IndianaComputes! is one of five organizations approved by the Indiana Department of Education to deliver computer science teacher training.
IndianaComputes!, a university collaboration established by the computing outreach arm of the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, has been awarded a state contract of more than $600,000 to accelerate and deepen computer science capacity in Indiana. The contract identifies IndianaComputes! as one of only five organizations approved by the Indiana Department of Education to deliver computer science teacher training, and one of only two organizations approved to train educators across the entire K-12 grade range.
The contract will fund services such as workshops, coursework, and resource development. To optimize teacher convenience, the services will be offered online as well as supported by more than a dozen collaborating universities and colleges located around the state. All services will be provided free of charge to Indiana educators.
The state established funding for computer science teacher development in support of the 2018 legislative passage of Senate Bill 172, which requires that beginning July 1, 2021, all school districts teach the K-8 computer science standards developed by the Department of Education, as well as offer at least one approved elective computer science high school course each year. Because few practicing teachers had access to computer science pedagogy in their pre-certification programs, the result is a large install base of educators with little or no computer science background. The IndianaComputes! program has been specifically designed to help address that background gap.
IndianaComputes! will offer free services, resources, workshops, courses, and coursework support from a growing number of collaborating campuses across the state of Indiana, currently including the flagship IU campus in Bloomington, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, IUPUI, Ball State, Goshen College, Indiana State University, Indiana Wesleyan, Purdue Fort Wayne, the University of Evansville, the University of Indianapolis, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Southern Indiana. The coursework and materials have been developed specifically for teachers and are delivered within a unique infrastructure.
“Our vision”, says Michele Roberts, computing outreach director at Indiana University and founder of the computer science university collaboration, “is that all Indiana K-12 stakeholders should be encouraged to develop foundational computer science skills, including content knowledge and best practice teaching skills for the K-8 computing standards.”
Computer science background knowledge beyond the K-8 standards will be available for high school computer science teachers, STEM, and curriculum specialists (as well as interested K-8 teachers). Integration skill development will be available for all grade bands as computer science now intersects all subjects. The free graduate coursework has been developed especially for teachers and uses differentiated learning strategies and problem based contexts to support novice and experienced teachers alike.
The first free graduate computer science course for teachers launches this summer.
“It isn’t just the coursework that makes IndianaComputes! unique,” Roberts says. “By utilizing university partners, K-12 stakeholders have access to ‘un-ceilinged’ professional development. All staff involved in our program have made a career out of computer science, and they’re deeply knowledgeable in foundational content as well as helping to drive new computer science innovations. We believe IndianaComputes! offers a great opportunity to help build computing capacity in the Indiana K-12 pipeline.”
The free graduate coursework and regional CS Homeroom activities make a significant addition to the IndianaComputes! resources already maintained for Indiana K-12 Computer Science stakeholders, including free bell work preparation for iLearn, unpacked CS standards, a growing repository of CS classroom activities by grade banded standard, an annual Computer Science Teacher conference, and more.
To find out more about the IndianaComputes! program. Contact Michele Roberts at email@example.com.