Eping Hung


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about me

About Me

I live in Ashland, OR where I enjoy tormenting my teenage daughter with dad jokes and my wife with husband jokes! Although we live in the Pacific NW and imagine ourselves as avid backpackers, skilled campers, and all around outdoorsy flannel-ista beardmen, we all really just enjoy staying clean-shaven at home with a good book, Netflix series, or video game; I do make it outside for the occasional run or some tennis with my spouse. At around dinnertime I'm usually cooking and really enjoy making cajun food; I've also developed a mean Superbowl chili through many iterations and years of Boston sports victories.Random things I've enjoyed this past year: The Murderbot Diaries by Margaret Wells, Pink Pony Club by Chappell Roan, Eurovision Song Contest: Story of Fire Saga on Netflix, and White Chocolate Yuzu Berliner Style Donuts at Fills Donuts in Portland, OR.Oh, and I take care of a cat named Lilly! Who's my good girl? Hey! Get off my keyboaaaaaaaaaaaaa

outline of sitting cat

Cat Icon Free # 272103 from icon-library.com

CS Instructor

Introduction | Resources | Research

My evolution as a CS Instructor started with my time in industry, which led into the classroom, and finally into graduate school.

Industry Background

I entered the tech industry as a programmer during the dot com craze of the the late 90's, acquiring the paper wealth of that era: stock options. At the end of seven years, instead of the miillions I had envisioned, my vested options ended up being worth about the equivalent of...a Toyota Camry.

The K-8 CS Classroom

Teaching was a breath of fresh air in comparison to being a computer programmer in industry. But, I would quickly discover that knowing computer science was different from knowing how to teach computer science.

Graduate School

My initial misgivings faded as I demonstrated that I belonged in the master's program, learning both education and technology. Reflecting on my gradate experience reveals many key developments in my understanding of what it means to be an educator.

CS Instructor

Introduction | Resources | Research

A set of resources that I've found, but have not necessarily used yet.

CSinSF.org
A full PK-12 scope and sequence, and various levels of curriculum. An incredible resource.

CSTeachingTips.org
Complied by Coleen Lewis who's currently at University of Illinois, CS Teaching Tips are best digested one byte at a time.

ScratchEd
A set of great resources for learning and teaching with Scratch.

CS Instructor

Introduction | Resources | Research

Before You Look at Anything Else...
If due to some strange sequence of events you ended up here before visiting Professor Amy Ko's Computing Education Research FAQ, read that first. It contains advice, resources, and lists galore for anybody interested in CS Ed. It's authoritative in the sense that there's no other resource out there like it.

Pedagogical Strategies

The following research is immediately applicable to the CS classroom. I've had success with Use Modify Create in summer python coding camp for middle schoolers, but have not had the opportunity to integrate the other research into the K-8 classroom due to the coincidence of the publications with the pandemic.

TIPP&SEE: A Learning Strategy to Guide Students through Use–>Modify Scratch Activities (2020)

Jean Salac, Cathy Thomas, Chloe Butler, Ashley Sanchez, and Diana Franklin∗

University of Chicago and Texas State University

So, apparently, before you use Use-Modify-Create, younger students need even more scaffolding for comprehending code. No surprise, I guess. TIPP&SEE is a strategy that teaches how to read code in a step-wise way to understand it, the assumption being that young students don't quite know what to look at before, during, and after code is running in order to modify it effectively. I believe this is most useful for young students.

Use Modify Create: Comparing Computational Thinking Lesson Progressions for STEM Classes (2019)

Nicholas Lytle, Veronica Cateté, Danielle Boulden, Yihuan Dong, Jennifer Houchins,
Alexandra Milliken, Dolly Bounajim, Eric Wiebe, and Tiffany Barnes

NC State University

I've heard a lot about how useful Use-Modify-Create (UMC) is in the classroom, but I hadn't seen any experimental research on it until this paper. Well designed study that seems to confirm its benefits: less frustration and more confidence with the same amount of learning on the part of both students and teachers. If you haven't considered using UMC, or if you're not yet convinced, read this one. I think UMC is especially good for K-5 CS.

Reducing withdrawal and failure rates in introductory programming with subgoal labeled worked examples (2020)

Lauren E. Margulieux, Briana B. Morrison, and Adrienne Decker

George State University, University of Nebraska, University at Buffalo

This is important for teaching conditionals and loops, where understanding requires multi-step analysis of code: if you don't know what steps to analyze the code in, then it's easy to become overwhelmed. Study shows good effects in early exposure to programming, which are then lessened as students gain expertise. But the early effects are key to retaining students! I think subgoal labeling is appropriate for middle school students and up (whenever students start learning and using text-based programming languages.)

