STEM

Computer Science for All...Teachers

Fri, 03/31/2017

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In this blog post published on the R+P Collaboratory website, EDC's June Mark discusses the importance of providing intensive, effective professional development to all educators who are charged with teaching computer science classes.

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CS Ed: Preparing Informed Decision-Makers and Innovators

Thu, 03/30/2017

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In this blog post on the American Youth Policy Forum website, EDC's Jim Stanton discusses why computer science education is so important for all students--not just a few--as key preparation for our increasingly wired world and workplaces. Jim talks about the importance of state CS Ed and digital literacy standards, such as those that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education developed with EDC's MassCAN, in expanding access to CS Ed.

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Opening Doors to Computer Science

EDC is leading a PreK-16 computer science education initiative to prepare students for life in our wired world and its workplaces. This feature article spotlights two of our projects related to computer science and computational thinking: Beauty & Joy of Computing NYC and Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network. “The real power of computer science is that it gives you a language to help you do stuff you want to do,” says June Mark. “That power to create things can be harnessed to attract more students to computer science. We need to use that to actively recruit kids who might not see themselves as computer scientists or interested in this field...” “Student interest in computer science keeps expanding, but there are not enough teachers to teach the subject,” Jim Stanton says. “We have to help districts scale up their efforts to offer high-quality computer science courses, and to train and retain teachers who are qualified to teach the subject.”

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EDC Newsroom

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Fri, 03/31/2017

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Cracking the Code: Giving More Students Access to Computer Science

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Guest blogger Loretta Goodwin, PhD is senior director of the American Youth Policy Forum. Dr. Goodwin brings extensive experience in middle and high school reform, experiential education, and international education to her work convening policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to frame issues, inform policy, and create conversations about improving education and young people’s lives. In this post, originally published on AYPF’s Forum For Thought Blog, Dr. Goodwin reflects on an Education Commission of the States gathering that focused on computer science education as an economic imperative that is key to building a strong future workforce. She spotlights strategic steps that states need to take to make sure all youth graduate from high school with the computational thinking, employability, and technical skills they need to thrive in the workplace. 

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On the Program for K-12: Computational Thinking

In this special Issues & Insights feature published in honor of Computer Science Education Week, EDC Managing Project Director Joyce Malyn-Smith explains why it is so important for all students to have strong computational thinking skills and discusses what teachers can do to help students develop these skills: "There are certain things that all teachers can do to foster computational thinking skills in the classroom. Helping students learn how to break sophisticated problems into component parts is one thing. Helping them test, evaluate, refine their ideas, and find patterns among data—especially in math and science—are other ways. Even just using the technical language of computational thinking—words such as abstraction, model, and simulate—helps students grasp some fundamentally important ideas."

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EDC Newsroom

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Tue, 12/20/2016

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Computational Thinking Skills from a Dispositions Perspective

Wed, 03/29/2017

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Joyce Malyn-Smith, Chris Stephenson

This Google blog co-authored by Joyce Malyn-Smith explores the relationship between computational thinking as a problem solving model in K-12 computer science education, and the dispositions or habits of mind that it can build in students of all ages. Computational thinking is an approach to solving problems in a way that can be implemented with a computer. Students become not merely tool users but tool builders. They use a set of concepts, such as abstraction, recursion, and iteration, to process and analyze data, and to create real and virtual artifacts.

YouthComputers

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How to Achieve Computer Science For All

Published in honor of Computer Science Education Week 2016, this EDC Expert Roundtable features four EDC experts--Paul Goldenberg, Leslie Goodyear, Jim Stanton, and Joyce Malyn-Smith--sharing what EDC is learning what it will take for all students who are interested in computer science to have the opportunities they deserve.

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EDC Newsroom

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Fri, 03/31/2017

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Regan Vidiksis

Email Regan Vidiksis

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Regan Vidiksis

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Vidiksis

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Regan Vidiksis is an early education researcher with extensive experience in advancing effective strategies to promote children’s early science and mathematics learning and support teachers in integrating technology into early childhood settings in developmentally appropriate ways. She specializes in deepening understanding of effective, systematic approaches to improving teaching and learning, especially among underrepresented and underresourced teachers and families.

As a researcher and project manager for EDC’s evaluation of Ready to Learn, Vidiksis contributes to studies that measure children’s learning from literacy, math, and science public media learning resources and provide new insight into ways to enhance the school readiness of preschoolers in high-need communities.

Vidiksis serves as a researcher on the Next Generation Preschool Science project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). In the project, she is working with a team to develop, iteratively refine, and evaluate the promise of an innovative early science curriculum that promotes science practices, concepts, and discourse in preschool classrooms serving children from low-income backgrounds.

Currently, Vidiksis contributes to several other EDC STEM education initiatives. She is advancing the goals of IDEAS: Inventing, Designing, and Engineering on the Autism Spectrum, an NSF-funded project aiming to develop an Engineering Design program for middle school children on the autism spectrum and their general education peers. Vidiksis is also working on Monkeying Around, an NSF-funded initiative to design, produce, and research animated and live-action videos, along with parent-child engagement resources, that seek to build preschoolers’ computational thinking skills.

Vidiksis was named a 2014-2015 CADRE Fellow, for her work in NSF Discovery Research K-12 STEM research. She regularly presents her findings at the annual conferences of national organizations, including the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics and the National Head Start Association. She has also served as a proposal reviewer for the American Educational Research Association.

Before joining EDC, Vidiksis worked as a preschool special educator through the New York City Committee for Preschool Special Education and as a special instructor through the NYC Department of Health’s Early Intervention program, providing individualized services to young children and families in school, community, and home-based settings. She also worked as a special education evaluator for these agencies, conducting developmental assessments to assist in the determination of service qualification.  

Vidiksis received a BA in English Literature and Rhetoric from Binghamton University, and an MS in Early Child Education and Special Education from Hunter College.

 

 

 

Staff: 

Staff Profile

Job title: 

Research Associate II

Mailing Address: 

96 Morton Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY  10014

Telephone: 

212-807-4229

A Data Scientist at Sea

This story spotlights EDC's Randy Kochevar, who, alongside a team from EDC's Ocean of Data Institute, created Ocean Tracks, a graphical interface that allow high school and undergraduate students to gather, interpret, and analyze biological data from marine animals. This interface and the student supports that accompany it are designed to bring to life the practices and questions of data-based scientific exploration.“If you only learn something in the abstract, then you can’t really know it,” says Kochevar.

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EDC Newsroom

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Wed, 03/15/2017

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Arguing for Computer Science in the School Curriculum

Fri, 07/01/2016

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Joyce Malyn-Smith, Andrew Fluck, Mary Webb, Margaret Cox, Charoula Angeli, Joke Voogt, Jason Zagami

This article, published in the Journal of Educational Technology and Society, discusses how computer science has been a discipline for some years, and its position in the school curriculum has been contested differently in several countries. This paper looks at its role in three countries to illustrate these differences. A reconsideration of computer science as a separate subject both in primary and secondary education is suggested.

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