While most kids have been using computers their whole lives, they generally don’t get the opportunity to learn exactly how they work until college. Wake Forest computer scientists teamed up with Google over the last two summers to develop a comprehensive approach to reversing this trend.
Samuel Cho, assistant professor of computer science and physics, led the project. He and computer science professor Paúl Pauca hosted two Google-sponsored CS4HS summer workshops in which Wake Forest computer science students trained middle and high school teachers how to write simple computer and Android based programs. They also worked with the teachers on ways to integrate computational thinking exercises into their curriculum.
Cho and Paúca sent follow-up surveys to the teachers who participated in the workshops and found the workshops were effective. They helped teachers integrate computational thinking into the classroom and improved teachers’ abilities to mentor young students interested in learning computer skills before attending college.
Cho and Pauca, along with Winston-Salem State University Professor of Education Denise Johnson and Hanes Magnet School Spanish teacher Yu’Vonne James, compiled results from the workshops and surveys. Cho and Pauca will present these findings at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education’s 25th International Conference, March 17-21, in Jacksonville, Fla.