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#1 Xaos  Icon User is offline

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I got programming in my high school!

Posted 17 January 2014 - 07:45 PM

Last semester, I emailed one of our teachers about getting programming as a class at our school. The teacher (head of computing classes at our school) said no, it wouldn't be possible, etc. so then I laid out a full plan, how it's possible, why its good, etc. She never responded. So today, I figured out, there will be beginners and intermediate programming next year :D While no one in the department will say it, I'm 100% taking credit for this. A bunch of the students know it as well. I'm super excited for not only me and people I know, but for future people taking these classes.

If anyone is interested, Included is the email exchange.

My first email, to the head of the CTAE department.

Quote

Mrs.Brown,

I am very interested in getting a programming class for our school. Because this counts as a CTAE class, I was wondering if I have to go through you, or should I go straight to administration. I have a good pitch and solid ideas, realistic as well. I just need someone top itch the ideas to and to listen to my plea. I am confident in my ability to get the class offered, but like I said, I just need to know who to talk to.

Thanks,
Brian


Her response:

Quote

Thanks for your interest in a programming class. Yes it is a CTAE class and it is apart of the Business & comptuer science pathways. We are currently offering 3 pathways in business & computer science that we feel that is best suited and beneficial for our students. Adding programming would mean adding another pathway or cutting a current pathway. With the decrease in business teachers in our department in the recent years it would really be hard to add an additional pathway in the area. Are there any possible dual enrollment options where this could meet your needs. I will look into your request further.

Thank you!


And my response to her BS response. Please, pay close attention to my snarkiness and slight sarcasm. I was angry at her response, lol.

Quote

Mrs.Brown,

Is it a requirement to have a full pathway to have one course? I was thinking of it replacing one or two sections of Computer Applications I per year and being offered as more or less an advanced CTAE class, similar to the way Multicultural and British Lit are set up. That way honors/AP students could take a more challenging course for their CTAE credit (though this is not my only reasoning). As far as dual-enrollment, I wasn't specifically speaking for me, I would like there to be the class for people later. I likely would not even have the opportunity to take the class, but I feel strongly about getting more programming courses into schools. I understand fully the difficulties of having shortages of teachers, but even, say, removing one Computer Applications I section per year and one Computer Applications II per year where admission to the class was based on GPA, OR offering both basic and intermediate programming (AP Computer Science is but a pipe dream at this point) on a per-interest basis where admission into the class was based on GPA (both by GPA to be able to keep one section and allow deserving students in) would eliminate some of the understaffing issues we have. Because we already have Computing in the Modern World, these two classes in place of two other classes a year would allow another pathway, but also keep the pathways we have. However, if pathways are not required to add one course, a Beginners a Programming course itself would be great. Again, these are not all of my ideas, nor all of my reasons. This is just preliminary stuff to get more of my ideas heard and possibly get the ball rolling and at least pitch my full idea. I have a lot of the glaring holes covered at least in terms of ideas. I fully understand the handicaps we have as a school, but I also believe strongly enough in this I think I can start something here. Thank you for listening and looking into my request further, and I hope you can set me up with either you or the administration to get my full pitch in and I hope to get feedback from you for the ideas I just presented, even reasons why they wouldn't work.

Thank you,
Brian


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Replies To: I got programming in my high school!

#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got programming in my high school!

Posted 17 January 2014 - 08:16 PM

Glad you have programming at your school! As far as her response, don't knock her for it. Clearing it through the higher ups takes time, and it is sometimes difficult to do in a K-12 setting. There is lots of paperwork, and the powers that be don't often like change. The fact that it got approved for next year really speaks volumes to the effort this woman probably put in to make it happen. Kudos to you for pursuing it, and kudos to her on her follow through and honesty. :)
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#3 FisherC  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got programming in my high school!

Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:02 PM

This is excellent news! It reminds me of the Hour of Code (http://csedweek.org/) a push to get more programming classes into public schools.

The idea of having kids exposed to programming at an early age excites me because I wish I had been exposed to it much early that I was. Look at where technology is now. Imagine what it could be if we had 2 or 3 times as many people working on it from an early age, like 15, 16. We could be graduating a new Bill Gates in every school around the country every year!

At the same time this concerns me that the market could be flooded with people who can program, decreasing job opportunity and salary rates significantly, much like network engineers in the past, but I think the positives greatly out way the negatives.

Just remember, change doesn't happen by itself, someone has to initiate it. It might be tough, and you might get shot down, but anything worth doing isn't easy.
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#4 fishpond  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got programming in my high school!

Posted 15 February 2014 - 10:46 AM

Just hope you get a decent programming teacher...Even at university levels it is difficult to get a really good programming prof.

I actually would like to teach programming one day at a high school or college level.

Anyways, congratulations! Enjoy the classes.
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#5 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got programming in my high school!

Posted 15 February 2014 - 11:33 AM

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.Even at university levels it is difficult to get a really good programming prof.

I would disagree with this.
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#6 fishpond  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got programming in my high school!

Posted 15 February 2014 - 11:45 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 15 February 2014 - 11:33 AM, said:

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.Even at university levels it is difficult to get a really good programming prof.

I would disagree with this.



Well I disagree with you!!!

Ok...it's not super difficult, but I have had really bad programming professors before. Currently my C teacher is really bad...I would say it's because he was brought in on short notice and this is his very first teaching assignment.

Anyways, I can't imagine finding very many programmers who would be enthused to teach at the high school level. Just because high school kids are basically devils and who wants to, figuratively speaking, put themselves through "hell"?
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#7 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got programming in my high school!

Posted 15 February 2014 - 11:50 AM

Perhaps the teacher is good and the children/you are devils? hmmmmm? HMMMMMMMMMM?
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#8 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got programming in my high school!

Posted 15 February 2014 - 01:22 PM

Quote

Ok...it's not super difficult, but I have had really bad programming professors before. Currently my C teacher is really bad...I would say it's because he was brought in on short notice and this is his very first teaching assignment.

Anyways, I can't imagine finding very many programmers who would be enthused to teach at the high school level. Just because high school kids are basically devils and who wants to, figuratively speaking, put themselves through "hell"?

I've had both experiences at the high school level. I've had good experiences in college, and seen bad professors. It happens. The higher up you go, the better it gets. Also, keep in mind many college intro to programming classes are large classes geared towards non-CS majors too. There is only so much that can be done in a 300 person lecture hall.
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#9 fishpond  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got programming in my high school!

Posted 15 February 2014 - 02:23 PM

Do you guys think high school programming classes are just the new versions of woodshop and metalshop? Do people take it seriously?
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#10 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got programming in my high school!

Posted 15 February 2014 - 02:33 PM

I went through a high school where there was an IT program to which people had to apply in the 8th grade. People do take it seriously and try. My experience is certainly a minority, but there are those who really take it seriously and try. There are those that don't. This applies to teachers and students.
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