Mobile CSP

Mobile CSP

AP Computer Science Principles
Endorsed by the College Board

Inspiring students to pursue careers and futures in working with computer science.

*Notes and responses were taken from phone conversation with Mobile CSP*

 

Abigail Cooksey received the NCWIT Educator Award and the North and Central New Mexico Region educator award for her work in computer science. She teaches in a school with a 100% native population where CS had never been previously taught. Through initiatives such as an after school coding club, Abigail has been able to inspire students to pursue careers and futures in working with computer science.


How many students are you currently teaching?
14 students


What strategies have you implemented that have been well received by students?
My students have enjoyed pair programming. It gives them an opportunity to learn more by being asked to explain things. Mobile CSP is customizable to students which helps students take ownership over their learning.


What tips would you give other educators who are using the Mobile CSP curriculum?
I would recommend making the apps the night before in case tech issues come up. If you’re a teacher working in a rural area and students do not have at home internet, have back up plans. The unplugged lessons in the curriculum help. Remember that you don’t need tech to teach computer science. You can have students partner together or have a group share computers. Sharing tech is not a bad thing and can improve student learning. My classroom did not have technology available to use for this course so I collected unclaimed cellphones and tablets from the lost and found at school.


How has Mobile CSP changed how you think or feel about teaching?
I have an American Studies degree and took 2 CS courses senior year in college. I do not have a background in CS or math but now I want to teach CS full-time. I never imagined this is what I would be doing in my teaching career but I’m happy it is.


Due to my background and experience, I can relate to my female students. I think about my own experience and how I left a math degree as I didn’t feel included. My goal as an educator is to help my students, especially my female students, see that anyone can do this. Women can and have been working in STEM for a long time. It’s my goal to provide my students with the skills and the knowledge they need to work in male dominated job. I work with them so they are aware of what they’ll face in this industry. And, more importantly, hope to encourage them to develop the skills to create their own space if one doesn’t exist for them when they leave this school.


Overall, what are your impressions about the course?
I love that it is using app building as a coding platform. Students rarely have internet access at home but they do have cell phones. This course allows them to be involved and, because it’s on their phones, creates higher levels of engagement and accessibility. It’s a well-designed course and what you need is already there. It’s easy to create programs where you sit students in front of a computer but Mobile CSP gives you the option to customize computer science education to your school and classroom.


What does Mobile CSP do well? What makes Mobile CSP different?
Enrichment and extra practice. This course is made for differentiation and caters to all, not just for highest achievers. I believe CS and computational thinking should be taught to entire school population. Mobile CSP cares about making sure all my students are included and understand.
How has Mobile CSP had an impact a particular student or a group of students?
In particular, I had a female student who participated in a Navajo competition. For her modern talent she taught an auditorium of community members, including students and tribe leaders, binary.


This course has ignited a fire in students and changed the culture of the classroom. Students are excited to come to class every day and create an app that is theirs.

 
School/Organization: 
Shiprock High School
Reviewer: 
Abigail Cooksey