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Teaching of Computer Science in Schools

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Computer Science is an interesting subject which helps students to develop their problem solving and computational thinking skills. The problem solving and algorithmic nature of computer science also promotes students’ creativity and innovation. However, teaching of computer science is different from other science subjects and requires special pedagogical skills. This presentation covers these aspects.

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Teaching of Computer Science in Schools

  1. 1. Prof. Dr. M. Anwar-ur-Rehman Pasha Chairman Department of CS & IT University of Sargodha
  2. 2. Computing as a Discipline Computer Engineering (CE) focuses on computing hardware and associated computing aspects. Computer Science (CS) focuses on computing theory, methodology, innovation, development (programming) of technologies and applications, and applying computing to new disciplines.
  3. 3. Information Systems (IS) focuses on applying computing in organizations and organizational information management. Software Engineering (SE) focuses on developing large complex software systems. Information Technology (IT) focuses on solving organizational computing challenges by integrating technologies into solutions and deploying and maintaining the solutions.
  4. 4. Computing: A Historical Perspective  Before 1990’s: Computer Science (CS), Computer Engineering (CE), and Information Systems (IS)  By 1990s: Software Engineering (SE)  By the end of 1990s: Information Technology (IT)  Emerging Disciplines:  “Computational-X”: Computational Mathematics, Computational Physics, Computational Finance, etc.  “X- Informatics”: Bio-Informatics, Dental-Informatics, Clinical-Informatics, Agro-Informatics, etc.
  5. 5. Five Reasons Why CS Learning is Critical for Students 1. Thinking is Good for Thinking. Computer Science promotes algorithmic thinking which involve sequencing, analysis, and testing processes in time and space. It helps students to develop their habits of problem-solving which help them in other domains as well.
  6. 6. Five Reasons Why CS Learning is Critical for Students (Cont.) 2. Sustaining the Next Generation of Creators and Innovators. Computers can engage students in creative play, innovation, and exploration through entertainment, communication, and social applications. Computing power and the skills to harness this power are the “Engines of Innovation”.
  7. 7. Five Reasons Why CS Learning is Critical for Students (Cont.) 3. Empowering Students to Change the World. Computer Science empowers students to apply their creativity and skills to solve problems. These learning experiences promote their perceptions of themselves as innovators capable of changing the world.
  8. 8. Five Reasons Why CS Learning is Critical for Students (Cont.) 4. Preparing Students for Future Endeavors. In a CS course students begin to master fundamental concepts and practices. The knowledge of these concepts and practices empower them to create innovations, tools, and applications.
  9. 9. Five Reasons Why CS Learning is Critical for Students (Cont.) 5. Collaboration, Communication, and Teamwork— Key 21st Century Skills. Computer Science promotes collaboration. Collaborative problem solving prepares students to work in teams and builds supportive partnerships.
  10. 10. Pedagogical Guide Lines - Before the start of the course consider: What do you expect students to know? At what level? And where are the students expected to learn required knowledge and skills? - Assume that students know nothing coming into the course - Make students aware about the time-consuming nature of computing discipline - Survey the class on their perceived knowledge of various computing concepts
  11. 11. Pedagogical Guide Lines (Cont.) - Don't forget the needs of the advanced students. Introduce them to each other. Suggest more challenging work that they can explore. - Must take care of Computing Labs (Open labs/Closed labs/ Frustrating labs. Remember Labs are new for students not for you.) - Explicitly teach how to get onto the Internet, use electronic mail and the World Wide Web
  12. 12. Pedagogical Guide Lines (Cont.) - Must be aware of “Tools vs. Toys" Approach: Some students look at computers as toys, others as tools. Some students want to play with computers but others want to do something useful with them. - Computer science course usually aims to measure students improvement in logical thinking & problem solving skills. It must teach to the students “What should I do?” (ethics) and “How should we decide?” (politics), as well as, “What can I be certain of?” (knowledge).
  13. 13. Pedagogical Guide Lines (Cont.)  Computer science can't be taught in the same manner as high history, English, or even math. It requires:  Create more interaction (give aid where needed )  Design activities which promote critical thinking skills and high-order         creativity Provide maximum practice opportunities Offer more exploratory hands-on activities Design in-class exercise to be fun Create engaging homework assignments Adopt easy-to-harder but interesting problem solving approach Introduce small-group exercises Less teaching (just lectures, reading or text-based assignments), more stress on problem solving and skill development. Introduce interesting extra credit problems encourage a student to practice computer science in her spare time
  14. 14. What is Expected from a CS Teacher Knowledge  Historical development of computing disciplines  Different domains of computing discipline  Historical evolution of computer and its hardware, software components  Computer science core body of knowledge  the knowledge and skills that students must have to enable them to thrive in the 21st Century global information economy  Application of computers in society
  15. 15. What is Expected from a CS Teacher (Cont.) Knowledge  Use of social media and global knowledge resources  Legal, social, and ethical issues of computing in society  Current Trend, Practices, and innovations  Addiction to computers and the Internet  Advertising and censorship on the Internet  Digital finger print and hacking on the Internet  Plagiarism, privacy, security, and Internet preying
  16. 16. What is Expected from a CS Teacher (Cont.) Pedagogical aspects  Acquaint with the aims and objectives of teaching computer science in secondary and higher secondary schools  Ability to plan learning activities according to those objectives.  Having skills relating to planning lessons and presenting them effectively.  Familiarity with the various methods that can be employed for the teaching of computer science.  Understanding of the principles of curriculum construction.  Assessment and Evaluation skills
  17. 17. Instructional Strategies          Lecturing Role Playing Jigsawing Activities Games The CS-unplugged Approach, Rich Tasks Concept Maps Pair and Small-group Collaboration Structured Tinkering      Multiple Solutions Modeling Simulations Multimedia Presentations Journal Reflections Different Forms of Class Organization  Interdisciplinary Connections  Mentoring Software Project Development
  18. 18. Caution: Awareness of Disability  Disability is the consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these.  A disability may be present from birth, or occur during a person's lifetime.
  19. 19. Caution: Awareness of Disability  Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.  An impairment is a problem in body function or structure;  an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action;  while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations.
  20. 20. Ultimate Goal: Computational Thinking “CT is an approach to solving problems in a way that can be implemented with a computer. Students become not merely tool users but tool builders”. It is a problemsolving process that includes:  Formulating problems in a way that enables us to use a computer and other tools to help solve them;  Logically organizing and analyzing data;
  21. 21. Ultimate Goal: Computational Thinking (Cont.)  Representing data through abstractions such as models and simulations;  Automating solutions through algorithmic thinking (a series of ordered steps);  Identifying, analyzing, and implementing possible solutions with the goal of achieving the most efficient and effective combination of steps and resources; and  Generalizing and transferring this problem-solving process to a wide variety of problems.
  22. 22. Computational Thinking Dispositions  Confidence in dealing with complexity;  Persistence in working with difficult problems;  Tolerance for ambiguity;  The ability to deal with open-ended problems; and  The ability to communicate and work with others to achieve a common goal or solution
  23. 23. Important Considerations The student does not just passively take in knowledge, but actively constructs it on the basis of his/her prior knowledge and experiences.
  24. 24. Important Considerations (Cont.) The learning outcomes of any teaching depend not only on what the teachers do but also on the knowledge, the purposes, the motivations and the beliefs that the learners bring with them to the classroom.
  25. 25. Important Considerations (Cont.) Quality learning is most likely to happen when it is student-centred, because that is where the responsibility lies.
  26. 26. Any Question Please

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