Course Syllabus Title: EDML 200: Computational Thinking for 21st Century Teaching Credits: 3 Instructor: Meredith Swallow Meeting dates and times: Overall: July 14 – August 08, 2014 Weeks 1 & 2: July 14 - July 25 (online asynchronous readings, discussions, assignments) Week 3: July 28 – August 1 (blended online/face-to-face focused inquiry and preparation for Code Camp) Week 4: August 4 – August 8 at UVM for Tarrant Code Camp Location: University of Vermont, Burlington, VT Course Description: This course introduces and provides educators with an understanding how computational thinking (CT) supports creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking in middle/high school education. This course will advance educators’ pedagogical methods and knowledge on the role of CT relevant to middle/high school curriculum. Participants will engage in readings and discussions on the influence of CT in education, with a specific focus on programming and coding. During the final week of the course, participants will attend Tarrant Code Camp in order to develop practical skills and knowledge in one or more programming languages, and have the opportunity to reflect on the connections between theory and practice. Goals: 1. Participants will examine the role of CT on 21st century student skills and outcomes 2. Participants will develop pedagogical knowledge and practice in CT with a concentrated focus on the integration of CT in individual disciplines 3. Participants will engage with specific instructional strategies and plans that support 21st century teaching and learning 4. Participants will develop knowledge and skills in one or more computer programming languages

Learning Outcomes: “As technology integration continues to increase in our society, it is paramount that teachers possess the skills and behaviors of digital age professionals” ( The ISTE Standards for Teachers (ISTE Standards-T) provides a framework for evaluating the skills and knowledge educators need in a digital society. This course will use the ISTE Standards-T framework as a guide for teaching and learning.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments Model Digital Age Work and Learning Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

The following standards are adapted from the Association for Middle Level Education ( This course applies to middle and high school level educators, therefore participants are encouraged to use the standards as a general guide for best practice. 1. Make decisions about curriculum and resources that reflect an understanding of young adolescent development using current research. 2. Creatively engage all young adolescents in activities related to their interpersonal, community, and societal responsibilities. 3. Develop curriculum that is relevant, challenging, integrative, exploratory, and reflects the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge. 4. Incorporate all young adolescents’ ideas, interests, and experiences into curriculum in ways that encourage all young adolescents to observe, question, and interpret knowledge and ideas from diverse perspectives. 5. Use a wide variety of teaching, learning, and assessment strategies that are developmentally responsive, motivating culturally sensitive, and technologically sound, and know when to implement them. 6. Create learning experiences that encourage exploration and problem solving so all young adolescents can be actively engaged in learning. 7. Provide all young adolescents with opportunities to engage in independent and collaborative inquiry. Required Readings/Resources: Readings Barr, V. & Stephenson, C. (2011). Bringing computational thinking to K-12: What is involved and what is the role of the computer science education community? ACM Inroads, 2(1), 48-54. Bell, T., Alexander, J., Freeman, I. & Grimley, M. (2009). Computer science unplugged: Schools doing real computing without computers. Denning, P. J. & Martell, C. (2007). Principles of Computing. Ito, M., Horst, H., Bittanti, M., Boyd, D., Herr-Stephenson, B., Lange, P., Pascoe, C. J., & Robinson, L. (2008). Living and learning with new media: Summary of findings from the Digital Youth project. What is Computer Science? (2003). Wilson, C., Sudol, L. A., Stephenson, C. & Stehlik, M. (2010). Running on empty: The failure to Teach K-12 computer science in the digital age. The Association for Computing Machinery. The


Computer Science Teachers Association. Wing, J. M. (2006). Computational thinking. Communications of the ACM, 49(3), 33-35. Videos How To Learn Math: Iowa, Did You Know? Resources Computer Science Unplugged Activities: Exploring Computational Thinking Lessons and Resources: ISTE Standards-T Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) Evaluation: Reflections (25%) Participants are asked to reflect through a journal, blog, site, video, audio or other form of documentation on the weekly readings, videos, resources, and relevant posted questions. These reflections will serve as the base of class conversations, so please take time with the readings. Participants should feel free, and are encouraged, to ask clarifying questions or request additional resources. Exceeds Expectations Reflection conveys extensive evidence of personal response to the material. Participant demonstrates personal growth and awareness, a range of meta-cognitive practices, and provides examples. Participant is able to make inferences, comprehends deeper meaning, and connects to personal practice. Meets Expectations Reflection conveys evidence of personal response to main subjects/issues in the material. Participant demonstrates development of ability to reflect on personal practice, provides examples, and relates reading/videos to current practice or future practice. Approaches Expectations Reflection conveys some evidence of personal response to the material. Participant reflects on own work, but does not provide examples. Participant demonstrates basic comprehension of material, but does not make connections to practice.


