An Online Computer Science Workshop for High School Teachers based on Free Google Software Tools
In the summer of 2014, an online Computer Science for High School Workshop was organized by West Virginia University Institute of Technology, with sponsorship from Google Inc. The online workshop lasted for four weeks. 123 high school teachers from USA and Canada registered for the workshop. The workshop offered two tracks: software track and hardware track. In the software track, the participants learned programming language Java; and the hardware track instructed basic computer architecture to the participants. The online workshop was primarily based upon Google software tools. Specifically, the course materials (such as PowerPoint slides and videos) were delivered using Google Course Builder, and live sessions and tutoring sessions were offered through Google Hangouts. During the four-week workshop, 24-hour online support was provided to the participants. A series of surveys before and after the workshop demonstrate that the participants’ average “after-the-workshop knowledge” is significantly higher than their average “before-theworkshop knowledge” (3.6 versus 2.7 on a 5-point scale). The surveys also show that, the participating high school teachers have less concern in teaching Computer Science after the workshop. In the surveys conducted after the workshop, 60% of the participants plan to incorporate at least 25% of the workshop activities/resources into their teaching.