Teachers' Experiences of using PRIMM to Teach Programming in School (2019)

Sue Sentance, Jane Waite, Maria Kallia

King's College London, Queen Mary University of London

Honestly, I haven't read this one yet. But I've heard, and it seems, most appropriate for high school and higher.

CT Researcher

Introduction | Resources | Research | Projects

By happenstance, my interest in computational thinking research began at the same time as I started teaching in 2015. In researching computational thinking, I was impressed by how concepts like decomposition and algorithms could be used outside of CS to further student achievement. They're concepts that I wished I had been introduced to when I was a young student!Since then, I've seen how CT plays a role in teacher pedagogy and student understanding, and I'm eager to see and contribute to continued advances in the field.

CT Researcher

Introduction | Resources | Research | Projects

BBC Bitesize Introduction to Computational Thinking

Good introduction to computational thinking module to get a general idea of what CT is.

Abstraction - Computational Thinking

I've shown this Youtube video on what abstraction is multiple times. It captures two keys ideas: that abstraction is dictated by a specific purpose and that it results in the communication of a subset of key information rather than all the information possible. There's more to abstraction, but this is a good start.

CT Researcher

Introduction | Resources | Research | Projects

Wing (2006). Computational Thinking.

This is the essay that started the current push for computational thinking in education.

Peel, Sadler, Friedrichsen (2019). Learning natural selection through computational thinking

Mixed research with actual evidence from the classroom, which much CT research is currently lacking. Much current unplugged CT research focuses on teacher engagement with CT in the classroom, result in broad statements about its favorable use as a set of problem-solving strategies; this research showed how targeted use of CT to solve one single problem in science education can be beneficial for students.

CT Researcher

Introduction | Resources | Research | Projects

Here are some details on the CT research projects I've been a part of:

Southern Oregon CSforAll:RPP

The Southern Oregon CSforAll:RPP (SOCS) is a small NSF-funded research partnership between Southern Oregon University, Ashland School District, Phoenix-Talent School District, and American Institute for Research whose goal is to introduce students and bi-lingual students to unplugged computational thinking at the elementary level to prepare students for CS learning later in their education.

CT4EDU

CT4EDU is a mid-sized NSF-funded research partnership between Michigan State University, the Oakland School District, and American Institutes for Research. They seek to integrate computational thinking into elementary mathematics and science curriculum.

Graduate Work

Introduction | Reflections | Showcase  | Annotated Transcript

The award-winning Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) online program at Michigan State University is recognized as one of the nation's top programs in educational technology. I matriculated in the fall of 2019 with the intention of learning educational theory and graduated in the summer of 2021 having been introduced to much more, from video production to design thinking, from multiple new programming tools to online teaching. I was challenged to overcome aversion to new technology and to understand and address inequity in computer science education. Most significantly, the educational designers at the MAET practiced what they taught: social constructivism, 21st Century learning, and care and empathy for the learner. I would have stayed in the program longer if it wasn't considered awkward!

graduate work

Introduction | Reflections | Showcase  | Annotated Transcript

A trio of essays.

To Learn. To Teach. To Research.

The surprising development in my goals during my master's program.

The Best I Can With the Time I Have

Not terminal illness! But about my plans for the future.

From Imposter to Educator

The best educational experience I've ever had.

graduate work

Introduction | Reflections | Showcase  | Annotated Transcript

Below you'll find a selection of my best work from the Master of Arts in Educational Technology program at Michigan State University. The first set of pieces are exemplars of my steps toward technological fluency, while the second set demonstrate growth in facing issues in computer science education.


Technological Fluency

Networked Learning Project: Changing My Oil

One of the largest changes in the educational landscape is that Youtube and other online sources are now the primary way children engage in learning about their personal interests in any topic. These three blog posts document my journey to make a video about how to change my car's oil based only on what I could learn online. The consequences of this seismic shift in learning is that the very technology young students need to learn to learn with is the same technology that is often blocked by schools or avoided by tech-averse teachers.


Social Learning Sketchnote

In a world where person-to-person interaction is gradually being replaced with online interaction, social learning has taken a decidedly technological turn: children aren't just mimicking other people now, they are mimicking what other people are doing online. I engaged in a bit of social learning through sketchnote videos I viewed online to develop my own sketchnote video about social learning. How meta!


My Failure Podcast

Embracing, mentally preparing for, and learning from failure is central to overcoming aversion to adopting new technology. One way to prime ourselves to face failure when using new technology is to simply remember how we have failed and overcome failure in the past. Listen to the story of my most embarassing failure from grade school which I was able to parlay into a successful attempt at a first podcast episode.


