As a CS teacher, you’re constantly looking for ways to improve your practice but have limited time to do so, and it can be challenging to find quality PD on specific topics of interest. CSTA is pleased to provide a new way for members to gain knowledge and skills aligned to the CSTA Standards for CS Teachers.
Our online professional development (PD) courses provide a flexible, deep learning experience that you can complete at your own pace. Course content includes meaningful and interactive activities focused on application to your CS classroom — you’ll do a lot more than just read and watch. Plus, you will experience asynchronous collaboration with other CS educators as you both give and get feedback and exchange ideas.
Registration for the fall session (Oct. 2 to Dec. 31) is now open. Because courses are self-paced, you can register at any point until two weeks before the end of the session. We now have two new new courses available. See links below to register for a specific course. Price for course varies based on length. All courses are free for CSTA+ members!
See the current online PD courses available, all designed specifically for K-12 CS educators. Click to expand additional details.
Identity Inclusion for K-12 Computer Science Educators
Description: This course provides a foundational understanding of one’s self, the impact one has on others, and ways to foster safe and inclusive CS learning environments.
Audience: K-12 CS educators
Length: ~12 hours
- Get to Know Yourself and How Your Intersectionality Translates to Privilege/Marginalization
- Articulate components of your identity and how different social settings influence how you represent yourself to others.
- Analyze intersectional data in CS education.
- Devise a plan to implement intersectionality practices that nurture all students’ learning experiences.
- Appraise your power/privilege using an interactive Wheel of Power.
- Explore the Race Construct and Examine the Cycle of Oppression
- Reflect on the history of the race construct.
- Compose a list of events for the next era of America’s history regarding race.
- Examine the cycle of oppression through the lens of teachers.
- Review strategies that CS educators use to facilitate critical conversations regarding bias within CS.
- Explore with classroom resources/lessons focused on how technology reinforces oppression.
- Reflect on Race Perspectives & Facilitate Safe Conversations
- Evaluate your comfort level in having conversations about race.
- Listen to diverse perspectives on race.
- Prepare for classroom conversations involving race.
- Examine intent versus impact and zero-indifference policy.
- Design classroom discussion norms that are inclusive and promote safe conversations.
- Predict challenges and devise plans to overcome potential struggles in covering critical topics with students.
- Combat Implicit Biases and Promote Inclusivity
- Assess your own implicit biases.
- Identify non-inclusive CS terminology
- Integrate inclusive language in your classroom.
- Devise an action plan to counteract self-identified biases and develop an inclusive classroom culture.
Teacher Standards Alignment
- 2b. Minimize threats to inclusion
Develop purposeful strategies to proactively challenge unconscious bias and minimize stereotype threat in CS.
- 3c. Examine and counteract personal bias
Examine how their personal perspective, privilege, and power impact student success and classroom culture and continuously work to counteract biases.
Teach Security: The Security Mindset
Description: This course helps high school teachers introduce important cybersecurity principles in their CS classrooms. It provides full lessons with hands-on, inquiry-based activities that allow students to explore for themselves how cybersecurity works.
Audience: High school CS educators
Length: ~4 hours
- Prepare to teach lessons on threat modeling to introduce “the security mindset” and an overarching framework for cybersecurity.
- Engage students with a red team/blue team secret keeping brainstorming activity.
- Explore threat modeling as applied to a physical domain, like a house. Make connections to the cybersecurity domain.
- Learn and explain key cybersecurity vocabulary and ideas in more depth.
- Guide students in elaborating their knowledge through a threat modeling exercise using “security cards”.
- Experience an evaluation activity to interpret cybersecurity issues in the news.
- Preview additional lessons on key security concepts like authentication and social engineering.
CS Teacher Standards Alignment
- 1c. Model networks and the Internet
Model how computing devices connect via networks and the Internet to facilitate communication, and explain tradeoffs between usability and security.
- 5a. Use inquiry to facilitate student learning
Use inquiry-based learning to enhance student understanding of CS content.
Using Data to Improve Diverse CS Course Participation
Description: This course is designed to provide a foundational understanding of what systematic and/or structural barriers exist to keep underrepresented students out of computer science classrooms. Participants will examine data from various resources and learn about strategies that will help them create a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable learning environment for all students.
