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University of California, San Diego

Capstone Project: Teaching Impacts of Technology

University of California, San Diego via Coursera


In this project-based course you’ll review the Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles course and exam description guide to prepare for the “Explore Task”, where students must research a recent computing innovation and and analyze its impacts on the world. You’ll also review the description of this task from the student perspective and complete the task yourself. Then you’ll assess sample secondary student work by following the APCSP scoring guidelines as well as provide feedback to a fellow learner on their submitted task and receive the same from fellow learners.

This course is part of a larger Specialization, in which the first five courses focus on teaching impacts of computing concepts and the technology and computing concepts that make them possible, preparing you to teach pre-college learners to be both savvy and effective participants in their digital worlds. While this course and project can be completed without taking the other courses, the bulk of new knowledge is taught there. Additionally, throughout the courses you’ll reflect on your learning experience from both the perspective of the student and the educator, helping you become a more reflective teacher and develop an understanding of how instruction and activities can be designed to support learning.

Note, if your goal is to receive graduate credit from the University of California, San Diego, you need to to make that decision before you complete this course. Please see the FAQ “Will I earn university credit for completing this course?” for details on how to receive that credit.

In terms of CSTA K-12 computer science standards, throughout the Specialization we primarily cover learning objectives within the “impacts of computing” concept, while also including some within the “networks and the Internet” concepts and the “data and analysis” concept. Practices we cover include “fostering and inclusive computing culture”, “recognizing and defining computational problems”, and “communicating about computing”.


  • Exploring the Impacts of Computing
    • Welcome to the capstone project! Are you ready to put your learning to the test? We'll learn about why you should care about the Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles course and review teacher guidance for the Explore Task students are asked to do to evaluate impacts of computing on our society, economy and culture.
  • Evaluating Student Work
    • Being a teacher, I'm sure I don't have to convince you -- there's no better way to prepare to excel on an assessment than grading the work of others! This week you'll apply the Explore Task Grading Checklist to real high school student work and share and learn from others about the kind of feedback you would provide these students!
  • Computational Artifact & Feedback
    • This week you have time to work on your own Explore Task that you will submit as the capstone project. Remember, if you want to get UC, San Diego transcript credit you need to enroll in a UC, San Diego Extension course before you do your project! This week you will create and share your computational artifact. Next week, we'll finish the project!
  • Final Project
    • This is it! Time to finish your project and show off your knowledge! Don't forget, if you need or want to get UC, San Diego transcript credit, you need to sign up on UC, San Diego Extension NOW -- before you do the work for this week!
  • Review and Reflect
    • Now that you've finished your project, be sure to review the work of 3 of your peers to earn your points for your Peer Review!

Taught by

Beth Simon


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