CSTA, IBM roll out modules for high schools

Free modules include object-oriented programming, web design and a module on project-based teaching.

The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and IBM have put together a number of free teaching resources for high school classrooms.Three recent additions:

  • Project-Based Learning Module provides teachers with an overview of Project-Based Learning (PBL) and is intended for use as a professional development resource. It includes two PowerPoints and additional documents.
  • Web Site Design Module includes four lesson plans and student activities handouts.
  • OO Design Using Pong features an object-oriented implementation of the classic video game, Pong. Students will design and implement Pong using object-oriented programming concepts. This resource is intended for use by beginning Java programmers, but includes suggestions for enhanced learning for more experienced students. Teachers should have experience working with an object-oriented Java program using multiple classes, such as College Board’s Advanced Placement Marine Biology Case Study.

As part of CSTA's PR effort on these new modules, executive director Chris Stephenson talked to a lot of reporters about computer science, and came up with this wrap-up of media perceptions, he writes on the CSTA blog:

1. The crisis in computer science is finally becoming big news. Both the trade reporters and the education reporters know that there is a connection between K-12 computer science education and the high tech industry, and between the health of the high tech industries and national economic survival in the new global economy. 2. Reporters are really surprised to hear that people think there are no jobs in computer science. 3. Reporters are pretty sophisticated people and they understand the difference between doing something because it is the right thing to do and doing something to sell a specific piece of hardware or software to schools. What really interested them about this project was that nothing we created was tied to an IBM technology. It was about supporting K-12 computer science education, not pushing product.

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