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    Why Computer Science in ELA?

    CS4ELA is a nationwide initiative to increase the creative integration of computer science into the English Language Arts

    Yes, computer science is frequently talked about today as an essential field for preparing a 21st century workforce. And that’s true enough. But importantly, computer science is also an essential field for preparing a 21st century active citizenry.  It’s as much about voters as it is coders.

    Computer science consists greatly of programming or coding. But programming really just refers to using computational languages to talk to computers. That’s right, languages. Languages is what ELA is all about. And there are creative ways to use computational languages to expand and deepen ELA curricula.

    Guiding Questions

    In order to guide our research and practice, we want to identify some core inquiries with which to begin. What you find below are initial drafts.

    1.     How might computer science deepen and expand English Language Arts instruction?

    2.     How do teacher educators engage teacher candidates in this question?

    3.     What kinds of resources and research are needed?

    Want to comment? Head over to this Google Doc and share what you think.

    Guiding Principles

    Over time, we might want to develop some core Guiding Principles related to CS in ELA. Here are a few to get us started:

    1. Computer science is consists greatly of software and software consists of human and computer languages; software might usefully be considered a reader and writer of the world.
    2. Computer code is in fact a literacy practice, which suggests it should complement what we know about teaching reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
    3. Digital humanities scholars offer useful starting points for exploring computer science in the ELA classroom (for example,_______).
    4. Young people need to become familiar with computer science because software is increasingly shaping all aspects of society, including how democracy functions. The economic need for computer science is important to honor, but it is secondary to the needs of democracy.

    Want to comment? Head over to this Google Doc and share what you think.

    Learn More About CS Education

    1 / 8 Videos
    1

    Rethinking How We Teach Computer Science

    04:28
    2

    MMSEE 2017 International Conference Keynote Address

    39:25
    3

    The blue marble

    01:33
    4

    Nick K Princess A Chad A Macbot V,i

    06:43
    5

    Saturday Academy

    27:39
    6

    5 Rube Goldberg Machines made by Grade 4-5 students

    04:51
    7

    Lady MacBot!

    01:05
    8

    BUILD A ROBOT WITH ME: BardBots Construction Video!!

    03:59

    Sample Practices

    What does CS look like in the ELA and the English methods classrooms? That’s what we want to find out. We’ll keep track of promising practices here. Below are some resources to start with.

    BardBots: A Shakespearean introduction to computational thinking. Students study scenes from Shakespeare, interpret them, and then program robots to perform them. Lots of resources over here.

    Mixed Literary Analyses: A collection of three units that introduce students (and teachers) to computational text analysis and data visualization. Designed by Tom Liam Lynch for CS4All, they include standards alignment, pacing calendars, final assessments, and assessment rubrics.

    Strata and Bones: Tom’s new collection of essays from his 5-years editing English Journal’s Soft(a)ware column. Includes useful conceptual and practical introductions to the worlds of computer and English.

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