Welcome to CS for Teachers



Course Description

This course introduces teachers from across content-areas to core concepts and skills from computer science via a current and rich project-based curriculum.  After exposure to key historical and theoretical threads from computer science and software studies, students will experience a series of project-based modules focusing on: 1) introduction to programming, 2) data visualization techniques, and 3) robotics & making.  This course will address topics covered in the ISTE Computer Science Education standards: 1) demonstrate knowledge of and proficiency in data representation and abstraction; 2) effectively design, develop, and test algorithms; 3) demonstrate knowledge of digital devices, systems, and networks; and 4) demonstrate an understanding of the role computer science plays and its impact on the modern world.   




Lev Manovich, Software Takes Command

(note that you can read an Open Access version on the web here)

Other readings will be provided


Supplies - Robot Kit

You will need a robot for this course.

If you already have one, check with Dr. Ardito about whether it will be acceptable.

The one that we are recommending is the mBot.

mBot - purchase from Science Seeds. Science Seeds has graciously offered a discount for my students.




Pace Commons

Pace Commons is a social network that will serve as the platform for this course.

It will be the place where we will collaborate, share, and learn together. 
As with other social networks, like Facebook, you can express yourself in many ways. You will have a blog, can post photos, conduct discussions, share bookmarks, create pinboards (like on Pinterest), and send instant messages.


Getting Started on Pace Commons

Complete your registration and request to join our group, Computer Science for Teachers, on Pace Commons
I have registered each of you as members on Pace Commons. 
You should have an email to your Pace email with your username and password.
Just follow the instructions in that email to verify your account.
You can change the email address you use on Pace Commons. I also suggest you change your password to one that makes sense for you.

Then, go to our group and request to join it. I will gladly accept your request.

I have created these short videos which talk about how to get yourself set up in Pace Commons.

Setting up a profile on Pace Commons

Working with a group in Pace Commons 

Reflection on Process

Research has clearly demonstrated (Hattie and others) that a key component of learning is reflection. This is especially true when we are trying to learn new things. So, we will have many, many formal and informal opportunities to reflect and share. You can think of it as debugging our own learning.


A Living Laboratory

In a variety of ways, this course is a learning laboratory.

During the first part of the semester, Dr. Ardito will be designing and conducting a robotics class for Mt. Vernon high school students. That program will be built using key concepts from this course. Students are invited and encouraged to participate in sessions of this robotics program.

In addition, Dr. Ardito and his colleague Dr. Lynch are doing research on how learning happens in social networks and how learning happens in computer science. We are asking you to be subjects/participants in those studies.


The Work

Be sure to review the course syllabus, which you can find here.

This syllabus will give you a sense of the map of this course. While the destination and key landmarks won't change, I expect the day to day excursions will.

Now, it's time to get to work on Week 1.

Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2017

Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2017

The online home for the Spring 2017 CS for Teachers course