Virginia Tech Summer Workshops for High School Teachers

For the second year in a row, Virginia Tech has invited high school computing teachers in Virginia to come visit us for professional development, idea sharing, and networking.  This year funding from NCWIT and Microsoft  supported the event.

Our goal with the “Professional Development and Networking Workshop for High School Teachers of Computer Science" program is to work together with high school educators to explore innovative approaches to teaching computing, and to identify priorities, opportunities, difficulties, and resources needed to rethink computing education. We want to foster the creation of a community of creative and innovative high school educators that can partner with us to explore new ways to teach computing.

This year our workshop had 10 participants from 10 high schools throughout the state. After a welcome message by Dr. Barbara Ryder (Department Head of Computer Science at Virginia Tech),  Dr. Lecia Barker (University of Texas) gave a presentation on "recruiting for diversity." Dr. Dennis Kafura and Dr. Deborah Tatar  of Virginia Tech spoke about our new efforts in Computational Thinking, an experimental course offered in Spring 2010 to our CS majors.

On the second day of the workshop, Dr. Manuel A. Pérez-Quiñones provided a brief introduction to Media Computation and discussed how he has used it in middle schools and college levels.  The session concluded with a presentation by Dr. Stephen Edwards and a brief tutorial on building Graphical User Interfaces using the ACM JTF library.

The materials for the workshop are available on our website. 

The workshop was evaluated by Catherine Brawner. The participants rated the workshop highly in comparison with other workshops they had attended and were satisfied having learned skills that they can use in their teaching.

We have plans to do another workshop next summer when we hope to have a larger group of teachers and go into more depth.