I spent the week before Memorial Day Weekend at the Infosys Foundation CrossRoads 2018 Conference. The convening brought together over 300 of the most distinguished researchers, practitioners, leaders, and policymakers to explore how to best expand access to high quality Computer Science education all with a focus on equity and inclusion. Throughout the event we participated in sessions and hands-on workshops focused on CS policy, formal and informal learning, and advocacy and community building. Here are a few of my favorite highlights from the event this year.
Getting Your Local Plans in Place for CS Education - 'The SCRIPT'
It was fantastic to chat with Leigh Ann DeLyser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of CSforAll. I learned more about CSforAll’s initiative called ‘The SCRIPT’ — the Strategic CSforALL Resource & Implementation Planning Tool – which serves as a foundation for systemic change and advocacy to help schools and districts choose CS pathways and programs. As a big fan of organization change models, I think the SCRIPT is worth your time if you need to map out your current landscape and set priority areas based on your local needs.
Ensuring Holistic Perspectives in CS Education - 'The User'
I attended a session about the seven big ideas in the AP CS Principles course - Creativity, Abstraction, Data and Information, Algorithms, Programming, the Internet, and Global Impact. The crux of the session was a lively discussion around the ‘big ideas’ including what might be missing from the list. Adrienne Decker, the Associate Professor of Interactive Games and Media at Rochester Institute of Technology, shared her big idea of what’s missing as ‘The User’. I couldn’t agree more that we are lacking key perspectives around User Experience/User Interface (UX/UI) and accessibility. Couragion's CS curriculum has a strong focus on integrating the user perspective into our CS educational experiences.
Preparing Students for Postsecondary Pathways in CS - 'The Equalizer'
Harvey Mudd is often lauded for their ability to broaden participation in CS. Colleen Lewis, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Harvey Mudd, served up some well appreciated and fiery perspectives on how we’re afraid to talk about race, class, sex, and gender – and how we should not talk about 'minorities' but 'minoritized' populations. She animatedly demonstrated Harvey Mudd’s novel approach to how they prepare students for CS pathways and success who each arrive with varying levels of experience and context. Challenge yourself to develop a new narrative on how to broaden participation in CS and how to talk about it.
More information about CrossRoads 2018 can be found below! Hit me up with any questions or thoughts about the event!