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Introducing Computer Science to Educationally Disadvantaged High School Students – PowerPoint Presentation
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  1. Introducing Computer Science to Educationally Disadvantaged High School Students – The Israeli Experience Dalit Levy Technion – Israel Institute of Technology HCC 2003, October 30 Auckland, New Zealand 1

  2. Prolog: Why should we introduce Computer Science to educationally disadvantaged high school students? * Why not? * Computer Science might open windows into the future world and the information society * Personal and cultural Empowerment 2

  3. We should! introduce CS to educationally disadvantaged high school students. How? 3 parallel strands Constructing a Suitable Curriculum Developing the Learning Environment A Computerized Learning Environment Appropriate Methods for Evaluation 3

  4. Example 1: Episode taken from a lesson in the 2nd month (1996) 11th Grade, 12 students in a computers lab Lili (the teacher): “Now we are going to …” Udi (gets up from his place and shouts): “Lili, look, it works! I want you to see and also I want you to tell me how to make it 100 times with my girlfriend”. Lili: “Udi, I’ll come in a minute, but first everybody calm down, Noa please put your cosmetics in …”. Udi: “But Lili…” (While Ella gets up and walking towards the classroom door). Lili: “And where are you going now?” Ella: “The headmaster called me. And besides, I finished everything” 4

  5. What can we learn from Example 1 about classes of educationally disadvantaged students? • The need for continuous teacher’s attention, the need for immediate satisfaction • 2. A specific kind of class Discourse • 3. Interpersonal problems affecting students lives at school • 4. Heterogenic class – different background, different ability 5

  6. In addition (chazzan, 2000), we often find in these classes: 5. Issues of self estimation and acceptance of their situation as disadvantaged learners 6. Lack of initiatives 7. Unstable behavior and inconsecutive attendance in class 8. Difficulties in reading, writing and in verbal expressions 9. difficulties with higher order thinking (abstraction) 6

  7. These characteristics should be considered while dealing with each of the 3 parallel strands Constructing a Suitable Curriculum Developing the Learning Environment A Computerized Learning Environment Appropriate Methods for Evaluation 7

  8. Example 2: Students’ answers to a question in the final exam in the end of the course (2002) • A given (simple) printing program • Questions like “Which is the main procedure”? • One sub-procedure is missing– “Write a definition for the missing sub-procedure”. Answer 1: “sub-procedure is a procedure that is in the text editor” Answer 2: “The main procedure is the procedure that calls for other sub-procedures” Answer 3: “There is no explanation for such sub-procedure” Answer 4: “sub-procedure is assigning a variable” Answer 5: “sub-procedure is the thing that leads the main procedure” 8

  9. Are written tests can be thought of as an appropriate method of evaluation? Constructing a Suitable Curriculum Developing the Learning Environment A Computerized Learning Environment Appropriate Methods for Evaluation 9

  10. Principles for developing an experience-oriented learning environment (I) In theory: students’ activities serve as the ground from which conceptual understanding can emerge In practice: the learning of each idea and each concept begins with activities in the computers laboratory Example 3: the very first learning activity in the course 10

  11. Example 3: The first learning activity A 10th grade student is sitting in front of the computer. What does she or he look at? What can she do? Press the 4 buttons Crawl Yellow Jump 11

  12. Principles for developing an experience-oriented learning environment (II) In theory: the learning environment should be kept simple enough and motivating enough at the same time In practice: The inquiry-based learning begins with given programs that serve as patterns for later individual constructions Example 4: Programming patterns in Hebrew (using the learners own language) Example 5:Constructing the algorithmic “conditional count” pattern 12

  13. Example 4: Programming patterns in Hebrew (an animation pattern) Programming for the disadvantaged = Using a friendly programming language toציפור-עפה-במקוםtofly כנפיים-מטה wings-up המתן 1 wait 1 כנפיים-מעלה wings-down המתן 1 wait 1 endend The programming environment should support constructing new programming languages 13

  14. Example 5: Constructing the algorithmic “conditional count” pattern 1. Running a given “conditional count” program 2. Analyzing the given program text 3. Classifying a set of given tasks (“conditional count” tasks vs. conditional sum tasks) 4. Adapting the given program (analyzed at stage 2) to a new “conditional count” task (from the set classified on stage 3) 5. Inventing a new “conditional count” task and programming it using the given pattern 14

  15. Principles for developing an experience-oriented learning environment (II) In theory: the learning environment should be kept simple enough and motivating enough at the same time When Israeli students program a computer using their own language, there is almost no gap between the pseudo-code algorithmic patterns and the code itself. TEVEL – The Hebrew-speaking learning environment – is simple and motivating at the same time! Example 4:Programming patterns in Hebrew (using the learners own language) Example 5: Constructing the algorithmic “conditional count” pattern 15

  16. Summary - IntroducingCS to Educationally Disadvantaged Students I - the learning of each idea and each concept begins with activities in the computers laboratory II - The inquiry-based learning begins with given programs that serve as patterns for later individual constructions Constructing a Suitable Curriculum Developing the Learning Environment A Computerized Learning Environment Prefer computerized learning environment that can “speak” the students’ native (naive?) language (In Israel – less Math and less English) Appropriate Methods for Evaluation 16

  17. Epilog: Why should we focus on educationally disadvantaged high school students? • Learning materials/environments developed for these students in particular, often help in CS learning in general. (“didactical phenomenology”, Freudenthal). 2. Methods for teaching CS that “work” with educationally disadvantaged students, work with others as well. 3. The success is sweeter! 17