Computational Literacies Lab

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.

Syllabus

  • Course Code: LAI 686
  • Instructor Name: Dr. Chris Proctor
  • Class Times: Spring 2022, Tuesdays 4:10-6:50
  • Format: Online, synchronous
  • Email Address: chrisp@buffalo.edu
  • Office Location: Baldy 510
  • Office Hours: Mondays, 3-4pm and by appointment
  • Credits: 3

Course Description

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.

Learning Outcome and Program Goals

Course learning outcomes

  • Computational literacy: Understand the multiple ways CS can be defined as a K12 disciplinary subject and the consequences of these definitions for teaching and learning.
  • Computational culture: Understand the relationship between disciplinary learning goals and broader educational priorities such as antiracism, culturally-sustaining pedagogy, and interdisciplinary computational literacy.
  • Computational identity: Understand the needs and perspectives of diverse Computer Science learners, including specific factors within Computer Science which have historically marginalized students and how they can be mitigated.
  • Literacy-based CS education: Own your own stance as a teacher, and know how you intend to put your beliefs into practice.

Program Goals

Critical Computational Literacies is part of all of UB's CS Teacher Preparation tracks. The course meets the following program goals in those tracks:

Advanced Certificate in CS

{{< figure src="/images/ccl_outcomes.png" caption="Figure 1. Alignment of program outcomes, course learning outcomes, and assessments. Instructional methods for each assessment are described below." >}}

Mode of Instruction

Critical Computational Literacies is a synchronous online course. Regular attendance, preparation, and participation is essential and required.

Required Text and Materials

There are no texts required to be purchased for this course. All readings will be accessible from the course website. You will need regular access to a computer and a stable Internet connection. If this is a challenge for you, please contact me.

Course Assignments

There are four major assessments in the course. Each is described below; more specific guidelines and examples will be distributed as they become relevant. Figure 1 (above) shows each assessment's relationship to the course learning goals and to broader program goals.

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Grading

Each of the major course assignments will receive a holistic grade and qualitative feedback, guided by the assignment's rubric. One round of resubmission is available for all assignments (time permitting), to be submitted within two weeks of receiving feedback and in all cases no later than two weeks before the end of the course. When resubmitting, students should include a revision note (one page, double-spaced) responding to the feedback and explaining what has been changed.

Assignment grades are weighted as follows:

  • Reading journal (20%)
  • Technobiography (20%)
  • Fieldnotes (20%)
  • Teaching statement (40%)

Attendance and participation are expected but are not graded. Similarly, you are expected to complete work on time but there is no grade penalty for lateness. If grades are meant to be a measure of learning or of work quality, I cannot see a justification for lowering grades due to missing class or turning work in late. Instead, I interpret these behaviors as signals that you may be having difficulty in the class, and will check in to see if there is a way I can better support you.

Department-Wide Policies

Accessibility

If you have a disability and may require some type of instructional and/or examination accommodation, please inform me early in the semester so that we can coordinate the accommodations you may need. If you have not already done so, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services (formerly the Office of Disability Services).

  • Mail: University at Buffalo, 60 Capen Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260-1632
  • Email: stu-accessibility@buffalo.edu
  • Phone: 716-645-2608 (voice); 716-645-2616 (TTY); Fax: 716-645-3116

All information and documentation is confidential. The University at Buffalo and the Graduate School of Education are committed to ensuring equal opportunity for persons with special needs to participate in and benefit from all of its programs, services and activities.

Academic Integrity

It is expected that you will behave in an honorable and respectful way as you learn and share ideas. Therefore, recycled papers, work submitted to other courses, and major assistance in preparation of assignments without identifying and acknowledging such assistance are not acceptable. All work for this class must be original for this class. Please be familiar with the University and the School policies regarding plagiarism. For more information, see the Academic Integrity Policy and The Graduate School Policies & Procedures.

Course Evaluations

You will have two opportunities to provide anonymous feedback about the course. In the middle of the semester, I will send you a brief questionnaire asking about what activities are contributing to your learning and what might be done to improve your learning. At the conclusion of the semester you will receive an email reminder requesting your participation in the Course Evaluation process. Please provide your honest feedback; it is important to the improvement and development of this course. Feedback received is anonymous and I do not receive copies of the Evaluations until after grades have been submitted for the semester.

Health and Wellness

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning or reduce your ability to participate in daily activities. These might include strained relationships, anxiety, high levels of stress, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, health concerns, or unwanted sexual experiences. Counseling, Health Services and Health Promotion are here to help with these or other issues you may experience. You can learn more about these program and services by contacting:

Sexual Violence

UB is committed to providing a safe learning environment free of all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, domestic and dating violence and stalking. If you have experienced gender-based violence (intimate partner violence, attempted or completed sexual assault, harassment, coercion, stalking, etc.), UB has resources to help. This includes academic accommodations, health and counseling services, housing accommodations, helping with legal protective orders, and assistance with reporting the incident to police or other UB officials if you so choose. Please contact UB's Title IX Coordinator at 716-645-2266 for more information. For confidential assistance, you may also contact a Crisis Service Campus Advocate at 716-796-4399.

Please be aware UB faculty are mandated to report violence or harassment on the basis of sex or gender. This means that if you tell me about a situation, I will need to report it to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. You will still have options about how the situation will be handled, including whether or not you wish to pursue a formal complaint. Please know that if you not wish to have UB proceed with an investigation, your request will be honored unless UB's failure to act does not adequately mitigate the risk of harm to you or other members of the university community. You also have the option of speaking with trained counselors who can maintain confidentiality. UB's Options for Confidentiality Disclosing Sexual Violence provides a full explanation of the resources available, as well as contact information. You may call UB's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at 716-645-2266 for more information, and you have the option of calling that office anonymously if you would prefer not to disclose your identity.