CSTA Equity Fellow Mayné González Osorio founded the CSTA Puerto Rico Chapter and is currently the technology teacher at Jose E. Aponte De La Torre School.
CSTA Equity Fellow Mayné González Osorio founded the CSTA Puerto Rico Chapter and is currently the technology teacher at Jose E. Aponte De La Torre School. For González Osorio Osorio, equity is the power to allow her students to learn and expose themselves to pedagogical situations to which they have not had the opportunity or in which they think they are not good or cannot learn
“It is important for me to be able to understand the background of the student and what are the limitations that they understand could be [the] causes of why they cannot participate in the educational experiences,” shares González Osorio. “It is not an easy task to create inclusive pedagogical situations, but my willingness and desire to ensure that students learn successfully has driven me to learn and implement certain educational strategies, such as pair programming, where I can group students in a way that they can learn collaboratively highlighting their qualities.”
At Jose E. Aponte De La Torre School, González Osorio works to provide computer science courses to students of different social and educational levels. She’s offered classes to public school children who have never had the opportunity to program, college students with some exposure, children with autism, and students from the homeschooling program.
“All these students of different educational levels collaborate in the same classroom with me, there is no division of grades, which makes the classroom enriching,” shared González Osorio. “I have watched my students grow, learn, and motivate themselves to continue learning more about the subject. The testimonies of the parents, thanking me for seeing the happiness of the children learning and motivating themselves, have made me continue to build opportunities and seek opportunities for them.”
In her school, she has been able to develop courses that were not previously offered, such as Web Page Development, Mobile Application Development, Arduino programming, and micro bits. She also piloted the Python CMU Academy Curriculum in Spanish. She’s been able to expose girls, students with learning difficulties, and students who do not speak English to computer science.
Although her school offers a STEAM curriculum, it relies heavily on teachers to provide the necessary educational experiences and materials. “Access to information technology can be limited by the economic factor of the student, which by not being able to buy a device with the necessary requirements, this does not allow the student to reach their potential, as they are not at the forefront of technology and its advances,” shared González Osorio. “In my case, I have been able to include the Google CS First curriculum in the programming course and the use of micro bits that were donated to me as a CSTA leader at the 2019 conference. Thanks to this, the children were able to meet and learn to work with Micro Bits. With my participation in the PD of mobile CSP, the school received 5 Android tablets for the development of the course. As CSTA leader I have offered workshops to teachers (scratch for teacher 2017, HTML essentials, etc.) and people interested in learning computing from different sectors. Each curriculum used has provided ways to evaluate the success that students have achieved by demonstrating it with the creation of computational artifacts and the communication of concepts and vocabularies.”
Additionally, González Osorio has exposed her students to different activities outside of the classroom, so they can experiment and learn.
“I participated as a mentor with two of my students in the Global Game Jam Next 2020 offered by the Association of Video Game Developers of Puerto Rico along with a student with a diagnosis,” she shared. “[It was] an incredible experience.”
Through her work with the CSTA Puerto Rico Chapter, González Osorio was able to expose in different forums the inequality in Puerto Rico in terms of computer science education at the K-12 level for students and teachers.
“We have promoted and discussed with post-secondary institutions the need to develop a certification that offers teachers in Puerto Rico an education in computer science since we only have teachers in technology or the use of the computer,” shared González Osorio. “During my participation in different industry activities, such as the last two Computer Science for All Symposiums held in 2016 and 2017 in Puerto Rico, we shared different ideas and strategies to promote and develop opportunities for a K-12 level computer science curriculum. There have been many collaborations, contributions, and workshops offered and participated in which I have had the opportunity to promote computer education for everyone in Puerto Rico.”
This led González Osorio to apply to become a CSTA Equity Fellow. “I believe that knowing and participating in professional development will help me improve my pedagogical strategies and my leadership skills,” she shared. “Knowing the experiences of different leaders and their success stories are important to know as they help in the development of the educational practice of others and promote good practices. I hope to learn in different ways and many things. Improve my communication skills (in English and Spanish, it is very important to me) and learn new ways of learning and teaching computer science.”
You can learn more about González Osorio, this year’s cohort, and the CSTA Equity Fellowship program here.