Universal Design for Learning Graphic

Visual design and Universal Design for Learning were the two things I struggled with the most in the MAET program. But with the creation of this one visual, I successfully designed an infographic about how to prevent cognitive overload when wrestling with the behemoth that is Universal Design for Learning.


SIGCSE TS '21 Video Presentation

The video presentation I produced for the Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education Technical Symposium 2021 about the pandemic experience of the Southern Oregon CSforAll:Research-Practice Partnership is included here because it was made with the skills I developed while making videos over the course of the two years in the MAET program. Simply stated, I never would have been able to make this video if I hadn't been in the MAET.


Issues in Computer Science Education

Sewable Electronics Learning Plan

The typical computer science class skews heavily male which eventually leads to, at best, inadequate representation and at worst, workplaces hostile to females in industry. As a way to encourage girls to try and then stay in computer science, sewable electronics provides the perfect combination of engagement and rigor. Incorporating the research of Kafai, Fields, and Searle (2014) and Buechley, Eisenberg, Catchen, and Crockett’s (2008), my sewable electronics learning plan describes in detail goals, assessment, concerns, technology, and potential lessons for a course intended for middle school students.


Critique of (the Lack of) Pedagogy in Computer Science

This blog post explores two historically and persistently incorrect assumptions in computer science (CS) education: that error-free code can be equated with conceptual understanding (it can't); and error messages are all the feedback that's needed (it isn't). CS instructors need to be more intentional about developing student understanding by asking students to explain their code and design choices, and by giving feedback to students about the same. Expecting students to pick things up by themselves because "that's the way I learned" is a recipe for continued failure in CS Ed to retain students who are other than white and Asian males.


Re-experiencing the First Time with Rust

Experts often forget what it was like to be a learner, making them paradoxically poor teachers. Revisiting this short piece of code written in what was a new language for me gives me the heebie-jeebies: my stomach drops and a sense of dread begins to rise. Writing this code was frustrating, difficult, and time-consuming. It's a reminder for me of what a first coding experience can be like for many students, and of the need to scaffold or decompose those experiences so they do not overwhelm.

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Help!

Welcome to my portfolio and CV website! Click around the Home page to navigate to the About Me, CS Education, CT Research, Graduate Work, Gallery, or Contact Me pages. Or use the sitemap below to access any page and subpage.

Resume

Summary | Employment  | Education | PDF

15+ years of experience in the tech industry as a computer programmer, designing, implementing, and maintaining websites and back-end systems, followed by 5+ years of experience in the K-8 classroom as a computer science (CS) instructor, developing curriculum, researching computational thinking (CT), and employing new technology tools, and most recently a graduate student and research assistant, studying educational theory, engaging in research, and continuing my transition into education and academia.

Resume

Summary | Employment | Education | PDF

Southern Oregon University, Department of Computer Science

Adjunct

Ashland, OR | 01/2022 - Present


Southern Oregon University is a public liberal arts institution serving a mix of traditional and non-traditional students. Its Department of Computer Science strives to prepare its graduates to make immediate contributions in industry in software and IT. As a new adjunct my course load currently includes

  • CS 256 - Computer Science I (Winter 2022)

  • CS 258 - Computer Science III (Spring 2022)

Resume

Summary | Employment | Education | PDF

Southern Oregon University, SOCSforAll

Senior Researcher

Ashland, OR | 10/2019 - 9/2021


SOCSforAll:RPP is an NSF-funded research project piloting professional development (PD) strategies for the integration of unplugged CT into K-5 core curriculum. Among a team of professors and teachers, my contributions included

  • designing and utilizing CT instructional materials and activities

  • organizing and conducting a Summer Institute for 18 teachers

  • producing video for and presenting at the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education Technical Symposium '21

  • continuous development and evaluation of project activities and goals

Resume

Summary | Employment | Education | PDF

Michigan State University, CT4EDU

Consultant

*East Lansing, MI | 4/2021 - 8/2021


CT4EDU is an NSF-funded research project collaboration with K-5 teachers to co-design lessons that integrate computational thinking into math and science curriculum. My involvement will include

  • designing a summer professional development workshop for elementary teachers

  • research methodology development and data collection and analysis

  • reporting on PD findings and results

* remote from home

Resume

Summary | Employment | Education | PDF

Southern Oregon University, DOE (HIDDEN)

Coding Instructor

Ashland, OR | 7/2018, 7/2019, 10/2020, 7/2021


SBTO is a summer youth day camp program administered by SOU’s Division of Outreach and Engagement which provides learning opportunities to the local community for students of all ages, including talented youth and at-risk youth. My offerings consisted of

  • a year one pilot of a Scratch coding camp for 9-11 year olds

  • year two additions of python for 11-14 year olds and Minecraft for 9-11 year olds

Resume

Summary | Employment | Education | PDF

Ashland School District

Willow Wind Community Learning Center

K-8 CS Instructor

Ashland, OR | 2/2015 - present


Willow Wind is a public K-8 alternative program that provides a combination of Common Core classes and optional exploratory classes. My three CS class were designed for students from 1st - 3rd grade, 4th - 6th grade, and 6th to 8th grade.

