CS4NC Initiative: For Teachers
Expand Computer Science Opportunities To All Students In North Carolina K-12 Schools
In his January 2018 report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee, NC Superintendent Mark Johnson kicked off the CS4NC Initiative with the overall goal 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.” The report outlines recommendations across three areas: Teacher, Curriculum, and Schools.
NC K-12 CS Standards
Currently open for public comment, the proposed NC K-12 Computer Science Standards were initially drafted 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. During a presentation of the draft standards to the NC Board of Education in April of 2019, the Board approved adding Computer Science to the NC Standard Course of Study. The draft standards are now in the final stage of the review process after a year of cross-sector focus groups including teachers, school, district, and state administrators, and interested parties from outside of the K-12 education field. After a period of public comment, the final proposed standards will be presented to the NC Board of Education for approval. At which time, the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) will develop implementation plans for the new standards.
Become a CS Teacher
In order to guarantee every student in North Carolina has the opportunity to learn computer science, there is significant need for teachers who want to teach computer science. Regardless of your current subject area and grade level, there are opportunities for you to make CS4NC a success. For K-5 teachers, the standards will ask you to introduce the fundamental concepts of computer science and computational thinking to your students to demystify the topic and create enthusiasm for computer science. In middle grades and high school, there is a need for teachers to teach new courses dedicated to broadening participation in computer science as well additional opportunities for integration. Fortunately, there are numerous professional learning programs designed to help teachers become teachers who teach computer science.
Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)
CSTA is a national community focused on creating a strong environment to support K–12 educators by sharing the latest best practices in K-12 computer science education, creating local communities across the US + Canada that make sure every computer science teacher has a home, and building the largest teacher-led computer science professional development event in the world. In addition to creating this community of practice, CSTA has worked with ISTE to publish recommended Standards for CS Teachers to help guide teachers pursuing the goal of becoming a Computer Science Teacher.
CS for All Teachers
CS for All Teachers provides a virtual home for teachers to connect with one another and with the resources and expertise they need to successfully teach computer science in their classrooms. With the support of a cohort of community ambassadors, PreK-12 teachers can get answers to their burning questions from the HelpSquad, share their experiences in small groups, participate in online events, search for resources, and learn new instructional strategies from their colleagues—all in an effort to ensure computer science for all by connecting novice computer science teachers with the resources and people they need to learn rudimentary CS knowledge and skills as well as providing resources for teachers already on their journey to becoming a leader in computer science education.
Explore CS Resources
- Curricular resources compiled by Code.org
- Expand CS at your school
- CS Education Discussion Forum: A facebook group of 2700 teachers
- CSTA’s Annual Conference (virtual this year)
- CSFirst: Curriculum resources from Google
- MakeCode with Microsoft
- Apple: Teaching Code
- NICERC’s Cyber Interstate: A library of free curricular resources for preparing the nex-gen cyber workforce
- Virtual Job Shadow videos for students interested in knowing more about career in computing