The Teaching the Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) Curriculum Massive Open Online Course for Educators (MOOC-Ed) provides professional development and support for teachers of the BJC high school computer science curriculum.
The BJC curriculum is endorsed by the College Board as an Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) course for high school students. While this MOOC-Ed will help prepare you to teach BJC, the online course alone does not meet the requirements to become a College Board certified AP teacher; attending a summer BJC Professional Development workshop is required for that certification. Information about those workshops is available at https://bjc.berkeley.edu/summer-pd. Ideally, BJC teachers will be able to both attend a BJC Institute and use this MOOC-Ed to further their preparation.
Much of this MOOC-Ed is built around short videos of pairs of students working together to solve BJC curriculum programming challenges. These videos demonstrate students' — often very clever — problem solving, while also highlighting some common mistakes your students may make, misconceptions they may have, and misdirections they may take. These student videos serve several important purposes in this course for teachers, including to:
- Provide you with a concrete sense of what BJClooks like in practice;
- Help you learn about the specific BJClabs used in the videos to inform your own teaching;
- Show how different student pairs work together and learn as they develop, test, and debug their ideas;
- Learn how the curriculum incorporates the Big Ideas and Computational Thinking Practices that are at the core of BJC(and other CSP curriculum) through seeing students actively engage with them;
- Demonstrate how Snap!provides an easy-to-use and powerful tool for students' learning and creativity; and
- Seed discussions among you and your peers in this MOOC-Ed about teaching the BJCcurriculum and guiding your students' learning.
We build upon the student videos to provide programming insights materials about the Snap! language and to discuss effective teaching practices to help you develop your pedagogical content knowledge and be a successful BJC teacher. In addition, you will hear computer science experts discuss the central ideas of the curriculum and experienced BJC teachers discuss what they have learned and their recommendations for teaching BJC. Throughout this course, you will have opportunities to learn with and from your peers, and to help them learn, through the discussion forum.
The MOOC-Ed focuses on the early units of the curriculum to help you begin to teach it successfully and to prepare your students for the Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles exam; the content of the full BJC curriculum goes well beyond the AP requirements. This course also introduces you to the Snap!programming language. Many who have not programmed before are surprised at how easy and enjoyable it is to create simple programs with this visual programming language that was designed to support teaching and learning.
The MOOC-Ed is designed to be flexible to allow you to select the resources and activities that best serve your professional learning needs — whether you are a computer science expert or a novice at computer programing, and whether you are experienced at guiding project-based, student-driven activities or new to those approaches. You can use it in the following ways:
- As an online coursethat you work through in sequence, on your own or with local or online colleagues. By completing a required set of activities, you can earn a certificate of completion that most teachers can submit to their local agency to obtain continuing education units (CEUs).
- As a set of on-demand resourcesfrom which you can select as needed to support your own BJC
- As resources to enhance other BJC professional development activities, which may, for example, use the student videos to stimulate discussions about how teachers can best facilitate students' learning.