  • For Spring 2022, 6th graders will be introduced to python, working on creating a piece of interactive fiction

Resume

Summary | Employment | Education | PDF

Ultrasportslive.tv

Consultant

*Concord, CA | 1/2015 - 3/2015


UltraSportsLive.TV provided live coverage of endurance races. My contract required building from scratch their live-tracking and post-race replay website, displaying continuously updating results in map, table, and graph formats.

* remote from home

Resume

Summary | Employment | Education | PDF

Balsam hill

SQL Consultant

*San Mateo, CA | 11/2006 - 12/2014


Balsam Hill is the umbrella company for a handful of online stores that sell niche products, from artificial Christmas trees to above ground pools. My responsibilities included writing SQL queries to generate nightly sales reports and troubleshooting escalated customer fulfillment issues.

* remote from home

Resume

Summary | Employment | Education | PDF

SEC VEntures, LLC

Associate

*San Francisco, CA | 8/2005 - 12/2014


SEC Ventures was a services firm specializing in providing development and hosting solutions for financial services companies. Some of my many tasks and responsibilities as a contractor included deployments of web-based client financial tools for international clients, configuration and maintenance of internal systems, and application development.

* remote from home starting 2009

Resume

Summary | Employment | Education | PDF

Employease, Inc

Software Engineer

Atlanta, GA | 7/1998 - 6/2005


Employease, an internet startup acquired by Automatic Data Processing in 2006, provided online HRIS and benefits administration and back-end data connections for over 1000 small to mid-sized companies. Some of my tasks included implementing web reporting tools, migrating large databases, and designing a payroll system.

Resume

Summary | Employment | Education | PDF

EmployerJob TitleYearLocation
Southern Oregon University, CS DeptAdjunct2022 - presentAshland, OR
Michigan State University, CT4EDUConsultant2021 - present*East Lansing, MI
Southern Oregon University, SOCSforAllSenior Researcher2019 - presentAshland, OR
Ashland School DistrictK-8 CS Instructor2015 - presentAshland, OR
UltraSportsLive.TVConsultant2015*Concord, CA
Balsam HillSQL Consultant2006 - 2014*San Mateo, CA
SEC Ventures, LLCAssociate2005 - 2014**San Francisco, CA
Employease, IncSoftware Engineer1998 - 2005Atlanta, GA

* remote from home

** remote from home starting 2009

Resume

Summary | Employment | Education | PDF

InstitutionDegreeYearLocation
Michigan State University, CEPSEM.A. in Educational Technology2021*East Lansing, MI
Williams CollegeB.A. in Computer Science1998Williamstown, MA

* online program

To Learn. To Teach. To Research.

To Learn. To Teach. To Research.

In the fall of 2019, I started my master's program with three goals:

  • Learn educational theory.

  • Teach AP computer science (CS).

  • Explore research and academia.

Two years later when I finished my master's, those three goals...were still my goals.It's not that I failed to achieve my goals or that my program failed to meet my needs. During my time in the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) online program at Michigan State University, I developed a strong foundation in educational theory, acquired knowledge about pedagogy in general as well as in CS, and contributed to research in computational thinking. After graduating with a master's, I chose to make my new goals essentially the same as my old ones, but with one small change.

To Learn. To Teach. To Research.

Learn Educational Theory

My original goal was to find answers to questions such as

What theory can I use as the basis for my teaching?

But I quickly found many new or unanswered questions in a field that was constantly evolving:

How can schools address inequity in the classroom and broaden participation in CS?

The MAET helped me understand answers in education could not be given through direct instruction. I would need to develop my own answers according to my own needs and unique context through a process of research, analysis, design, implementation, and reflection. Nor would I ever have all the answers. Learning in education would not end upon completion of my master's; it would be a life-long process.

To Learn. To Teach. To Research.

Teach AP Computer Science

While teaching CS in the high school was the most immediately achievable of my three goals, my intent was simply to be in the classroom to put into practice what I learned. As circumstances would have it, I obtained a position teaching the second section of CS1 at the local university, pending sufficient enrollment. Immediate goal achieved, I would be in a position where I could actively develop my practice. But, logically, as a corollary to my first goal, which had developed into a life-long engagement with new developments in educational theory, it followed that my second goal be modified as an ongoing goal too, as I would need to keep implementing the educational theory I would be life-long learning.

