Hello from TeacherCon! My name is Prema Long and I am thrilled to be the guest blogger for Wednesday at TeacherCon. A little about me; I teach science at Wiscasset Middle High School and next year, I will diving into new territory, and teaching Computer Science Principles for the first time. As we explore the Code.org curriculum and look at the structure and goals of the lessons I find myself getting more and more excited to share this with my students!
The focus of Wednesday was on community. We began the day as a regional group to discuss ways to increase the awareness around the importance of computer science in Maine as well as strategies for communicating with stakeholders about this importance. Representatives from our regional partners, Educate Maine (Angela Oechslie) and the Maine Math and Science Alliance (Renee Charette) were there to listen and collaborate with us.
We also got to experience three lessons from the Code.org curriculum. These lessons are interactive, fun, and promote equity within computer science. They have unplugged (no computers) components that compliment the plugged-in portions of the lessons. The lessons are designed for students to explore and discover on their own, with the teacher as a guide through this process. It is a powerful way to empower and educate our kids!
To continue with the theme of building community, TeacherCon activities continued into the evening with different events and outings scheduled for each regional group. Maine teachers were slated to go to the Franklin Institute for a chance to challenge themselves in one of their Escape Rooms. There were a few hiccups in terms of battling Philadelphia traffic during rush hour that changed the plans slightly for some people however, once at the Escape Rooms, both groups were able to figure out the puzzles with time to spare! A crew of teachers finished the evening socializing, eating, and learning a new card game. Pairs has become a huge hit! Looking forward to the last two days here in Philadelphia but also excited to soon be heading home to continue enjoying summer in Maine.