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Open letter: How Dale Waulk builds students’ confidence

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Dale Waulk of Troy High School wrote to us about his experience with Computer Science Principles, one of the computer science opportunities open now.

First off, I would like to thank OSLN for choosing me to be an ambassador for the 2022-2023 school year. I have only been teaching for 2 ½ years and came from a programming background with the US Navy’s modeling and simulation program. I started the computer science program at Troy High School in 2019 with few resources, but it got me started. I began a search for programs and came across the Code.org Computer Science Principles (CSP) course.

I joined the cohort in the summer of 2021 and finished in February 2022. The cohort was beneficial to me and my school and the facilitators were well versed in how the course should be taught. They used examples from their own classrooms and shared their experiences.

The course structure was great, we worked asymmetrically and in small groups with assignments from the CSP course. We were shown how each module should be taught and how to use the lesson plans, it made the course easy to teach. The course is designed for teachers with no background in computer science, the facilitators consistently reinforced that teachers could learn along with the students which is why it is so successful. As the cohort continued into the school year the Saturday classes focused on specific modules that were in line with where we were at in the course as we were teaching. It helped to ensure that we had all the information and they know-how to be successful at teaching that module.

Computer Science Opportunities
These programs are eligible for the OSLN Travel Grant.
OSLN K-5 Discoveries (Middle school) Principles (High School) CS A (High school)
K-5 application Apply on Code.org

I enjoyed working with teachers from around the state and hearing their takes on how they were teaching the course. Overall the course was very useful and effective and I would recommend it to any school thinking about starting a computer science program.

My experience teaching the course was very fulfilling and the students felt like they were accomplishing something after every application build. One of the biggest selling points for me was the resources, everything you need to teach the course is provided. The lesson plans are very detailed and easy to follow. There are google slideshows included that take the students through each section that follows the lesson plans.

I like the fact the student learns JavaScript coding through the use of an app builder, it allows the students to see the finished product of their efforts. When the app works for the first time, the students feel pride, and their confidence is built up. The course follows a logical progression of exploring, investigating, and making. This allows the student to discover how JavaScript is written and how it works with the app they are building. Overall my experience teaching this course has been positive and I enjoy seeing the students learning something they never thought they were capable of before taking the class.

Sincerely,

Mr. Dale Waulk
Troy City Schools High School
500 Market St. Troy, Ohio
740-505-8015
Waulk-d@troy.k12.oh.us

Computer Science Opportunities
These programs are eligible for the OSLN Travel Grant.
OSLN K-5 Discoveries (Middle school) Principles (High School) CS A (High school)
K-5 application Apply on Code.org

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