To Learn. To Teach. To Research.

Explore Research and Academia

As for research, my goal was to determine whether to pursue a PhD. During the MAET, I was lucky to experience early success, not just in having contributed to an accepted conference paper, but in finding colleagues I liked, in uncovering research questions that piqued my interest, and in discovering camaraderie among other CS Ed graduate students. I found myself enjoying the people, the process, and the results of research, and I hope to continue doing so in a PhD program. But, I would need to continue exploring research and academia, this time more deeply as a potential PhD student.

To Learn. To Teach. To Research.

I have the same goals as before. Essentially,

To learn.

To teach.

To research.

But I now possess a clearer understanding of the amount of time dedication to these goals demand. I am making a life-long commitment to not just finding answers in education, but new questions as well, in a never ending and utlimately rewarding cycle of struggle, discovery, and progress.

The Best I Can With the Time I Have

The Best I Can With the Time I Have | PDF

A conversation inside my head about future learning, a PhD, and work-life balance.

Q: You now have a Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) from Michigan State University. What's next?

A: I'm scheduled to teach the second section of Intro to Computer Science (CS) at the local university, depending on coronavirus college enrollment numbers. I will also return to my previous position as a K-8 CS Instructor at a local school to co-teach a couple of classes with core teachers.

Q: You're collaborating with core teachers? How so?

A: I am hoping to work with the 4th/5th science teacher, who has taught sewing classes before, to co-design a class on sewable electronics, which is something I've studied and would love to learn to use in the classroom. The other teacher I will be collaborating with is a math teacher with whom I had previously co-designed a Pi and computing unit; we were scheduled to deliver the lesson shortly after Pi Day in 2020.

Q: Oh no. Did you end up doing the lesson?

A: The early closure of schools before spring break due to the pandemic took that opportunity away. But, I've been itching to try something like that again, where I can work closely with a core content teacher to design computing experiences that reinforce core content learning, allowing for broad participation in CS and support of standardized testing goals. There is a curriculum I've come across that integrates CS with math called Bootstrap that I'd like to learn to use.

**Q: Let's talk about your plans for a PhD. Why a PhD in the first place? **

A: Overall, I'm hoping to improve on my skills as a researcher; and more specifically I want to engage in more academic writing, which was not a focus of the MAET program. Recently, I've encountered the concept of semantic waves, which I'm hoping to learn more about to improve my writing.

Q: Why are you looking for a fully online part-time PhD program?

A: My spouse is a partner in a medical practice and thus the primary bread winner in the household. Leaving that medical partnership for me to start an in-person PhD program elsewhere would not be an economically sound decision. Moreover, if I were to start a full-time program, all the household management that I've been handling as the primary-at-home would suffer. That's a recipe for disaster, one that in my stage of life I have enough foresight to avoid.

Q: If you're not willing to make sacrifices, how serious could you be about pursing a PhD?

A: I'm very privileged to be in a position where I can make sure my professional goals do not eclipse my family responsibilities. It's a privilege I would not squander out of respect to those who have no choice in the matter. So while some may indiscriminately equate "serious pursuit of a PhD" with single-minded personal sacrifice, a more nuanced understanding of "serious pursuit" would include the context in which the pursuit was happening. To pursue a PhD at the expense of the family responsibilities I've been given the privilege to prioritize would be reckless, making it more of a foolhardy pursuit than a serious one.

Q: The reality, though, is that you're unlikely to become a leader in the field if you don't put in the time. Have you considered that?

A: Yes, and I accept that. My situation at home will not allow me to become the best in my field, so my goal is to simply contribute the best I can with the time I have. Under those circumstances, I believe my contributions can still be significant, just not in quantities that will make me highly esteemed and highly compensated. I am happy to leave esteem and compensation to those whose serious pursuit allows for them.

Q: But, it would seem a part-time PhD might lead to part-time work. Isn't a PhD too high a cost for just part-time employment?

A: If I don't pursue a PhD, I would still continue the computational thinking (CT) research I've been doing the past couple of years—likely the same research that I would have ended up doing in a PhD program. Since I'm going to be doing the work anyway, I might as well get the credentials that go along with it, no? I suppose this means that my priority isn't really the degree, it's the potential contribution to CT research.

Q: Any final thoughts?

A: If readers would like to discuss any of what I've said, please contact me! I'd be happy to explain my thinking further.

