Season 2 Episode 2: What K12 and Higher Ed CS can learn from each other


Our guest today is Jared O’Leary, the Director of Education and Research at BootUp PD. Jared creates computer science curriculum and professional development and is also the creator of the CSK8 podcast. Our topic was what K–12 and higher education computer science education can learn from each other. We discussed Jared’s philosophy and curriculum design process, as well as why K–12 and higher education do not communicate as much as would be ideal. In Jared’s too long; didn’t listen summary, Jared discussed the importance of reading and learning from outside of the field and how we need to figure out better ways to communicate and learn from each other.

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Kristin [00:00] Hello and welcome to the CS-Ed podcast, a podcast where we talk about teaching computer science with computer science educators. For context, we are recording this episode on September 8th, 2020. So, potentially, some of the things we talk about will feel dated by the time you listen to this. Hopefully, the world will be better when this podcast is released than what it is currently being recorded, though. With the disruption of Covid-19 and the latest calls for change in education due to racial inequalities, this season’s theme is, “Where should we go from here?” in hopes, we can all take a pause and ask ourselves, “If I had time to reflect rather than react, what should I be doing?” I am your host, Kristin Stephens-Martinez, an Assistant Professor of the Practice at Duke University. And joining me today is Jared O’Leary, the Director of Education Research at BootUp PD. So, Jared, tell us a little bit about yourself and also what does PD stand for? 

Jared [00:50] So PD stands for professional development and this is a very common thing among K–12 educators. You basically go on weekends or summers or weeknights and you learn more about how to teach and facilitate in the classroom setting. In terms of what I do as the Director of Education and Research at BootUp, I create curriculum that’s used across the world, I create professional development that’s used across the U.S., and then just kind of oversee some of our research projects that we’re working on to make sure that we’re doing great things with the professional development that we deliver. 

Kristin [01:24] Cool. So how do you—I have so many questions already—like how do you design curriculum? Like, what is your design process for that? 

Jared [01:34] That is a very loaded question in terms of so many things to take into account for that. In general, I start with what are kids interested in. And then what are the standards, practices, concepts, and whatnot that we can do that relates to those interests? So it’s kind of different from a lot of curriculum design. So a lot of people typically start with, “OK, well, what is the sequence that I want to teach specific computer science concepts in?” Like, when should we teach a loop? And what types of loops? When should we teach conditionals and different types of conditionals, et cetera? So instead, what I do is start with what are kids inherently interested in and how can we address different concepts, practices, standards and whatnot in a way that does not overwhelm them. 

Kristin [02:20] Oh, that’s so interesting. I’m actually currently reading Grading for Equity by Joe Feldman, who’s also gonna be on this podcast season. I just got to the section that kind of talks about this a little bit. And it’s giving me ideas as to how to reframe my CS1 materials to be more about, why students would be interested in learning it rather than just a sequence of concepts. So I like that approach. I’m glad to hear someone else is already doing that approach. It makes me feel like maybe I should be doing this more. 

Jared [02:54] Yeah, and I have to say that one of the reasons why I chose this approach for the curriculum that I design for BootUp, which, by the way, is for elementary kids so it uses simple programming languages, like ScratchJr and Scratch, which are block based. But this is something that I’ve applied to my graduate courses that I facilitated at universities so it’s something that works well with kindergartners all the way up through graduate students. So the overall approach is: it’s focusing on the fact that not everyone wants to be there. So a lot of the K–12 classes that I facilitated in particular, they were not elective classes. They were classes that every single kid in the school had to attend. And because of that, I had to design it differently than some of the elective classes that I facilitated. So if there’s an elective, I can assume buy-in so we can go through that sequence that I’ve determined as valuable because I know students are already inherently interested in whatever that subject area is.

But when kids are forced to be there and you’re going through the sequence that you’ve crafted and it’s like, “Oh, this is this great, awesome way to introduce this thing and it’s going to not overwhelm people.” Kids are gonna look at you and be like, well, “Why do I need to know this? What’s the point of this?” And they will do like the literal bare minimum just to get whatever they perceive as a decent grade. That could be a B. That could be a D. Whatever. And then nothing more. And so this approach of starting with interest starts with, “OK, I can’t assume that you’re bought into computer science or whatever subject area. But I can assume that you do have some interest. So let’s find a way to explore those interests through computer science or whatever subject area.” 

