Friday, February 26, 2016

Social Media and Professional Development

Just because I have been on school vacation this week doesn’t mean the learning stops. In fact I have taken advantage of the relaxed time to get involved in some online conversations.

Twitter chats have been part of that. The CSTA K-8 task force held another of their every other week Twitter chats. #csk8 is their hashtag and this week the discussion was about #CSforAll and what it means to be “for all.” Specific conversation happened about special needs and differently abled diverse populations. The next chat will be March 9th at 5pm PT/8pm ET These are great discussions.

Any interest in a high school CS education Twitter chat? I’m thinking about trying to start one up. Perhaps on the Wednesdays that the CSk8 Chat is not happening. Let me know in the comments or via Twitter (I’m at @AlfredTwo) if you are interested.

Arkansas had their Twitter education chat as well this week. I happened to see that the discussion on their hashtag (#ArkEdChat) was going to be about computer science so I jumped it. A lot was state specific as Arkansas is starting a serious initiative to get computer science in more schools but overall it was very interesting to me.

Discussion in an online community for teachers using Microsoft technology to teach CS (I write about it at An Online Community for CS Teachers Using Microsoft Tools ) was very active as well. There was a lot of discussion about TouchDevelop, using robots in the classroom, and a bunch more.. I’m learning a lot from other teachers and Microsoft people.  If you are using Microsoft tools/products to teach computer science, you’ll want to join. Sign up at

Plus of course there was lots of blogging activity by my favorite CS education bloggers. If you are looking for some to read I have a Computer Science Education Blog Roll Garth Flint and Mark Guzdial both had some good posts this week.  And Dawn DuPriest has an interesting project I may adapt for my class - Teaching event-based programming – a traffic light

Even Facebook comes into play. The AP Computer Science Teachers Facebook group was busy. And there was lots of discussion all over the place about the issue of privacy between Apple and the FBI. I lot of learning goes on via Facebook these days.

Social media is a good way to expand your communication beyond your own building or circle of local (geographically) friends.

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