Graduate Work

Introduction | Reflections | Showcase  | Annotated Transcript

Below are details of my program of study that fulfilled Michigan State University's requirements for the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET), as well as for graduate certificates in educational technology, online teaching and learning, and K-12 computer science education.


Fall 2019

CEP 810: Teaching for Understanding with Technology

Debbie McHorney-Enokian

How People Learn (Bransford, 2004) introduced me to the basics of the theory of learning: how students' pre-existing knowledge can lead to misconceptions, the difference between experts and novices, and that experts, though knowledgable, may not know how to teach what they know; while the Pedagogical Content Knowledge (Shulman, 1986) and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (Mishra and Koehler, 2006) frameworks led me to understand that technology should be evaluated for its usefulness as a tool for facilitating teaching of content in the classroom. The Networked Learning Project helped me understand the breadth of learning that is now conducted exclusively on the internet, and that students need explicit instruction on how to engage in that online self-learning. Perhaps the most important takeaway was that teachers cannot simply teach the way they were taught because advances in both educational theory and in technology demand teachers use a better, more relevant, and more up-to-date framework like 21st Century Learning to give students the skills they need in the modern technological world; and to do so requires teachers to become life-long learners and users of technology.


Bransford, J., Brown, A.L. & Cocking, R. R. (2000), How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309070368Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017–1054. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9620.2006.00684.xShulman, L. S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57, 1–22. https://people.ucsc.edu/~ktellez/shulman.pdf

CEP 814: Computational Thinking for K12 Educators

Dr. Aman Yadav

I was already well familiar with the research surrounding computational thinking as a set of problem-solving thought processes through the grant proposals I had worked on prior to this course, but I lacked practical experience in teaching it. Readings in Sparks of Genius and Everybody Lies, and watching various YouTube videos provided me with an assortment of instructional material to use in the classroom and in CT professional development to teach decomposition, algorithms, pattern recognition, and abstraction in a variety of ways. I was forced out of my comfort zone by assignments requiring collaboration with colleagues at work and design of CT lessons in non-CS content areas such as math and physical education. The willingness of my work colleagues to collaborate on CT lessons showed me that teachers are eager to learn CT and that I could be a leader in CT research and development.


Root-Bernstein, R. S., & Root-Bernstein, M. M. (2013). Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.Stephens-Davidowitz, S., & Pinker, S. (2018). Everybody lies: what the internet can tell us about who we really are. Bloomsbury.


Spring 2020

CEP 800: Learning in School and Other Settings

Matthew Schell and Dr. Brittany Dillman

This was the course I was looking most forward to taking and it did not disappoint! We covered the learning theories responsible for the development of current cognitive theory starting with connectionism and behaviorism, then social learning theory, schema theory, and Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development, and finally to situated learning and Papert's constructionism. We also covered how metacognition as self-monitoring and formative assessment as external monitoring are additional ways to check for misconceptions. An assignment to research a problem of practice led me to the history of women in computing and this nugget: that women were better represented in software in the 50's and 60's, but only because it was considered less prestigious than hardware; women were gradually pushed out of software as the field became more lucrative! Continued focus on increasing technology use had me use Twitter for a tweet storm, create an sketch-note style instructional video, and struggle with creating an infographic. An ongoing assignment throughout the course to keep track of the development of our personal theory of learning revealed the connections I made to previous experiences to assimilate new information and, during reflection, the reorganization of knowledge around fundamental concepts, just as we had studied!

CEP 811: Adapting Innovative Technologies in Education

Kyle Shack

The first lesson was about failure, and how failures in learning new technology and in general can become opportunities for learning and growth. We then explored how maker culture and makerspaces encourage both creativity, failure, and collective solution discovery while serving as constructionist learning playgrounds. I experienced success in the use of two innovative technologies: podcasting and LilyPad sewable electronics, the latter of which could be used to increase the gender balance in my computer science classes; success in creating my first good infographic after failures in previous courses; and a new failure while trying to use another new technology: public domain video clips for creating a video project about creative commons licensing. That failure would motivate me to make videos in other courses at every opportunity to improve my video production skills. My classmates and I provided each other with feedback on maker learning experiences using the lenses of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) (CAST, 2018) and intersectionality, showing each other that mutual feedback and proactively providing multiple means of engagement, representation, and expression benefits all students and not just special cases. I also resolved my personal struggle with constructionism with the realization that not all students will struggle with constructionist learning as I did, but that a classroom should provide it as a UDL option for those who may thrive using it.