Kristin [04:29] What research do you do at BootUp? 

Jared [04:31] So at BootUp, the focus is on the implementation of the professional development. So we’re trying to look at what our kids are learning. So we do pre and post tests with a computational thinking test to see, “OK, where was their baseline knowledge before going through the curriculum?” And then teachers going through the PD. And what does this look like a year from now? Two years from now? Three years from now? So we’re trying to get different perspectives on what professional development approaches work really well. What about our curriculum do teachers and students value? And then what are they actually learning? And what are some areas that we can improve upon with the curriculum and the PD? 

Kristin [05:05] Any interesting findings so far? 

Jared [05:07] One of the interesting findings, and it was kind of a debate as a team or these resources that I created called “coder resources” and they’re essentially walkthroughs. So they kind of outline, “Here’s the steps to create a project.” When you click on one of the steps, it pops up a slide deck. And on the slide deck, the second slide is a video where I walk through how to do something. A specific part of a function in a project. And then underneath that is like a review of all the steps in there, just like a visual guide that shows you step by step how to do the things. And what we’re debating is, “Is this going to be valuable and will this make it so that students are able to learn better?”

And what we found is that teachers really love this approach because it makes it so that, let’s say a kid is absent, whether on vacation or sick or whatever. And as a class, you’re like on step five of a project. But this kid missed steps one through four. What you can do is just kind of point them to the resource and say, “Hey, you can get caught up by going through this.” And then they’re able to catch up on their own. This also makes us so that if kids want to go faster through something, they can do that as well. So they can be on step ten while somebody, like the rest of the class, is on step five. But now, in the age of COVID being September 2020, this also made it so that we can just send these resources out to kids and say, “OK, class, you can pick any one of these 40 projects and start going through the sequence.” And I don’t have to be there to physically teach you how to do these things because these resources guide you through it. I can be here to help answer questions and to provide some suggestions and whatnot. But the teacher doesn’t actually have to facilitate or teach every single concept because these resources augment their abilities as an educator. 

Kristin [05:43] Yeah. So the main point of our conversation was about what can higher education and K–12 education learn from each other? And now I’m really curious, actually, about this research that you’re working on, because one of the things that I’m thinking about a lot is that our CS1 class I feel like could be flipped and turned into a asynchronous mastery-based class. However, there’s a lot of nuance and complexity in doing that transition. And it sounds like you’ve already done some of that by providing these students these resources that allow them to slow down or speed up. So I guess one question would be the context. How many students per teacher is there, for most of the time for your context? And is this a required class? Or is it an optional class—an elective class—for students? 

Jared [07:39] Yes, all of the above. So it depends on the district that we’re working with. So some districts are doing implementation in a K–5 setting. Some are doing a K–6 setting, some are K–8. Some are classroom teachers—general classroom teachers—So they might be teaching science, English, language arts, mathematics: all of that in the same class. Others are specialists where they only teach coding or computer science all day long. Some are paraprofessionals. Some are library and media specialists. So like everywhere is different. However, and because everywhere is different, some of the classes are like maybe 20, 35 students, while others see several hundred. So when I was in the classroom, I saw several hundred up to like a thousand kids each week in the multiple districts that I worked in. 

Kristin [08:34] I’m assuming not a thousand at once. Like how big was it per session for lack of a better term? 

Jared [08:31] Yeah, it is a thousand spread out throughout the week. So in Arizona, the laws were—and it may have changed since then—but when I was in the classroom, it was up to thirty-five students.

Kristin [08:45] So, lots of different contexts and very varied, it sounds like. One question that I’m always wondering about stuff like this is: How many students kind of slow down? How many students speed up? For something that’s kind of this flipped asynchronous model. Are you looking at that at all? 

Jared [08:59] So that’s a good question. I’ll give a quick disclaimer of what my classroom looked like and then kind of answer the question a little bit better. So my classroom, kids could pick from like four different programming languages. So I’m talking like the fourth through eighth graders and whatnot. So, they could pick Scratch, they could pick Ruby, they could pick JavaScript and they could pick Swift. And so in each one of those languages, it was using different platforms, like JavaScript was using Khan Academy, Ruby was using Sonic Pi, Swift was using Xcode, and Scratch was Scratch.

