learn.
    • Make sure meetings focus on working together and testing out ideas.
  • Join online professional learning communities to help recruit local teachers in the area and see what other learning hubs are doing.
    • Current online CS teacher communities can be found at CS10K and Code.org Forums and Microsoft Educator Community.
    • Look for inspiration from these communities by seeking out threads that cover common misconceptions, engaging activities, and helpful resources.