Computational Literacies Lab

The courses listed here are affiliated with the Computational Literacies Lab.

Critical Computational Literacies

This course centers critical computational literacies as a framework for thinking about how and why we might teach K12 Computer Science (CS). Just as schools participate in broader social systems which shape our lives and which may or may not contribute to a more just and peaceful society, CS is only one part of the work of a school. Our work as CS educators may be constrained by other priorities and stakeholders, and our work can also reshape the work of the school beyond the classroom. We take as our starting point the premise that CS education is currently figured in a way which gives it unusual leverage to reshape K12 educational practice.

This is an interdisciplinary course with no prerequisites. GSE master’s and doctoral students, as well as graduate students and advanced undergrads from Computer Science & Engineering, Media Study, Architecture & Planning, or other departments, are warmly welcome.

Critical Computational Literacies Design Studio

This course is an interdisciplinary community of practice focused on designing theoretically-grounded tools for teaching and learning K-12 computer science (CS). CS is becoming a mainstream subject in K-12 education even though how it will be defined and taught are not yet well-established. Developing tools for teaching and learning presents an opportunity to support teacher practice while enacting a vision of K-12 CS as a culturally-sustaining, justice-oriented practice, and imagining ways in which K-12 CS might contribute to broader transformation of our schools and communities. Over the semester, teams of students will articulate a learning goal and then design, build, deploy, and analyze a computational tool in partnership with a school or community organization.

The Pedagogy of Programming

This introductory course on computer programming simultaneously teaches beginners the fundamentals of computer programming while using that learning experience as a context for developing K-12 pedagogical content knowledge of how programming is most effectively taught and learned. One primary audience for the course is future CS teachers, or future teachers interested in interdisciplinary CS. The course is also designed for graduate students in the social sciences, arts, and humanities who want to use computational methods in research or art. Programming topics include variables, data types, control flow, planning, debugging, collaboration, abstraction, and modularization. Pedagogical topics include debugging, misconceptions, formative and summative assessment, and teaching with computational media.