So kids could work on any one of those languages and work on any kind of project they’re interested in and I’d help guide them through different project options. Kids could also choose when they would turn in their assignments. So some kids would work on a project for two or three weeks. Other kids literally spent two plus years working on the same project every single time they came into class and just dive in deeper and deeper into that. So my class was a little weird in that there was like no fixed deadlines when everybody had to turn in anything so you could move at whatever pace you wanted. And my role was to kind of facilitate walking around the class and getting kids to set their own goals. Every Monday, they had to fill out like a Google form. “Here’s my goal for the week and what I’m going to work on.” And then I would try and hold them accountable to it. “Hey, it seems like your goal was too easy.” Or, “Hey, it seems like your goal was too difficult.” Let’s adjust pacing and whatnot each week that we were doing this.

But when it comes to a classroom context, that’s not necessarily doing that and has fixed deadlines, it depends. So in any kind of teaching environment, we can’t really assume a base level of understanding that every single kid is going to have at the same level. So there are going to be kids who come in who have been engaging in mod practices at the university level and have been coding for years. And they’ll come into your CS class and be like, “Yeah, this is easy for me. I have tons of experience.” And then you’ll have some kids who will come in and be like, “I don’t really know what computer science is, but I know I can make a lot of money. So I want to do this thing and I didn’t have an opportunity in my schools to do this.” So they will come in with some basic understanding, maybe doing some formulas in an excel and that’s like the closest thing they’ve gotten to any kind of actual programming. 

Kristin [11:08] Yeah. 

Jared [11:08] So, with that range, everybody’s going to move at different paces and depending on what university you’re at, you’re going to have different expectations for different people who come in with different experiences. And this is the part of teaching. Whether it’s a graduate course or a kindergarten course, everyone has different experiences with it. And so I can’t really make a very blanket statement that says, like, everybody was always faster or slower, et cetera. 

Kristin [11:32] I think I just realized a nuance that you mentioned earlier in that there might not be any deadlines for this curriculum that you’ve developed. So my question in some ways makes no sense if there’s no deadlines to track student progress. So, if I rephrase my question. So I’m assuming the teacher knows the curriculum, and so when they’re helping students, how much of the curriculum are they spanning as they’re helping various students in the class? Like, do they have to span the entire curriculum where, like, one student is still on Section 1 and another student is on the like Section N, the last one. Or are they more like over the span of four weeks-ish or sections of the curriculum? This, I think, is the thing that I’m curious about because, for me, the idea of doing a flipped, asynchronous, mastery class, one question I have is: how much of the curriculum will I and my teaching staff for the class have to span at the same time? 

Jared [12:33] Right. Yeah, it totally makes sense. It depends on the implementation. So some teachers are implementing coding projects like one project per month. Some are doing multiple projects per week. Some are doing, “We’ll code only on Fridays for 30 minutes.” Others are, “We’re gonna code for a month straight every single day for an hour, and then we won’t code again until next year.” So it really varies. And in terms of the span, it depends. So, some teachers are not comfortable with that approach, which is based on philosophers, Deleuze and Guattari. So they talk about this approach called rhizomatic learning, where basically you’re able to go at your own pace and in different directions from everybody else.

However, a lot of teachers are much more comfortable with group-paced stuff, “So we’re all going to work on this project. Some of you are going to be slower. Some of you are gonna be faster. That’s fine. But we’re all gonna work on this project.” And then other teachers are, “Well, here’s three projects you can pick from. Which one sounds interesting? Go at your own pace.” And then some are fully rhizomatic and it’s like, “Hey, here’s 40 projects. Pick one of those. Or you can create your own, et cetera.”

Now, when it comes to a flipped classroom, it depends on how you implement it. So, like, I’ve taken some classes where it was semi-flipped and you could have like a week or two ahead of your current lecture that you could actually go and look at. And then you can come in and ask some questions about it. Whereas like others, like in MOOCs, you could technically go at your own pace and then you can choose to go into the classroom to engage in those discussions. And so as a TA or as somebody facilitating that, you might engage in discussions that are week one content while somebody else is asking questions about week 10 content. And so some professors that I know have chosen to make class time optional, but assignments mandatory. So, like, finish your projects, demonstrate your understanding. And if the classroom is flipped, you don’t have to be here if you don’t have questions. But if your grade is suffering, then you should probably be here asking questions. 

