Computer Science Professional Development

The AdvanceKentucky Professional Learning Program

Apply Now for 2020-21 Cohort

Whether you are new to teaching computer science (CS) or have experience teaching other CS courses, the AdvanceKentucky Professional Learning Program is designed to promote growth by providing space for you to become comfortable with curricular materials, CS content, and pedagogy. The program supports teachers with diverse teaching backgrounds as they prepare to teach either of the following courses:

  • Computer Science Discoveries is an introductory computer science course that empowers students to create authentic artifacts and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem-solving, and fun. The curriculum is recommended for middle and high school students (grades 6-10) and can be taught either as a semester or full-year offering.

  • Computer Science Principles (can be taught as an AP® course) is also an introductory course that requires no computer science background (from students or teachers). We recommend it for 9th-12th grade students with stronger reading and writing skills. More than a traditional introduction to programming, it is a rigorous, engaging, and approachable course that explores many of the foundational ideas of computing so all students understand how these concepts are transforming the world we live in.

Our curriculum supports teachers new to the discipline with a complete set of lesson plans that include inquiry-based activities, videos, assessment support, and educational tools.

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The Professional Learning Program features:

  • One cohesive set of resources: Our professional learning and curriculum flow seamlessly together, empowering teachers to deliver the course with confidence. In-person workshops combine with online tools to provide participants with a broad selection of resources to help them plan ahead for implementing the course in their classrooms, while also collaborating with other educators.

  • Teaching and learning in context: Participants will engage with the curriculum both as instructors and as learners. By experiencing the course content as an active learner, participants will gain important, concrete insight into the perspective their students will have during the academic year. By interacting with curriculum content as instructors, participants will learn how to plan and deliver lessons.

A collaborative, participant-centric approach: Teachers and facilitators will have the opportunity to share their expertise from the field and collaborate on strategies to bring to the CS Principles and CS Discoveries classrooms, giving participants a chance to learn from everyone in the room. Facilitators model pedagogical strategies and participants share their own approaches by planning and delivering lessons.

Program Commitments:

The AdvanceKentucky Professional Learning Program has both in-person and online supports designed to prepare teachers before and during their first year teaching CS Principles or CS Discoveries.


Summer Workshop Ongoing Support

Summer (July 13-17, 2020 in Lexington)

School Year (September - June)

  • 5 days, in-person at a central location (travel may be required)

  • 4 one-day, in-person sessions

  • Continued professional development and resources

Summer Workshop:

Participants kick off the Professional Learning Program with a 5-day workshop where they explore the curriculum and learning tools, discuss classroom management and teaching strategies, and build a community of teachers. With a focus on a customized experience, participants will develop skills while working in small groups to deepen their understanding of the materials.

Ongoing Support:

Participants attend local, 1-day quarterly workshops throughout the following academic year. These meetings are hosted by AdvanceKentucky and run by local, facilitators. They focus on the essential elements of the course, such as teaching new content, keeping the classroom environment equitable and engaging, and continue to build pedagogical strategies.

In addition, all teachers have access to the forum, an online professional learning community that offers continued support with tools and content, introduces new and helpful resources for teaching the course, and lets teachers continue to explore the curriculum.

For additional information, including course overviews, FAQs, and more:

Contact Monique Rice for more information about upcoming professional development workshops.

Apply Now for 2020-21 Cohort

Computer Science Fundamentals has developed an elementary school curriculum that allows even the youngest students to explore the limitless world of computing.  Courses blend online, self-guided, and self-paced tutorials with "unplugged" classroom activities that require no computer.