Sunday, March 12, 2017

Conferences for K-12 Computer Science Educators

If you are a K-12 teacher looking for conferences about using technology in education there are many conferences one can go to. If you are a post secondary school computer science educator there are a good number of conferences you can go to. If you are a K-12 computer science teacher you have fewer options. Sure you can go to the higher ed conferences and look for things applicable. And you can go to tech education conferences and hope for some good CS education content. But if you really want conferences with a lot of value for you in particular there are fewer options. I’m going to go over a few I like.

CSTA ConferenceThe CSTA Annual Conference is of course your number one event. Workshops, concurrent sessions, networking with CS educators from all over – this conference has it all for K-12 CS educators. It’s my all time favorite. And it is growing in sessions and attendees every year. And it is during the summer so you don’t have to miss school to attend. You should be there.

The Amazing SIGCSE 2017 Logo, in blueish and greenish.SIGCSE is my number two choice. Sure it looks like it is for higher education people but there is also a lot for K-12 people. The sessions on how to teach work for all levels. The chance to talk to great educators is a big plus as well. Friday has a lot of special sessions and events for K12 people My big problem is that it is during the school year. With snow days like we have here in New Hampshire I feel bad about skipping school to go.

isteISTE I really like ISTE. While it is really about using technology in education I have been seeing more and more computer science content in recent years. Plus it attracts a lot of people who see themselves as teachers of some other subject first and computer science second. So you get to meet some people who teach CS but who don’t go to CSTA or SIGCSE. A bunch of big computer companies exhibit here so I spend some time visiting with them. I get to ask some good questions and learn stuff which makes it worth while.

imageTCEA is also a big conference about using tech in education but Texas has a lot of computer science education and that makes TCEA stand out for me. Like ISTE, TCEA has a lot of teachers who are not full time CS teachers. There are also more CS sessions than a lot of other ed tech conferences and with its size there are a lot of networking opportunities.

HomeA year ago I would not have brought up SxSWEdu (South by Southwest EDU)  SxSWEdu has a reputation of being for and about tech companies and startups trying to sell tech to teachers. This year that was a lot of computer science education content. It may be too early to see if this continues but I hope it does.

Other than SXSWEdu I’m been to all of these multiple times. I’ve learned a lot from these conferences over the years. I’d love to hear other people’s opinions both about these conferences and others I might have missed. Where do you go for K-12 CS learning?

6 comments:

Doug said...

ACSE - Association for Computer Studies Educators - http://www.acse.net/
CEMC - The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing - http://www.cemc.uwaterloo.ca/events/csteachers.html

Alfred Thompson said...

One day I need to get to one of those conferences in Canada Doug. You all seem way ahead of the US in CS education in some ways.

Mike Zamansky said...

Just got back from my first SIGCSE and it was terrific -- working on finding the time for a number of blog posts about or inspired by the trip.

Alfred Thompson said...

I was hoping you would be blogging about SIGCSE Mike. Looking forward to reading about what you have learned and done.

Mike Zamansky said...

I'm going to try to get to blog about four different things + a series on my panel talk.

But first, catch up on sleep from spending a week on the west coast going close to 24 hours a day :-)

Tami Brass said...

I'm part of the Minnesota Coding in the Classroom Leadership Cohort, and its MN Coding in the Classroom Summit is in its 2nd year this year. It's a tiny conference - not even close to the scale of the ones mentioned above - but if you're within a day's drive from Minneapolis, it's well worth it! See: http://codingintheclassroommn.weebly.com/

The EdTechTeam Google Summits also have strands related to computer science, especially for teachers hoping to integrate CS into content areas. I was part of the Minnesota Google Summit this past weekend, and there were three CS sessions. Again, not huge, but with the growth of CS instruction, worth having on the radar.