Kristin [14:27] Yeah. 

Jared [14:28] Did that answer your question about the flipped… 

Kristin [14:31] It answered my question in general. It didn’t answer my question quantitatively, which is what I think I wanted most, but that’s okay.

Jared [14:39] Oh, that I don’t have because like every district is different and researching K–12 students is extremely tricky in terms of IRB [Institutional Review Board]. We’ve been going back and forth for weeks, just trying to get like a pre and post IRB approval. 

Kristin [14:53] Yeah. 

Jared [14:54] Let alone like, what are your kids actually doing in the class throughout the day? 

Kristin [14:58] Yeah, that’s like that’s I think that’s probably one of the bigger reasons why I’m not super excited about the idea of doing K–12 research. And I like the idea of doing higher education just because IRB is less of a mess. Like, now you’re dealing with minors, which means not only do you have to get the kids’ permission, you’ve got to get the parents’ permission and all the logistics involved with getting busy parents to sign something that a kid is potentially going to forget and like… that just… I can’t. 

Jared [15:26] Yeah, and you can’t do the opt out forms, like only sign if you don’t want your kids to participate. You have to, like, get thousands of kids. And, in this case, literally like half a million kids, because we’re working in so many districts. It’s just like, “OK, we’re not going to have time to collect all that.” 

Kristin [15:43] So I feel like I’ve learned a bunch from you about how K–12 works. What do you think K–12 people would want to learn from higher education, especially considering that you have done both? 

Jared [15:54] Honestly, this kind of gets at the way that I structure my podcast. So the CSK8 podcast, it alternates each week. One week it’s an interview. The next week it’s an unpacking scholarship episode. So, in those episodes, I take some scholarship and summarize it and say, “OK, here are potential implications for you in the K–12 space or the K–8 space.” And the reason why I do that is because there’s not enough dialog between higher education and K–12 practitioners. And I say that because a lot of K–12 practitioners, rather than reading the latest stuff that comes out on ACM or whatever, they’re going to other educators’ blogs and they’re looking for ideas there. Or going to Pinterest to find ideas there. Or going to CSTA or some kind of an organization, Computer Science Teachers Association, to find ideas.

And a lot of those ideas work well in the context that they were originally applied. Like, so, a classroom teacher sharing their blog posts, “Hey, here’s this thing that I learned, and you should try it in your class.” It worked really well for those students and those students only. But when you apply it in your classroom, you’re gonna have to make some modifications. Now, that being said, a lot of the educators that I talked to, they’re like, “Well, I’m just kind of guessing and I’m going off of what other educators are doing. But I don’t really know what the research says or suggests in terms of what I should do in the classroom or what works really well in the classroom.” So for me, the biggest thing is: Why isn’t there enough dialog between the two different sections? So, like, if I’m at SIGCSE, there are a lot more researchers there than there are K–12 practitioners. But there are more K–12 practitioners there than there are at music education conferences that I go to that are research heavy. And, when I go to practitioner conferences, why are there not enough researchers there actually sharing, here are implications of what you can do based on the research that I’ve done in your classroom? 

Kristin [17:46] I feel like this partially gets at how researchers are incentivized to do certain things and how K–12 is is amazing in the sense that you go through a lot of professional development to learn how to do certain things. But, obviously, no one is going to pause and also teach them how to read an academic paper, which, let’s face it, academic papers are written for a very specific audience without necessarily a lot of regard to trying to bridge the gap to those who have not learned how to read such papers. And a bunch of other things that are frustrating, I think. 

Jared [18:25] Yeah. I mean, a lot of tenure review committees that I’ve heard of it’s about your H-index. How your paper or presentation is getting out there to other researchers, not necessarily the impact you’re having on education as a whole or in the K–12 space. And because of that disconnect and basically not counting towards tenure, like, why are professors motivated to do that? Or incentivized? 

Kristin [18:49] Though this in some ways does sound like more something that computer science education researchers would want to work on, as well as might be more incentivized to work on just because, for us, a large portion of people are probably still in some kind of tenure track research position. But some of us are also more like me, which, as a Professor of the Practice, my focus is on teaching, but there are expectations of scholarly work. But that definition, kind of—how I define scholarly work—kind of depends on how I want to define it here at Duke. So maybe maybe what needs to be out there is more examples of how to go about doing it that is not just Mark Guzdial’s blog… and that’s the only example I can think of right now. 

