On March 23, 2018, Ohio House Bill 170 went into effect requiring the development of learning standards and model curriculum for computer science.
On March 23, 2018, Ohio House Bill 170 went into effect requiring the development of learning standards and model curriculum for computer science. These standards and model curriculum were adopted by the State Board of Education in December 2018. (Computer Science Standards and Model Curriculum, 2019) The curriculum was ready for implementation in the 2019-2020 school year and includes standards for grade levels K-12 including five strands that cover Computing Systems, Network and Internet, Data and Analysis, Algorithmic Thinking and Programming, and Impacts of Computing.
As an educator, the update for the Computer Science Standards has given us validation from the state that they understand the importance and the necessity of CS education in the K-12 curriculum. Though this process is just starting, with the development of a Computer Science Assessment for educators, we are definitely moving in the right direction.
In our economy, there is a demand for workers in the IT field. It is important for us to capitalize on the technology skills our students obtain from their use of devices at home and redirect these into the ability to solve real-world problems. We want to provide students the skills to prepare them for obtaining stable future employment. We often misjudge students as being technologically advanced as they work the cellular devices and social media without much thought. However, there is a gap in knowledge when it comes to working with applications, evaluating practical problems to create solutions and developing new ideas within a group setting. Along with developing critical thinking, communication, and employability skills our students in Ohio will be better equipped and prepared for college and career opportunities.
To assist educators with the required professional development, House Bill 166 of the 133rd General Assembly includes a provision to reimburse existing teachers for the costs (of the content and exam and pedagogy courses required) to obtain a (supplemental) license to teach computer science. (Computer Science, 2019) Districts will benefit from this assistance to expedite the process of getting teachers qualified in this new high-demand teaching opportunity.
Over the next few months the Department of Education, working with teams of Ohio computer science educators, will be creating computer science instructional supports. These supports will provide examples and instructional tools/resources that align with Ohio’s Computer Science Standards. (Computer Science Standards and Model Curriculum, 2019) Along with CSTA-OH, we are looking forward to partnering with the Ohio Department of Education to not only instructional materials, but also get feedback from experienced CS teachers to provide resources that can benefit our CS educator community within Ohio to give them the tools they need to be successful.
If you have an interest in Computer Science education, the time is now. Things are getting exciting here in Ohio, check out the options for becoming a qualified educator. Our students need educators who are passionate about computer science, believe in hands-on, experiential learning and those who have industry experience.
If you would like to learn more, check out the Ohio Department of Education’s Model Curriculum for Computer Science web page and CSTA-OH at cstaohio.org.
Computer Science. (2019, 11 25). Retrieved from Ohio Department of Education: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Learning-in-Ohio/Computer-Science
Computer Science Standards and Model Curriculum. (2019, 06 07). Retrieved from Ohio Department of Education: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Learning-in-Ohio/Standard-Revision-Overview/Computer-Science-Standards-and-Model-Curriculum
About the Author
Jenifer Conard is an IT Instructor with the Warren County Career Center. She teaches a satellite program located at Springboro High School with a focus on Software Development. With industry experience, she shares her passion for developing the next generation of coders. Her focus in the classroom is on real-world application of skills through hands-on, student-led learning. Jenifer creates opportunities for students through her connections in industry and college partners. Students in her classes have the opportunity to earn college credit through Sinclair and the University of Cincinnati. Her students are also members of the Business Professionals of America organization where they can compete in events and hold leadership positions. Jenifer has a focus on not only developing her students but serving as a leader for other educators in the field. She currently serves as secretary for the CSTA-OH and department chair for IT/Business at WCCC. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenifer-conard/