By Lillian Williams
Are you a high school student interested in computer programming?
Does your school offer computer science courses?
A new computer science MOOC (massive open online course) is available, free of charge, during the 2013-2014 school year.
Anyone around the globe with an Internet connection can participate in this course. That means you might live in Athens, Greece; Cape Town, South Africa, or Detroit, Michigan in the U.S.
You’re welcome in this course.
Listen to instructor Rebecca Dovi describe course goals in the video above. Read additional details about the course here.
The course is geared toward high school students who might take the Advanced Placement Computer Science A Exam in Spring, 2014. Importantly, even if you don’t plan to take that AP exam, you can still participate. Register here.
During the first semester, students will review the basics of computer science. The second semester will highlight manipulation of data, including subjects such as algorithm development and user-defined data types.
Instructor Rebecca Dovi is a long-time computer science teacher in Hanover County, Virginia. Here’s part of her Linkedin bio:
“Rebecca Dovi has taught high school computer science full time for 15 years. She is among 10 secondary school teachers nationwide selected to pilot the new CS Principles course under development by CollegeBoard. In Virginia, Rebecca serves as the founding president of the CSTA – Central Virginia chapter and represents Virginia nationally in the CSTA Leadership Cohort. She also works for Virginia Advanced Studies Strategies, the Virginia branch of the National Math Science Initiative, as a coordinator for computer science.
Rebecca is lucky to teach in Hanover County, Virginia where every high school has a full time computer science teacher. In Hanover, she heads the computer science curriculum committee.
A graduate of the College of William and Mary with a BS in mathematics, Rebecca completed extensive post graduate coursework in computer science at Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University. She holds licenses from the state of Virginia to teach both math and computer science.”
Note that Ms. Dovi teaches in a school system in which every high school has a full time computer science teacher. Does your school district offer a full-time computer science teacher for each high school? I’m sure the answer varies, due to funding priorities (too few dollars) and other factors.
Nonetheless, it’s up to parents, community leaders, and others to find ways to augment high school curricula. Alternatives might include private tutoring, summer school programs, or free online courses such as this one.
It’s your turn. What are your thoughts about the ways that advanced technologies offer greater access to educational opportunities? Leave your comments below.