CAST. (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. http://udlguidelines.cast.org


Summer 2020

CEP 833: Creativity in K12 Computing Ed

Bill Marsland

In CEP 833, I learned to consider the value of creativity in the classroom in balance with instruction, allowing students to engage in learning through the Creative Learning Spiral of imagine, create, play, share, and reflect (Resnick, 2017). In sharing projects with peers, I discovered and worked with new ideas that I would not have thought of if I had only relied on my own imagination. Some new technologies that I had never worked with before, like Sonic Pi, micro:bit, and p5.js helped me realize the benefit of teaching multiple technologies to better learn computing concepts rather than relying on a single tool which might result in merely learning to use that single tool. Employing the framework of the Creating Learning Spiral ensures that creative time in the classroom is not merely free time, but a time where students actively engage not just with their ideas, but with each other.


Resnick, M. (2017). Lifelong kindergarten: Cultivating creativity through projects, passion, peers, and play. MIT Press.

CEP 822: Approaches to Ed Research

Ming Lei

In CEP 822, we explored the educator struggle to produce research that is both rigorous but cognizant of the ethical limitations of research in a classroom with young subjects and also understanding that each classroom context is different. I learned how to analyze qualitative data through various coding techniques and quantitative data through correlation analysis and between group-mean analysis. For a final research project, I performed a literature review on computational thinking in K-5 education and learned the step-wise logic used as a framework for research review papers. This course gave me a preview of what PhD studies might be like, further sparking my curiosity. It was during this course that I discovered my favorite research paper to date about using unplugged algorithms to explain scientific processes!


Fall 2020

CEP 813: Electronic Assessment

Dr. Bret Staudt Willet

In CEP 813, I explored the different aspects of assessment and assessed the quality of my use of assessment in my own teaching practice. Especially significant for my development as a teacher included learning to consider first what constitutes evidence of student understanding in assessment, the different and best types of teacher feedback (feedback on the process and metacognition, instead of on the student and on the task), and exploring critical race theory as a way to address inequity in the classroom and in assessment. An assignment to assess an assessment used in my field (CS) led to my best work in my masters: a blog post explaining how CS Ed traditionally does not teach its students, but instead, just expects them to pick things up on their own. Iterative development of a checklist for assessment design ensured that I will be able to appraise the effectiveness of future assessments in accordance with what I have learned in this course. A final self-reflection on the entire course as a summative assessment demonstrated the learning benefits of gathering and reflecting on a portfolio of work.

CEP 812: Applying Ed Tech to Issues of Practice

Dr. Brittany Dillman

In CEP 812, we started by learning about the different types of problems: well-defined, ill-structured, and wicked problems and then considered the types of problems we encounter in our own practice. I identified a couple of problems: the lack of resources dedicated to advancing computer science education research which impacts instruction at all levels, a problem that impacts me as an instructor; and the lack of consensus around a definition of computational thinking, which impacts further research and implementation in schools, a problem embedded in my work as a CT researcher. After problem identification, we engaged in a process of questioning as detailed in Warren Berger's A More Beautiful Question (2019), to discover a question that would propel research into potential solutions or avenues of exploration to contribute to the development of solutions for our identified problem. A final project had us actively engage in researching and contributing to progress in finding a solution to our problem, and then create a video presentation about it, one of many improved videos since my failure in CEP 811.


Berger, W. (2019). A more beautiful question: the power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas. Langara College.


Spring 2021

CEP 817: Learning Technology through Design

William Bork and Dr. Anne Heintz

I applied each of the steps of the Stanford Design Thinking Model—empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test (Stanford University d.school, n.d.)—to develop a solution to a problem of practice I had identified in my research project. With an industry background in design prior to entering education, I was already familiar with ideating, prototyping, and testing, but the perspective-taking and reframing exercises I used in the empathize and define steps respectively were especially helpful in getting me to understand each of the members of my research group's leadership team and the events that led to the problems of practice. In the end, I developed smaller, successive, and timely solutions to our research group's need to synthesize current research, analyze data, and evaluate our processes. Of particular note was the effectiveness of the social learning component of this course, which resulted in especially impactful peer feedback.


Stanford University d.school (n.d.) Design thinking bootleg. https://dschool.stanford.edu/resources/design-thinking-bootleg

CEP 824: Programming Concepts for K12 Educators

Matt Drazin

As someone who was already a K-8 CS educator, there were two distinct learning moments in this course for me: the first was the requirement to learn a new programming language for an assignment, which reminded me of the difficultly, struggle, and stress that comes with learning coding syntax. As a former computer programmer in industry, it was an important moment to help me empathize with future students who experience coding for the first time. The second was the algorithm that explained how to design an entire course, rather than just a unit, or a single lesson. The simple equation for designing a syllabus based on how much instructional time was available in the course plus how much content there was to cover was new to me!


