From the President – Computer Science Education Week


December 4-10, 2017 is Computer Science Education Week world-wide. Of course, we celebrate it here in Ontario and ECOO wants to be a part of it.

There are so many ways to think of Computer Science Education Week. Probably the biggest known event is the Hour of Code. Devised to be the launch of something special for students, it’s a wonderful opportunity for teachers and students to co-learn something new. After all, who doesn’t want to be in charge of their computing devices? For students who are already studying Computer Science, it’s a terrific opportunity to research further studies at university with an eye towards landing a job in the field that is so promising. Or, take a break from your regular programming routine and participate in one of the many tutorials available in a completely different environment. Computer Science teachers proudly announce that they teach problem solving – here’s a chance to demonstrate it.

Don’t forget to decorate your classroom with these posters.

Even better, have students design their own.

ECOO is doing its best to promote Computer Science Education week and has a page on its site Counting Down To Hour of Code devoted to this. Director-at-Large Peter Skillen will be populating this resource with some of the best resources for educators. Peter has long been a vocal advocate for the value of learning to code. We know that we can count on him to provide the “best of the best” for those participating. Look for the hashtag #ECOOcodes.  A page, devoted to #ECOOcodes can be found here.

But, we don’t want to stop there. Look also for resources to help you go beyond that first hour of coding. How can students leverage their new skills to become just a way of thinking and doing things? It’s important to think deeply about what we’re doing in classrooms and Peter will be there to help.

Vice-president Peter McAsh will be one of the leaders hosting a special day for young women interested in coding at the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing on Friday, December 8.

The Programming Challenge for Girls will introduce Grade 10 girls to coding using Alice from Carnegie-Mellon University and then challenge them to show off their learning. Look for a report here and hopefully, Peter will take lots of pictures to show the great learning that happened.

We want to hear from you too, Ontario Educators. If you’re participating in the Hour of Code (or even if not), we want you to join us in a Twitter Chat #ECOOchat (details to come) and share what you and your students did and learned.

We also want to collect good news stories from throughout the province. Feedback through the website will help build that collection of stories so please share resources that you created, or used well, and any blog posts that you assembled as a result of participation.

Have you checked out the new version of the ECOO website lately?

There’s always a great deal happening there. A section that we’re proud of features Ontario Educational bloggers. More than a blog roll, look for a growing collection that looks deeper at our favourite bloggers. To start the ball rolling, find out more about bloggers Jennifer Casa-Todd and Paul McGuire.

Jennifer Casa-Todd
Paul McGuire

As always, please stay in touch. We’re live on the web at @ECOOorg and the feedback form on the website will let you contact us when you need more characters than Twitter allows.

Yours in learning,
Doug Peterson
President, ECOO 2017-18