A little in-service. Finally.

I am excited, but then I excite easily.  My local university, University of Montana, on my local campus, as opposed to half way across the State, which is a long, long way away, is offering what could be considered an in-service course for programming teachers.  It is a modification the U.C.  Berkeley Beauty and Joy of Computing.  It seems to have been re-branded the Joy and Beauty of Computing (the J before the B).  Not sure how or why but I am not being fussy.  Yes, it is a bit of a canned course but again, I am not going to be fussy.  The course is wrapped around Python, which is great for me.  I need to do some upgrading of my present Python offering.  I am hoping the course will not turn out to be simply the JBS course.  I do not need a low level Python course, I can read and the course is intended to be a self-guided course.  What I want is how to teach the course, how the curriculum works, where the kids have problems and how best to address them.  You know, all the stuff a teacher needs to know to actually teach the course.  I will walk in with an open mind and if it turns out to be a Python programming course, well I will live with it but not happily.

Another happy piece of news is UofM is building a CS Ed minor.  I have only been trying to get something going over there for 10 years.   It supposed to be in place this fall.  It is still in the approval stage and the powers are being a bit closed mouth about it at the moment.  I am hoping (I hope a lot around here) that it is not just the CS minor with some Ed school courses thrown in for looks.  Considering the number of schools in Montana that want a full-time CS teacher (zero) a CS minor is a bit of over-kill.  What we need in Montana for now is a certification program that is practical for in-service teachers with little CS/programming to get started with.  I think the JBC course is intended to be the beginning of that route.

No matter what these two turn out to be they are both a step in some direction.

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