Bits and Behavior
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Bits and Behavior

A sunset of orange, red, and blue, with the shadows of downtown Spokane below.
A beautiful sunset my first night in Spokane.

Trip report: Bridging CS for All across western and eastern Washington

A quick group shot of the CSTA Spokane group, showing 12 people facing the camera around a rectangular table arrangement.
We met in an ESD 101 meeting room.

CSTA Spokane October Meeting

A burger and onion rings.
The burger was really good, and the onion rings were perfect.
A sign reading Dixon Hall, School of Education, and Psychology.
Whitworth University had a cute little campus a few miles from downtown Spokane.

Whitworth’s pre-service program

An air pressure pump and my rental car.
Is Spokane just full of nice people or was I a damsel in distress?

Errands in Spokane

A foreboding, gloomy shot of downtown Spokane under sun and cloud cover.
Downtown was beautiful, especially under the shimmering, sunny clouds.
Three gyoza and a bowl of ramen.
Food in Spokane is good and cheap relative to Seattle prices! That’s a ginger beer, by the way.

Adam Smith’s AP CS A Class

The back of Adam’s head and the top of many students’ heads.
Adam teaching Java constructors. Heavy cropping for anonymization.

The drive to Pullman, Washington

A school bus and endless fields of grass.
The kids in the back were bored and stared at me tailing the bus while dangerously taking this picture.
A tractor driving along a field.
I snapped this photo on the side of the road before the dust came.
A square section of grass, burnt to reveal the WSU Cougars logo.
This immediately brought back memories of living in my small college town of Corvallis, Oregon, home to the beavers. Go beavs!
Porch Light Pizza, much like a MOD Pizza.
Deep sunset, with the moon above and the football stadium lights below.
The view up the hill from my hotel was hard to beat. Yes, that’s the football stadium.
A photograph of the front of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering building, where CS is housed.
The front of the CS department, nestled between other engineering units.

WSU CS

A photograph of a seating area with students studying.
A common area between classrooms and meeting rooms.

A CS for All workshop for WSU faculty

The Pullman group was the smallest.
  • In the first hour, we engaged the three sites around questions about what computing is, what it’s relationship to other disciplines are. Definitions of computing varied wildly between CS faculty and Education faculty, ranging from general creative thinking and problem solving, to using computers, to more narrow definitions about devising algorithms and data structures to solve problems. While there were many divergent views on computing, there was more agreement that whatever it is, it is changing everything, and K-12 and higher education should rapidly respond.
  • In the second hour, we informed, educating the faculty about changes to state law and the impact of these laws on CS teacher education and CS departments. Faculty raised many concerns about new barriers the laws might introduce, and new programs the laws would require.
  • In the third and final hour, we engaged the three sites in planning. The first asked faculty to reflect on how computing is changing the careers their students pursue; there was broad agreement that computing might transform the roles of education graduates of all kinds, not just teachers: administrative leaders need computing knowledge and policy makers need computing knowledge. The second brainstorming session asked faculty to brainstorm what would happen if the state was successful in getting all youth to learn about computing; there were utopian visions in which all youth pursue college and find ways of bringing their interest in computing to all disciplines, and dystopian visions in which poor execution in K-12 leads most youth to be disinterested in computing, eroding the role of computing in society. The faculty generated ideas about pre-service programs that would ensure high quality CS teaching. The third session concerned WSU’s university learning objectives, and how computing might connect to them.
A photo of Chris Hundhausen and his wife Angela in front of Maialina.
Chris and Angela took me to Maialina, a wonderful italian restaurant in Moscow, Idaho.

Dinner with Chris

The sky above Spokane, showing the faded sun behind clouds.
Another beautiful shot of the Spokane sunshine on the way to the airport home.

Morning reflections

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Amy J. Ko

Professor of programming + learning + design + justice at the University of Washington Information School. Trans; she/her. #BlackLivesMatter.