The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is making great strides in rapidly adding computer science courses to the curriculum in public middle schools and high schools, and App Inventor is a vital part of it. SFUSD’s Bryan Twarek and Andrew Rothman have designed an on-line middle school curriculum which combines video and other lessons from appinventor.org, Mobile-CSP.org, appinventor.mit.edu, and a number of other venues, and breaks lessons down into 50 minute classroom chunks. The well-organized site is being used this fall in SF middle schools. Check it out and contact Bryan (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get access to the teacher side of it.
The middle school curriculum is part of SFUSD’s Computer Science for All Students in SF effort. The goal is to make real computer science– with coding and problem solving– part of the curriculum throughout the grade levels, and to help broaden participation in Tech, as this excerpt from their site attests:
By beginning in the earliest grades and with all children, we will normalize a discipline that has been long dominated by a selective group of the population.
SFUSD teachers are also teaching some of the first AP High School Computer Science Principles (CSP) courses on the West Coast, an effort led by SFUSD’s Jennie Lyons.
The Democratize Computing Lab at the University of San Francisco is partnering with the school district in these efforts. Led by my colleague Alark Joshi and I, we provide materials and advice on curriculum development, offer summer training workshops for high school teachers, and facilitate a program whereby USF students in the Democratize Computing Lab assist teachers at schools sites each semester.