Participation in Course Collaboration (25%) Active engagement with colleagues is a critical component of this course. Sharing and reflecting on ideas and questions will contribute to participants’ learning and understanding. Educators are encouraged to work together on course projects, however it is understandable that many participants are from different schools, content areas, and/or grade levels. Attendance and participation in group discussions during the Tarrant Code Camp Week will push educators’, and colleagues’, understanding of how CT supports 21st century teaching practices. Course Project (50%) Participants are asked to complete a course project addressing how their learning and knowledge of Computational Thinking can and will be applied to their classroom teaching. The goal of the project is to build content and capacity, and empower participants to understand how to imbed CT in student learning activities. Participants are encouraged to use their Code Camp strand as a starting point for understanding the application of CT. It is suggested (not required) that some of the activities in the strand be imbedded in the final project. Using the TPACK Framework as a guide, the project should include (but is not limited to) three main components: Content, Pedagogy, and Technology.  Content: How can you/will you integrate the components of CT with your knowledge of your subject area? What will you do after this course to establish a practice for enhancing and expanding on your new knowledge?  Pedagogy: How have your/will your teaching practices change in light of your new knowledge? What is the purpose of integrating CT in your teaching? How will you address student learning?  Technology: How does technology support, enhance, contribute, and/or hinder the development of your teaching? What technological tools/resources will you utilize as you move forward with CT? Here are some examples of projects to get you thinking. Depending of participants’ interests, additional suggestions, guidelines, and expectations will be individualized after the first week of class:  Develop a unit integrating the components of CT (you may want to use the provided resources as a guide)  Complete a review of research on CT (or broadly, Computer Science) and how it relates to/impacts your subject, grade, school, community, etc.  Develop an Action Research Inquiry Plan for understanding how CT influences teaching/student learning Following is an example rubric for project evaluation. Individual evaluations may change depending on scope of project. Space is included for personal goals and self evaluation. Exceeds Expectations Project promotes evaluation and utilization of varied research methods Meets Expectations Evidence of plans and implementation strategies; project emphasizes plan to use varied research methods. Approaches Expectations Project suggests opportunities to use varied research methods and information sources

Research and Information Fluency


Communication and Collaboration

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Creativity and Innovation

Project utilizes and initiates a variety of methods and structures that promote communication and collaboration Project encourages a learning environment where students are engaged in multiple resources to solve authentic problems and use higher order thinking skills Project encourages critical thinking to create original work; project supports collaboration beyond the traditional classroom

Project models opportunities that may provide for communication and collaboration

Project initiates communication and collaboration, but does not directly encourage collaboration Project provides direct instruction on problem solving skills; suggests opportunities for students to solve problems Project limits instruction to single content area; project makes connections to existing knowledge

Project incorporates some problem and project-based learning; provides opportunities to use higher order thinking skills Project applies existing knowledge to create new ideas; project engages in activities that have some open-ended possibilities

Personalized Goal 1

Personalized Goal 2

Instructional Sequence: Week 1: Living and Learning in the 21st Century Focus, Readings/Resources, and Questions: o What is our digital reality?  Watch: Iowa, Did You Know? o What does technology mean to kids?  Read: Ito, et al. (2008) o What has computing done to us or for us?  Read: Denning & Martell (2007) (please read through each principle) o Introduction to Computational Thinking  Read: Wing (2006) Assignments: 1. Reflect on the videos/readings/resources. You might want to use the focus questions as a guide. How do these readings establish, add to, redefine, or contradict your understanding of Computational Thinking?


2. Respond to one or more of your colleagues’ reflection(s). What are some similarities and differences between your reflections/understanding/questions? 3. What questions do you have about the course project? What are your initial ideas? Week 2: Teaching in the 21st Century Focus, Readings/Resources, and Questions: o Why do we need to change how we think, teach and learn?  Read: Wilson, Sudol, Stephenson, Stehlik, (2010) o How do we change?  Read: ISTE Standards-T and TPACK Framework o What is Computer Science?  Read: What is Computer Science? o Computer Science beyond the computer  Read: Bell, Alexander, Freeman, Grimley, (2009) Assignments: 1. Reflect on your teaching strengths and areas of improvement using concepts and language from the ISTE Standards-T and TPACK Framework 2. Reflect on how do you envision Computational Thinking fitting in to your teaching. 3. Respond to one or more of your colleagues’ reflection(s). What ideas are similar? Are there collaboration opportunities? Remember, you will be spending a week together learning to code! 4. Share ideas/progress on your course project Week 3: Computational Thinking in the Classroom Focus, Readings/Resources, and Questions: o Bringing CT to K-12  Read: Barr & Stephenson (2011) o Making Sense  Watch: How to Learn Math o Exploring Computation Thinking  Browse: Exploring Computational Thinking Lessons and Resources (this is an extensive collection - you may want to focus on your core subject/grade level)  Browse: Computer Science Unplugged Activities (You can use either, or a combination, of these classroom-ready lessons and examples as a guide for your assignment) Assignments: 1. Reflect on How to Learn Math. What CT concepts are used in this lesson? 2. Using the CT resources, engage in a CT lesson that aligns with your subject/grade. I recommend finding a few people to play the roles of students. How do you envision using this (or a similar lesson) in your teaching? What changes/additions would you make? 3. Work on your course project 4. Prepare for Code Camp!


Week 4: Developing Computational Knowledge and Skills through Practical Application Focus, Readings/Resources, and Questions: o Code Camp! Develop practical skills and knowledge in one or more programming languages. o We will not have any additional readings this week, but participants are encouraged to actively integrate their project goals and coding strand. Assignments: o We will meet daily throughout the week to discuss, answer questions and reflect on learning and projects. o Final course project due Monday, August 11

Attendance Expectations: Because learning in this course depends on a hybrid of on-line and in person interaction, consistent presence and participation in both environments is essential. Please be punctual and willing to contribute, and if you are unable to attend a session please notify your colleagues and the instructor in advance. Academic Honesty & Professionalism: Students will be held accountable to the UVM Code of Academic Integrity, which can be found at Course Accommodations: If you have a documented disability that warrants accommodation this course, please make an appointment with us at your earliest convenience. We are committed to facilitating your success and will make appropriate accommodations that will increase your learning opportunities in this class. If you have not already contacted ACCESS please do so. They are located at A170 Living/Learning: 656- 2233. UVM Learning Cooperative Information: Your ability to communicate through writing is an essential skill and required for success in this course. For one-one assistance with any stage of the writing process (including proofreading and technical assistance) as well as help with study skills such as time management and organization, please contact the Learning Cooperative at 244 Commons Living/Learning, 656-4075 Religious Holidays: Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. Each semester students should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester. Faculty must permit students who miss work for the purpose of religious observance to make up this work.

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