Summer 2021

CEP 820: Teaching Students Online

Edie Erickson and Dr. Anne Heintz

Quite possibly the most difficult of the courses I took in my masters, not in the difficulty of course content, but in that the assignments required the development of an entire unit, which forced me to learn and practice my underdeveloped lesson creation skills. I engaged in multiple iterations of design and implementation of each online lesson, and found many areas of needed improvement in each of the four lessons I developed. Perhaps most crucially, in the process of developing these lessons, I began to understand the importance of breaking lessons into smaller, more manageable chunks for me and for my students.

CEP 807: Proseminar in Educational Technology

Dr. Matthew Koehler and Aric Gaunt

Reflecting on and putting together a website portfolio of my work throughout my masters served multiple purposes: as a way for instructors to summatively assess my learning, as an easily accessible format for prospective employers to evaluate me, and as a student, to re-engage with and refresh my memory of the many concepts I learned. This was a highly valuable and enjoyable process; I found myself spending more time on course assignments than I should have. The reflective essays and summative assignments helped me see how much progress I made in learning both educational theory and new technologies for use in my professional practice, but they also helped me identify areas that will need more seasoning, like research methods, academic writing, and in-classroom practice. Enjoyment of this course also derived from the weekly feedback cycle and seeing peers create websites that theoretically could have been carbon copies of each other's based on the use of the same requirements and content, but ended up being completely different on account of different persons and contexts.

From Imposter to Educator

Intro | Constructivism  | Constructionism | UDL | Conclusion | Printable

From Imposter to Educator

IntroductionThe online Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program at Michigan State University was the best learning experience I've ever had. Courses in the MAET were designed based on the very theory and practice we studied, theories and practices that were expertly and consistently employed over my two years in the program and served as exemplary models for our own teaching practice: constructivism leading to learning through a variety of exploration, reflection, and feedback; constructionism leading to learning, failing, and sharing with 21st century technology tools; and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) leading to equitable, situated, and customized learning experiences. Aside from the sheer volume of learning I experienced, I also developed a strong identify as an educator based on an essential set of values reinforced throughout the program: empathy for my students, collaboration with my peers, and life-long learning.

From Imposter to Educator

Intro | Constructivism | Constructionism | UDL | Conclusion

My Pre-existing KnowledgeIn retrospect, that I was invited to teach computer science (CS) in K-8 with my lack of any pedagogical knowledge is indicative of the dearth of teachers trained to teach CS, but I think the principal who hired me knew at the very least I was capable of giving students a hands-on computer science lab experience. I remember preparing a lot of demonstrations and lectures, a lot of trying to recreate what I experienced as a student, maybe the occasional worksheet or practice set, and a very large dose of naive optimism that what I prepared would contribute to student learning. Using my MAET training as a lens to examine my attempt at teaching CS to K-8 students, here is what I now understand: I was offering students a mix of modeling, lecture, and constructionist opportunities to essentially learn computer science on their own. That was the good. The bad was that I was relying on educational strategies that were over twenty-five years old from when I was last a student in the classroom, was perpetuating inequitable practices that have led to the long lack of diversity in the technology industry, and never truly assessed my students' understanding. It was no wonder that by the end of my fifth year of part-time teaching that my student population had turned predominantly male.Contructivism
The ideas in theory of learning I gravitated quickly to were constructivist in nature: that students enter the classroom with pre-existing knowledge with which they use to assimilate, accommodate, or reject information. Thus, any understanding that they may gain depends on what they know beforehand, leading either to clarity, or misconceptions. My role as a teacher wasn't simply to present knowledge, or provide learning opportunities, but it was to assess student understanding early and often so I could make instructional decisions based on student needs. I experienced this firsthand in the MAET as courses employed strategies to elicit the pre-assumptions we started with, either broadly, simply by asking us what our background was and what we hoped to learn, or in a more targeted fashion, by asking us at the very beginning of the course to write down our early thoughts about our theory of learning or about how we use assessment in our classroom.
The Need for Assessment
Assessment of all types as a socio-constructivist and metacognitive strategy was another aspect of educational theory that I immediately saw the need for in my practice: ongoing formative assessment so both student and teacher understand how much has been learned and how much needs to be learned; summative assessment to evaluate the final quality of teaching and learning; and self-reflection so that students develop important evaluative skills regarding their own work and learning. My computer science classes had relied on completion of programming assignments and debugging to serve as automatic forms of feedback. Feedback consisting solely of bugs and error messages, however, simply highlight what is wrong with the task, and do nothing to help students understand the processes or misconceptions that may have led to those bugs and errors. To bring assessment into my classroom, I would need my students to begin explaining their reasoning behind their code, and I would need to provide feedback that identified errors in conception or process. In th