What Is My Role in CS Education Initiatives?
There are different ways that current legislation and computer science education efforts may impact you depending on the role you play in the state. We have put together some guidelines that may help you in your decision making OR simply answer some questions you may have.
What is your main role in Nevada?
Nevada Department of Education (NDE)
- Review all instruction/courses and make recommendations to the State Board of Education, in consultation with the STEM Advisory Council
- Support districts with CS professional development (technical training)
- Distribute appropriations to the districts to assist in trainings and the implementation of Senate Bill 200
- To provide professional development for your K-12 teachers, with support from the NDE. Although districts may use whatever curriculum is approved by the NDE and the State Board of Education, the state has an agreement in place with Code.org and the Nevada Regional Professional Development Program to provide FREE curriculum and teacher training for:
- elementary school educators on the CS Fundamentals course;
- middle school educators on the CS Discoveries course; and
- high school educators on the AP Computer Science Principles course
- Please encourage your teachers to sign up for the training that applies to them by going to: https://code.org/educate.
- Ensure that computer education and technology - to include computer science and integrated technology - is being taught to all K-5 students.
- Ensure that computer science and computational thinking, as outlined in the Nevada Academic Content Standards for Computer Science, is being taught across all grade levels and to all students through the lens of diversity and equitable access. The concepts build upon each other and should be taught within the appropriate grade level to ensure there are no gaps of knowledge for the students as they progress through their K-12 experience. The integrated technology standards should be addressed by all teachers in every content area to enhance digital instruction of subject matter.
- To offer a state board approved Computer Science course for all public high school students, charter schools and university schools for the profoundly gifted students. This course may be an online course offering.
- To make efforts to increase the enrollment of girls, students with disabilities, and other underrepresented minorities in the field of computer science.
- To allow a student to count a course in computer science as a 4th year math credit OR a 3rd year science credit for graduation - upon successful completion of an AP Computer Science course, a CTE computer science course, or a CS course offered by an approved community college or university - but ONLY after the student has completed the required math and science class coursework being tested on in the EOC exams
- To ensure that computer science and integrated technology are being taught prior to 6th grade according to the grade-level standards.
- Support your teachers by notifying them of the free professional development available through code.org and encouraging them to sign up as soon as possible to be ahead of the game
- Support your counselors by notifying them of the allowable substitution of a computer science credit for a math OR science credit towards graduation. Also, that this credit will satisfy the graduation requirements for the millennium scholarship. Ensure that your counselors understand when this can count and when it can’t - i.e. ONLY after they have completed the required math and science coursework they will be tested on in their EOC exams.
- Ensure your courses are following the recommended computer science course track as stated on the NDE website.
- To obtain or provide professional development for teachers through the state, the district, RPDP, or other approved organizations.
- Register for CS professional development through the NDE, RPDP, your district, your school, affiliate organizations
- Join our state CSTA Chapter to collaborate and find mentors
- As applicable, seek coursework to get endorsed in computer science education
- If you do not have ANY computer science courses in your school, please talk to your teacher or administration to see about getting some. Remember, Computer Science courses are MORE than just coding. Computer science teaches computational thinking, logical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem solving. Computer science will help you INNOVATE and CREATE new technologies that will change the world and your future.
- Do you think computer science is not for YOU? Then, change that way of thinking because it is for EVERYONE no matter what job or career you plan on pursuing.
- Ask your counselor to sign you up for a Computer Science Principles class! This is like a computer science class for non-majors. It will help you better understand the world around you and give you the necessary skills to help you in your other classes and in your future careers.
- Find a teacher mentor to start an after school Coding Club to learn more about computer science.
- If your child’s school does not offer computer science, please talk to the administration about getting computer science into the existing curriculum (elementary - CS Fundamentals) or to offer a course in the course catalog (middle - CS Discoveries or high - Computer Science Principles).
- Encourage your child to sign up for an introductory computer science course, such as Computer Science Principles, even if your family doesn’t own a computer or if no one else in the family understands computers. Computer science is about learning problem solving, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. These are skills they will use every day of their lives.
- Encourage Family Code Nights through your school’s PTA
- Commit to expanding computer science education in the schools and districts in your area.
- Offer to guest speak in a classroom near you on the benefits of understanding and learning computer science.
- Contact the Nevada Department of Education to see how you can help the future expansion of computer science in Nevada both fiscally and as a partner with statewide initiatives. #CSforNV
- Add computer science and computational thinking to your pre-service teacher programs for all future K-12 teachers.
- Apply for state grant to develop your CS education curriculum.
- Get involved in your local K-12 districts/schools to see what the students are learning. This may impact both your teacher prep program AND your schools of engineering in the future.