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Computing MATTERS: Professional Development


a national resource for computational science education

Professional Development

Computing MATTERS is designed to assist local teachers in the effective use of computing technologies in their classrooms, after school programs, or workshops. Shodor combines training of in-service and pre-service teachers, education of students using context-rich computational explorations in informal settings of community centers and after-school programs, advancement of students from economically challenged communities, and mentoring at many levels. This will result in participants actively engaged in building new content for learning about cyberinfrastructure while authentically using that same cyberinfrastructure to mediate their learning.

Workshops address issues of computational thinking; that is, the thinking behind using computing technologies for problem-solving. In doing so, teachers learn the pedagogy surrounding computational science education. They learn why and how to use computing technologies in their classrooms.

At the same time, workshops provide teachers with the practical training necessary to integrate computational thinking into their everyday curriculum. Teachers are armed with the resources they can actually use. In this way, teachers also learn the what of computational science.

Practical Content and Tools

Shodor will guide you in using a number of freely available online tools:

  • For explorations in mathematics: Interactivate.

  • For explorations in the sciences: National STEM Digital Library (NSDL), including Shodor's Computational Science Education Reference Desk (CSERD) and MASTER Tools.

  • Shodor offers customized programs using the integration of modeling and simulation tools into the curriculum, such as agent and/or systems dynamics modeling, dynamic geometry and data analysis software, computer algebra systems, etc.

  • Your group can explore a wide range of uses for spreadsheets as tools for mathematical modeling and problem solving.

  • Shodor provides alignment with state and national standards, allowing teachers to quickly identify a variety of material for their curriculum.

Individualized Workshops

  • Shodor tailors workshops to match the needs and subject matter of the requesting organization and workshop participants.

  • Participants not only learn inquiry methods that leverage technology for their teaching, but they are also provided with opportunities to think deeply about mathematics and science content.

  • Shodor customizes professional development formats to suit the needs of the providing districts, schools, and participants. Thus, session formats vary in contact and non-contact hours, and time-span. Shodor charges per instructor presenting not per teacher attending resulting in cost-effective training.

Goal: Immediate Implementation

Shodor will help participants identify resources that fit the learning needs of their own students and walk away with ideas, lessons, and tools that can be implemented upon returning to the classroom.

Please see locations to find a professional development workshop near you, or contact us to request a workshop in your area.