Ideas, Thoughts, Things, & Awesome Things to Look Into - from the Computer Lab
AP courses are hard because they are college classes taught to high school students. For students, they can earn college credit which means they save money. The stakes are very high. AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A are both heavy on the project based learning because both courses are in the CTAE pathways.
This is a nice Edutopia video discussing the value of project based learning in AP courses.
Reinventing AP Courses With Rigorous Project-Based Learning
For several years now, my district office has been expressing an interest in having me move to the high school level to teach computers. I have had an overall, really good experience at my elementary school because of my principal and my awesome team of fellow specialists. So why would I rock the boat, so to speak, and make such a move after the crazy COVID-19 school year? It is time. I have taught logins and passwords and keyboarding for long enough.
When I was teaching at a middle school, an 8th grader and I had this dialogue.
Student - Why do you care so much about me?
Me - Why would I not care about you?
Student - You don't know me?
Me - I don't need to know about someone to care about them.
Student - That's stupid.
Me - Maybe so, but I'd rather live in a world were people care about each other, even strangers.
Student - That's stupid too.
Me - Maybe, but I still care.
High School is the other extreme. Now I have big kids with big problems, attitudes, and bigger abilities. I have taught this age before and I am looking forward to the change. I was once a high school student, but times have definitely changed. I am teaching six classes in a field that was not taught until college in my high school days. We had one computer lab with 30 or so computers that were reserved for drill-and-kill or typing exercises. The business ed classes still had typewriters that dinged at the end of each line. I am teaching two Advanced Placement courses. This makes me slightly less nervous because I have actually taught real college programming courses back in the day. So, I know what was expected then at the college level. Now they have moved that content to the high school level. Does that mean all high school students will be ready to take it and pass it? I am about to find out.
Heather M. Miller
This is a space where I post my thoughts on things and ideas in the Computer Lab. I am a K-12 certified Computer Science, Business Education, and Engineering and Technology teacher with ESOL and Gifted Endorsements.