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FAQ

What does the timeline for proposing a new pilot look like?

  • Each district has their own process, the few districts we have information on have a deadline for the initial pilot application around October 15th to pilot a new course in the Fall of the following year. Due to the differences in districts, it is best to have the Pilot course discussion with your Principal as soon as possible before October.
  • The curriculum committee will consider the proposal and provide their decision. In the Boise district the decision is made before November 30th.
  • If the application is approved additional information will submitted to the content area supervisor. This information may be similar to what the Boise districts requests by January 31st:
    • A detailed budget, including student fees
    • Course prerequisites
    • A course outline and assessment plan

Are the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) and AP Computer Science Principals (CSP) courses a sequence for students?

  • The ECS course is targeted to attract a broad diverse audience to explore a student’s interest in Computer Science. There are no prerequisites for this course.
  • The AP CSP course is intended to be a more in-depth discovery of Computer Science. The ECS course material would be useful to a student taking AP CSP; however, a student will be able to pick up the material after completing Algebra II. Thus ECS is not a prerequisite for AP CSP.
  • NOTE: The AP CSP course is basically the high school version of the CS 101 class at Boise State.  This is similar to the material presented in the CS 501 course for teachers.

What is the status of the ECS course curriculum?

  • The ECS course curriculum is complete and links to the NSF curriculum can be found on the IDoCode web site.

What is the status of the AP CSP course curriculum?

Since the CSP course is intended to be an AP course, will the course receive AP accreditation by Fall 2016?

  • BSU is working with other college, school district, business, legislative and professional standard bodies so the AP CSP course will be accredited when available Fall’16.
  • The College Board has approved CSP as a AP curriculum for Fall 2016.
  • BSU will offer current enrollment for the AP CSP course as CS 101.  Concurrent enrollment can be obtained for students successfully passing the course taught by a BSU qualified teacher.

What are the equipment requirements for ECS and AP CSP courses?

  • Each student should have access to a computing device (e.g., Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook or tablet) device with internet access. This provides a number of possibilities a school might consider:
    • Schedule existing computer lab(s) for this course.
    • A number of schools have access to a laptop cart which can be scheduled for use. This allows the course to be offered without allocating a dedicated room for devices.
    • Other schools are considering an alternative of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).
    • For larger classes, consider a hybrid model in which a schools laptop cart is used and students may choose to utilize their own device to expand the computer capacity for the class.
  • The teacher should carefully consider the computing requirements:
    • Each platform will impose different requirements on the teacher, a homogeneous environment can simplify the teachers work.
    • A keyboard and mouse are very useful when writing and editing code, thus a tablet alone may make coding more difficult affecting student interest and progress.
  • The ECS curriculum unit 6 is about Robotics.  This unit is optional, but may be an enjoyable unit to cap off the ECS course.
    • The BSU grant does not fund equipment; however, some school districts have created technology grants – check with your district regarding grant opportunities.
    • PTE certification provides additional opportunities for teachers to obtain money for classroom equipment.

Does Boise State grant support funding for technology in the class room?

  • The CS10K IDoCode grant is focused on High School teacher training, there is no money in the grant for equipment.
  • A key goal of the grant is sustainability, as such school districts must take the lead in equipment funding which can we used for many purposes. Refer to the “…equipment requirements…” question for additional ideas.