Audience: Grade 5-12 CS Teachers, Administrators, CS Specialists
Length: ~6 hours
- Examine data and make informed-data-based decisions by creating and implementing a plan to improve access, engagement and participation in CS classrooms;
- Identify the importance of diversity in computer science classrooms and the root causes of inequities in computer science education;
- Examine disparities of identity that limit which students have access to computer science; which students are in computer science classrooms and which students should be in computer science classrooms;
- Examine identities that lead to inequities in computer science and limit which students have access to computer science; which students are in computer science classrooms and which students should be in computer science classrooms;
- Empower individuals to enact change by developing culturally responsive teaching strategies and action plans that address inequities and increase the participation of marginalized students in CS classrooms.
CS Teacher Standards Alignment
- 2d. Use data for decision-making to improve equity- Create and implement a plan to improve access, engagement, and full participation in CS using classroom data to inform decision-making.
- 2a. Examine issues of equity in CS- Examine how systemic barriers and social and psychological factors contribute to inequitable access, engagement, and achievement in CS among marginalized groups. Reflect on how issues of equity manifest in their own CS teaching context.
Fostering a Sense of Belonging in Your CS Classroom
Description: This course explores critical elements of the classroom in order to create an environment that is welcoming for everyone. Elements include classroom population, instruction, classroom environment, and avoiding microaggressions. Participants will better understand their students’ sense of belonging in their classroom and develop plans to increase it.
Audience: K-12 CS educators
Length: ~4 hours
- Identify strength and/or improvement areas regarding classroom culture.
- Explain why student recruiting for the CS course matters and what educators have done to recruit students to the CS course.
- Explain why it is important for students to be able to engage in learning activities that allow them to explore/share things that are important to them.
- Reflect on and identify steps to develop a more inclusive classroom design and layout.
- Define microaggressions and list examples.
- Identify actions that mitigate microaggressions within the CS classroom.
- Explore ways to integrate the 4 Principles of Education (Learning by Doing, Discussion, Interactive, and Interdisciplinary) and discuss their importance in student collaboration.
- Revise a previous lesson plan or project to improve students’ sense of belonging.
Teacher Standards Alignment
- 2b. Minimize threats to inclusion – Develop purposeful strategies to proactively challenge unconscious bias and minimize stereotype threat in CS.
- 3d. Commit to the mission of CS for all students – Develop a personal teaching philosophy reflecting that all students can and should learn CS.
- 5b. Cultivate a positive classroom climate – Cultivate a positive classroom climate that values and amplifies varied perspectives, abilities, approaches, and solutions.
Varies by length ($39 – $99). Free for CSTA+ members!
Length & Pacing
Courses range from about 4 to 12 hours. See the course offerings above for an approximate number of hours suggested to complete each course.
Courses are self-paced. While we provide suggested pacing in each course, you could spend an hour per week, complete an entire course in a day, or do whatever works with your schedule.
Courses will be offered in 10-week sessions:
- Summer: July 24 – Sept. 24
- Fall: Oct. 2 – Dec. 31, 2023
- Winter: Jan. 8 – March 17, 2024
- Spring: April 1 – June 16, 2024
Course enrollment will remain open until two weeks prior to the end of each term.
CSTA courses are privately authored in Coursera (in collaboration with UC San Diego) and are currently not publicly searchable or accessible. CSTA members receive exclusive access to these courses.
Learners will receive a signed digital certificate documenting the number of hours of professional learning after completing each course. Check with your school, district, or state whether you can count these hours towards continuing education requirements.
How to Get Started
Click the Register button in the course offerings menu above to enroll in a specific course. Since all courses are free for CSTA+ members, we recommend that you first upgrade your membership or join as CSTA+ member. And, if you are a CSTA+ member, please make sure you are signed into your account when registering.
CSTA will email course invitations to all registered participants on the first day of the session. If you registwered after the first day of the session, you will receive your course invitation within one week. Look out for an invitation message from CSTA Online PD on Coursera (firstname.lastname@example.org). Simply click the Join Group button in the message to join the course and get started. You will need to create a Coursera account if you do not already have one.
Please reach out to email@example.com if you do not see your invitation, need to use a different email address than is used for your CSTA membership, or have recently become a CSTA+ member. We’ll be happy to help!