WeTeach_CS Goals and Outcomes

WeTeach_CS educates, empowers, and inspires K-12 CS teachers, administrators, professional development providers, and university instructors to realize the vision of CSforALL. The STEM Center at The University of Texas at Austin serves as the backbone organization for the WeTeach_CS collective impact network which consists of numerous collaboratives serving hundreds of districts, schools, and educators in every region of Texas. WeTeach_CS is dedicated to broadening participation in computing for every Texas student regardless of race, gender, income, or location and leverages the STEM Center’s extensive research and data collection expertise to guide strategic improvement in computing education at a state and national level. There are five main components to what we do:

Components

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Content

Growing computing content knowledge

  • Comprehensive online courses
  • Unique face to face workshops
  • Nationally renowned WeTeach_CS Summit featuring: computer science experts, academic researchers, and industry partners

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Pedagogy

Improving instructional strategies

  • A How to Teach High School Computer Science curriculum
  • Integrating computational thinking into core academics
  • Incorporating computer science into the entire continuum of K-12 training from ScratchJr. and Code.org with pre-readers to advanced topics like 3D printing, robotics, and cybersecurity with high school students

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Equity

Broadening participation in computing

  • An expansive online course that can be facilitated by WeTeach_CS instructors or within your own cohort of educators
  • The WeTeach_CS Summit brings the latest pioneers in CS equity to share their research and solutions with the community
  • Our blog which highlights events, workshops, and successful programs to provide examples of equity in action

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Certification

Increasing the number of certified educators

  • A self-paced online course, Foundations of Computer Science for Teachers
  • A two-day face to face course, WeTeach_CS Certification Prep
  • Stipends and travel support to incentivize educators seeking certification

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Community

Building community with all stakeholders

  • Statewide collaboratives of K-12 teachers forming the spine of the network, with a blog which acts as a central hub for the distribution of information to the network
  • A Texas Computer Science Task Force convened with key stakeholders to guide the development of a state-wide strategic plan for K-12 CS education
  • The WeTeach_CS Summit is a three day event that brings together K-12 educators and CS advocates to network, collaborate, and share what works in advancing the goal of CSforALL
  • Partnerships with industry and non-profit leaders, such as CS4TX, ECEP, and Code.org, as well as numerous institutions of higher education and research

Impact

In 2013-14, the year before The UT STEM Center initiated WeTeach_CS to improve Computer Science (CS) education, 67 total teachers were certified in Texas. In 2015-2016, 242 total teachers were certified - a 261% increase. WeTeach_CS has supported 488 teachers in achieving their CS certification.

 

Consequently, we have also seen a 78.7 % increase in the number of Texas high schools offering a CS course. 

 

The percentage of high school students completing a CS course is maintaining steady growth but still represents less than 3% of the total high school population. Under-represented Minorities (URM) and Economically Disadvantaged (EcoDis) students are also seeing steady improvement, yet Female student enrollment is not matching overall student growth.

 

Statewide Network

 

On December 15, 2017, The University of Texas at Austin announced that WeTeach_CS had received a $5 million grant from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide professional development to computer science teachers around the state and to help increase the number of certified CS teachers in Texas. Thirty-one WeTeach_CS Collaboratives were funded for 2018.

 

CS Professional Development Outreach

In 2017, WeTeach_CS provided 3,368 contact hours of training in computer science, computational thinking, coding, and programming to 1,010 Texas educators representing 640 schools and 283 districts (public, private, and charter).

 

CS Teacher Certification In Grades 8-12

488 in-service teachers have completed Computer Science Certification with support from WeTeach_CS, since Summer 2014.