Speaker presentations -- Computer Science Teachers Association 2008 conference
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Speaker Presentations from the 2008 Symposium

Using the Source Web Repository
Presented by Debbie Carter
How many times have you wished that you had better access to teaching resources? Well, you're in luck! To promote sharing among members of the community, CSTA has developed The Source, a searchable database of lesson plans, IDE's, presentations, learning tools, and other resources. Contributions have come from teachers, university faculty, and industry, and they have been indexed by subject, curriculum level, and key word, among other designations. This presentation will include a brief introduction, followed by a demonstration of the flexible search process, as well as a look at some of the specific resources housed in the repository. Participants will be encouraged to contribute their own resources using an e-mail form.

The GridWorld AP Case Study
Presented by Barbara Ericson and Fran Trees
Case studies expose students to large programs, enabling them to understand the importance of design and good programming style while encouraging teamwork and active learning. This session will introduce some nifty assignments and lab ideas to use when incorporating the AP GridWorld Case Study into the curriculum.

Clubs, Camps, and Competitions
Presented by Barbara Ericson
Would you like to get your students interested in more than just using instant messaging and Facebook? This session will enable you to start computing after school clubs, summer camps, and competitions. It will give you free software that you can use to introduce computing concepts to your students. It will also discuss ways to get money to buy robotics kits and show you some robot kits that you can use. It will show you how to find computing competitions that can motivate your students to excel.

Making K-8 Computer Science a Reality
Presented by Dan Frost, Anita Verno & Karen North
Should computer science be taught in grades K-8? Can it be taught to students that young? CSTA's Level I committee believes the answer to both questions is Yes, and in this session will present a draft of its report on the K-8 computer science curriculum. Additional materials here and here.

Equity and Diversity in Computing
Presented by Joanna Goode
This presentation will provide an overview of the three-tiered strategy for democratizing computer science in Los Angeles Unified School District: professional development, student outreach, and the development of curricular materials to support a year-long, college-preparatory computer science course for high school students. The session will discuss both the challenges embedded in the efforts to make computer science more accessible for underrepresented students as well as the successes that have been accomplished through this university-district partnership over the last several years.

Making a Difference in Education through Innovation in Technology
Presented by Harold Javid
Technology has long played a role in education. Some technologies such as pen and paper, chalk and blackboard, or printing are so much a part of our experiences that we no longer think of them as technology. The Educational Research Programs Group in Microsoft Research is engaged in ongoing research into the use of technologies such as Tablet PC, collaboration technologies, gaming, and robotics in education. This presentation will share results of this work, discuss the importance of using assessment to evaluate the success of the innovative application of technology in education, and a view of future plans.

Google Search: From the Basics to the Latest Innovations
Presented by Maggie Johnson
In this session, we explore basic search technology as well as the innovations that Google has brought and continues to bring to search. The materials presented will not only help you become familiar with the latest trends, but will also help you introduce this important technology to your students.

Getting Future Leaders to Learn Computer Science
Presented by Maria Klawe
Career opportunities abound for creative people with great communication and people skills who can combine computer science with other disciplines. How should we teach computer science to attract students like these into our classes? Additional materials here.

Making Computer Science and Games Better
Presented by John Nordlinger
There is a declining enrollment in computer science. Can computer gaming inspire CS? Can CS improve computer gaming? Learn what is being done and what is available. Follow above link to website for this presentation.

Computational Thinking
Presented by Pat Phillips
Computational thinking is an analytical tool for problem solving with models and methods from computer science and is a subset of the fundamental skills needed by everyone, not just computer scientists. As computers and technology become even more ubiquitous, computational thinking will be used by all of us to manage our daily lives, in and out of school, as we approach problems and communicate with others.

Teaching Web Development with Dotnetnuke
Presented by Brian Scarbeau
Learn how you can use free curriculum and teach your students how to create a web portal using open source software written in Visual Basic.NET. This session will teach you how to use Visual Web Developer, SQL Express, and DotNetNuke.

The Political Landscape: Advocating for CS
Presented by Chris Stephenson
Educating policy-makers on the importance of K-12 computer science is critical as often the people making decisions about what will be taught in schools do not understand our discipline or how important it is. Among the science and engineering fields, computer science plays an increasingly prominent role in driving the engines of productivity that empower U.S. competitiveness and in the process, creates hundreds of thousands of new jobs annually. However, the computing education system that supplies this workforce faces numerous challenges throughout the entire pipeline. This presentation, arising from the work of the ACM Education Policy Committee, will illuminate the multiple levels of educational policy and key decision-makers that impact CS education at the federal and state levels and suggest ways in which CS teachers can affect policies to improve support for K-12 CS education.

Surviving Your First Years of Teaching CS
Presented by Leigh Ann Sudol and Mike Bueti
It's hard enough teaching a subject that no one in your building understands, and even harder if you are a new teacher. This session will outline strategies to help teachers starting out with computer science find and share resources and build a support network. Other topics to be discussed include how to make a grass roots effort to highlight your successes in a way that your administrators can understand and appreciate, as well as strategies for boosting your enrollment and awareness of the subject at the school. Hints on building a classroom library, dealing with diverse learners, and how to manage the need for frequent assessment during larger assignments.

Teaching Technology with Technology
Presented by Leigh Ann Sudol
Moodle, Blogs, Online Forums, Presentation Stations, Classroom/Ubiquitous Presenter, and so many more it's hard to keep up. This session will introduce some useful technologies for teaching technology to students. See examples of using Google Docs for collaborative editing among students, experience a tool that will allow any student on a computer with a web browser to interact with your lesson. And it's not just about the technologies, but how we use them as well. What best practices exist for a classroom in a room full of computers? How do we engage our students in these technologies so that they gain skills and competencies? Come and find out, and bring your best ideas for sharing as well.

Incorporating Culture in Your CS Classroom
Presented by Valerie Taylor
It has been well established that the numbers of students enrolled in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the different underrepresented cultural groups are disproportionately low. Disabled and minority ethnic inclusion is often invisible for people in the majority culture because it involves thinking outside the norm of their everyday life. This presentation will focus on the importance of including culture into the classroom for computer science and computer engineering programs.

Toys and Techniques for Teaching CS
Presented by Fran Trees
This session will present techniques for using manipulatives and fun activities to teach computer science concepts. Participants will have the opportunity to share and brainstorm new ideas to help make teaching computer science a fun and rewarding activity.

Practical Tips for Teaching Object Oriented Design
Presented by Anita Verno and Robb Cutler
This session introduces Object Oriented Design based on the world around us. Then, applying the KISS principle, we will explore ways to weave simple classes into projects and projects into classes that are enjoyable and fun for students.

Engaging Students in Open Source
Presented by Elin Waring
Open source projects provide numerous and widely varied opportunities for students to be active participants in the creation of real world, widely used software, whether as developers, documenters or in other ways. The Google Highly Open Participation Contest highlighted this through the participation of hundreds of 13 to 18 year olds in ten major open source projects. After describing the nature of open source communities, the presenter will share her experiences with the contest, including lessons on how to encourage successful and meaningful student engagement in open source projects.

Simpler is Better: Python as a Teaching Language
Presented by John Zelle
Python is a free, portable, very-high-level object-oriented programming language. Its simplicity and elegance make it a perfect language for beginning programmers and enhance the productivity of experienced professionals. Python is now a standard tool in many areas of software development and has found a home at places like Google and NASA. Using Python as the primary language in our CS curriculum at Wartburg College has allowed our students to focus more on fundamental concepts of computer science and less on arcane language issues. This talk is an introduction to the Python language emphasizing its uses in teaching, especially for introductory programming courses.

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