Public Discussion

  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 12:15 p.m.

    I would be very interested in knowing more about how project based learning has been used to create the integrated computer science curriculum—and how you are training teachers to make use of this approach. Are you developing a compilation of examples to illustrate project-based initiatives that have emerged and how (or if) teachers are collaborating across subjects to make sense out of computational thinking in different contexts. What challenges have you faced in implementing the program and what differences have you seen in student inquiry in the classroom?

  • Icon for: Meghan Welch

    Meghan Welch

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 01:13 p.m.

    Hi Vivian, thanks for your comments and questions. The teachers take part in monthly professional development sessions throughout the school year during which they plan projects as grade level teams (3-5). The PD facilitators (Kathy Fritz of CreatomBuilder and Chris Thompson from CEISMC at Georgia Tech) have led them through PBL and design-thinking (scaffolding less and less as the project has progressed) in addition to offering support around technology integration and computational thinking. Dr. Kathy Hayden and ISTE (Int’l Soc for Tech in Ed) is providing support in terms of evaluating the new lesson plans/projects for ways in which they are satisfying tech integration standards and computational thinking. One big challenge that we have seen is the tension the teachers experience between standards-based instruction and PBL — and that applies to the integrated content, as well. Our monthly PD/discussions have helped by reiterating the value in how students’ learning in context through the PBL projects is more engaging (the teachers have noticed/noted that) and results in more student-led inquiry (also noted by the teachers).

  • Icon for: Tamara Ball

    Tamara Ball

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2016 | 02:33 p.m.

    You write: “One big challenge that we have seen is the tension the teachers experience between standards-based instruction and PBL”

    I am interested to hear more about this tension and how teachers tried to cope with it (or not) as it seems representative of crossroads in the larger paradigm of school and formal education. We all seem to agree that PBL motivates learners in ways that are unmatched by the core curriculum.. but we still seem to need and rely on standards to help guide teaching. It is easy to decry standards based instruction but yet we do seem to need them.

  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    Co-Director of CSR at TERC
    May 17, 2016 | 02:39 p.m.

    This is a very ambitious and interesting project that addresses a diverse and underserved group of students and introduces project based learning, technology integration, coding, and computational thinking. Can you provide an example of a successful project that combined all of the above? Who develops the activities? the project? the teachers? How much PD do the teachers have per year? Is the PD focused on project based learning? on scratch, or coding? So interested… I want to hear more! Thanks for this video!

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    Zehra Ozturk

    Guest
    May 19, 2016 | 10:43 a.m.

    Hi Joni, Thanks for your comments. I am Zehra Ozturk, doctoral student, GRA at ICS project. The projects are developed and planned by grade level teachers. During school PD days, they work as a team and develop activities within each project. The each grade level team (4 teacher per each grade) has one full school day each month (from August- through May except December). The typical PD day includes planning their project for the month. Our grant proposal includes introducing computational thinking skills, App making, digital story telling. So teachers integrated those pieces according to their students’ interests and motivation. For instance, one of the third grade projects was “ Market Day” the students advertised and created WeVideo product commercial with the help of their teachers. Additionally, one of the fifth grade projects was “Great Depression”. The students constructed a narrative set during Great depression and using WeVideo.

  • Icon for: Barbara Ericson

    Barbara Ericson

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 17, 2016 | 03:42 p.m.

    I like the video and it is an interesting project. I would have liked to have seen some video of the kids talking about their favorite projects. Are you sharing your Scratch materials on ScratchEd? What are some of the challenges you have faced with the project and how have you dealt with them?

  • Icon for: Meghan Welch

    Meghan Welch

    Presenter
    May 23, 2016 | 07:10 p.m.

    Thanks, Barbara. I did have some video in there with the kids talking, but had to cut for time purposes. Maybe I’ll edit from their perspective… The teachers, I think, were just using the same key terms for their students’ projects. For the next year, we will try and be more organized about the class projects — so that they are all grouped together.

    One of our biggest challenges has been reflecting with the teachers about their feelings that there isn’t enough time for them to do these projects. There sense of accomplishment has improved as they are understanding and becoming more efficient at PBL (and their sense that they are also covering the standards that they need to cover).

  • Icon for: Lisa Samford

    Lisa Samford

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2016 | 10:32 a.m.

    Have all the teachers who participated in the PD project integrated project-based learning into their classrooms? Are you tracking how many they do and the impact that is having on student learning?

  • Small default profile

    Zehra Ozturk

    Guest
    May 19, 2016 | 10:44 a.m.

    Hi Lisa. Thanks for your clarifying questions. I am Zehra Ozturk, doctoral student, GRA at ICS project. From 3rd through 5rd grades, all teachers participated PDs. Yes, we do track teachers numbers and demographics. The impacts on students learning are evaluated by our external evaluator each semester.

  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2016 | 10:46 a.m.

    The discussion stimulates another question for me: How do you select the teachers to participate? Or do they volunteer? Who are they? I would be curious to know what motivates them to take on this very promising and challenging approach to learning and who fares best in the training and implementation.

  • Icon for: Meghan Welch

    Meghan Welch

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 01:21 p.m.

    The school was selected because of it’s proximity to GSU and Ga Tech and previous partnerships. In addition, the administration is in support of STEAM integration and on board with PBL curriculum development. All of the teachers in 3rd-5th are part of the project. It is a challenging approach ;). We have felt more success and buy-in from the teachers as they have experienced success with their students (we started in Jan ’15).

  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2016 | 12:35 p.m.

    Look forward to learning more as the program grows.

  • Icon for: Annmargareth Marousky

    Annmargareth Marousky

    Computer Science Coordinator
    May 22, 2016 | 11:19 a.m.

    We’re going to be starting our PD for our 3rd – 5th integrated PBL?STEM units this Aug in 9 schools for the 16-17 year. Could you share the outline / agenda of the PDs you did? I think it would be interesting to see how you handled and formed your PD to increase teacher understanding and buy in.

  • Icon for: Annmargareth Marousky

    Annmargareth Marousky

    Computer Science Coordinator
    May 22, 2016 | 11:19 a.m.

    We’re going to be starting our PD for our 3rd – 5th integrated PBL?STEM units this Aug in 9 schools for the 16-17 year. Could you share the outline / agenda of the PDs you did? I think it would be interesting to see how you handled and formed your PD to increase teacher understanding and buy in.

  • Icon for: Meghan Welch

    Meghan Welch

    Presenter
    May 23, 2016 | 07:22 p.m.

    Hi Annmargareth,
    Our PD is pretty specific to the school where we are — schedules, grade level teams, curriculum scope and sequence, etc., but I’d be happy to discuss with you. Exciting that you’re working in elementary, as well! mwelch7@gsu.edu

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.

Icon for: Meghan Welch

MEGHAN WELCH

Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, International Society for Technology in Education

Integrated Computer Science (iCS): Teacher Learning as a Means to Transform Curriculum
1433327

Our project video documents the process and products of the professional development and implementation of integrated computer science in 3rd through 5th grade classrooms. Since January 2015, teachers in this urban and economically diverse elementary school have participated in this effort that uses a project-based learning approach to integrate computer science and technology into a standards-based curriculum.