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I'm trying to find a professional development event for myself as a relatively new CS educator. I'm interested in something that showcases innovative ways to teach and engage students in the subject -- any recommendations?

In particular, conferences for high school educators, and those that showcase new technology/tools for CS educators would be brilliant. I am based in the USA and am happy to travel to events.

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In UK England, there are CAS Computing At Schools events. They are regional events. They are focused on primary and secondary schools.

They are usually inspiring, but can be a bit simplistic if you have done programming for a job. The events I have been to I have ether chosen the groups that are teaching focused (as opposed to technical focused). Or in smaller events steered it towards teaching techniques. Each event has been multi-threaded (choose your thread), or small and adaptable.

You can sign-up to their e-mail mailing list, to be informed of events in your area.

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    $\begingroup$ Do they ever welcome international visitors? :) $\endgroup$ – Ben I. Aug 23 '17 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ I would think so, it is done by volunteers, and I have never had my ID checked. If you have something to contribute, then I am sure they would be interested. $\endgroup$ – ctrl-alt-delor Aug 23 '17 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ CAS always welcomes international visitors, and international members are welcome to join the online community too. $\endgroup$ – Miles Oct 7 '17 at 14:30
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You don't specify Secondary School, but your AP tag seems to imply that as your main interest. I'll start with that, but give a more general answer.

There are some organizations that hold regular conferences and to which you should belong in any case. The conferences normally have workshops in which experienced educators teach some tools-of-the-trade.

The first, focused on Secondary School, is Computer Science Teachers Association. They have both a newsletter and a national conference.

The next, focused on AP itself is AP Teacher Community which has a useful set of discussion boards. They have events (and tutorials) in conjunction with the SIGCSE national conference.

The SIGCSE organization within ACM is somewhat more dedicated to post secondary education. It has several conferences every year, including some outside the US, usually Europe. Many secondary teachers belong and there is support here for such teachers.

The Consortium for Computing in Small Colleges, while focused on college teaching has many annual conferences spread around the US. Like the others here, the conferences often have workshops given by educators. Many topics are covered.

Welcome to CS Teaching. Explore the above organizations for their offerings and subscribe, if appropriate, to their newsletters. You will get a lot of information, and a forum for asking for help.

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh thank you so much for that information. Yes, I am high school/secondary. These all sound fantastic, I will check them out. Do you know if there are any similar PD events that showcase things like new tools/software/hardware for teaching? $\endgroup$ – Usla Aug 23 '17 at 12:54
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I agree that Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) membership and conference are the best place to start if you are in the US. CSTA membership is free. The annual conference is \$175 - \$275 USD. There are also local chapters of CSTA which may have professional development. Chapter membership is typically free. Some local professional development may be free as well.

Code.org also offers professional development for computer science teachers. Some Code.org professional development is free and sometimes sponsors even cover travel expenses. Also, visit PD for Computer Science Principles and third party PD resources.

ISTE (Internationl Society of Technology Educators) hosts Computer Science Network special interest group. ISTE Members have access to a number of webinars you may be interested in. Membership is \$125 USD per year. Their annual conference is in Chicago — June 24–27, 2018. Conference is \$300 - \$400 USD for members or \$450 - \$550 for nonmembers which includes membership.

FETC (Future of Education Technology Conference) has more of a digital literacy focus but may have some sessions of interest to you. Conference price varies depending on number of days you attend (\$300 - \$450 USD). Regular sessions are included but certain workshops have an additional fee.

Degreed is a platform for micro-credentialling (badging). It provides access to courses, articles, videos, etc. Degreed has partnered with Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) mentioned above, so there are a number of curated computer science assets. Degreed is free.

Apple, Inc. offers professional development on its language (Swift) through iTunes which is free.

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Most events for CPD will be specific to a region, so why not consider using MOOCs as a CPD? Many award certificates, and can be used as part of a more substantial award.

I am teaching CS for about 5 years now, and learned Python by completing a number of MOOCs. The absolute BEST one I've found is from Dr. Chuck.

  • You can review all the videos on Coursera.
  • All of the code is available
  • The book is available (free) in many languages
  • There are ideas for assessment in the course
  • All the lecture notes are made available
  • I really like the lecturers presentation style

There are many more courses out there and each one that you complete gives ideas for teaching materials and assessments that you can use. For example, the Rice University Wk2 assessment is Rock Paper Scissors. My first term assignment is Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.

Hope that helps... somewhat :)

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  • $\begingroup$ What you are likely to miss, however, is the opportunity to interact personally with other educators and develop lasting relationships that benefit your teaching and your career. $\endgroup$ – Buffy Aug 26 '17 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I can see what you mean, but Dr. Chuck does interact with other educators through the forums, and you can also communicate with other students, many of whom also work in education.... It's just not f2f in this case. It would also be possible to find others there, and join or start a LinkedIn group, arrange Skype calls with screenshares, or even set up a group on Google/Live to share notes, resources etc. :) $\endgroup$ – srattigan Aug 26 '17 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ There is something marvelous, however, when you go to meet and interact with people IRL and learn (a) you are just as smart/good as anyone, and (b) you have a lot to contribute yourself. Much harder to get that with computer mediated communication. Bandwidth matters. $\endgroup$ – Buffy Aug 26 '17 at 16:27
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to CSE Stack Exchange! I hope to see more posts by you. $\endgroup$ – Ellen Spertus Aug 26 '17 at 19:19

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