Jared [19:46] It’s a good blog. 

Kristin [19:48] It’s a very good blog. But if more CS Ed researchers, could figure out more ways of conveying their research to non-academics—if more of us could do that—I think that would be great. And I think, one reason why it’s difficult right now is the primary example we have is blogging. But there’s actually many ways to do science communication and figuring out your preferred way takes time and effort. And for me, at least like I’ve always been interested in science communication. I watch a lot of science YouTube for fun. So, like, I’m always intrigued by this. And so this podcast is kind of my experiment to find out: Is this one way that I could contribute? And if I find enough funding, maybe I will also steal your idea of talking about literature every other podcast. 

Jared [20:36] Yeah, I don’t know how it is in CS Education or at Duke. But like a lot of the music education professors that I know that are like R1’s [universities that engage in the highest levels of research activity], if they published something in a practitioner journal, it basically doesn’t count towards their tenure. What counts towards their tenure is publishing in a more, quote, “prestigious” research journal that practitioners don’t actually read. So there’s still that disconnect. And then there’s still that distinct disconnect at conferences where it’s like, well, the researchers go to these conferences or sessions and the practitioners go to these conferences or sessions. And, like, there needs to be both. 

Kristin [21:15] Yeah. I think probably also there’s a bit of experts’ fallacy happening in the situation too where the researchers are like, “I can read this paper, therefore, anyone can read this paper.” And you’re like, “No, you’re forgetting something, education expert, that I’m sure you will remember if I remind you that there is such a thing as experts’ fallacy and therefore a non-academic cannot read your paper and does not necessarily understand what is going on.”

Jared [21:44] Yeah. And if we, like, dive a little bit into, like, curriculum nerdom. So there’s different types of curriculum. So there’s the intended curriculum: this is what I designed and what I want students to know when they walk away from this curriculum. There’s a taught curriculum, which sometimes includes supplemental things, like the professor going, “Well, I’m going to teach this thing differently than what’s intended here.” There’s the experienced curriculum by the students in terms of, “Well, these are the things that I went through if I was there or not there. And the things that I learned outside of it.” Then the embodied is, “Okay, here’s what I actually learned and like walked away from it. It might not be that I understand conditionals better or variables better. It might be, “Well, I understand that I didn’t like this professor, because they taught this way or because they did X, Y and Z, et cetera.’” Then there’s also like the hidden curriculum, which is like the little subtle things that aren’t overtly stated. Like one of the things that’s often said in elementary school is you learn how to follow rules and follow directions. And so that’s like with following straight lines, walking to and from, being quiet in certain areas, and not in others. Like how to use your voice and your body in different locations and different times of day. Like the way you are on the recess is different than the way you are in the library, etc. And there’s also like, “Well, what is actually tested?” So we might have this like, awesome intended curriculum, but when you look at what’s tested like, most of the stuff that you find important doesn’t matter because it’s not tested. And then, like, you go out even further, there is the null curriculum, which is, “OK, you taught this class. But what was left out of it? So you taught computer science. But did you actually at all talk about data or networking or coding or whatever.” Like, depending on what area you focus on, you’re gonna have to leave out stuff. So there’s like all these different layers of curricula that you have to look at. And that’s just like dipping your toes into curriculum nerdom. 

Kristin [23:32] I’m having a moment of like, “This makes me feel like I should just like, throw in the towel now. Like, it’s too much effort! It’s too hard! Let’s just not try.” And then another part of you is like, “But, but, it’s important! We have to do it.” And then you figure out, “OK, what is the one thing that I can do now.” Which feels like a very nice segue to what I’m planning to ask all of my seasons’ guests. What suggestions do you have for something we can do right now? Accomplish in a year? And try to accomplish in five years? 

Jared [24:04] Yeah, the biggest recommendation that I generally give to any researchers or practitioners is read outside of the field. And you will start to learn all sorts of new things that you can bring into your understanding. Like I mentioned before and in some of the podcasts on my podcast, rhizomatic learning is from philosophers and they were looking at root structures and whatnot. And so, like looking at herbs and like ginger roots and things like that has informed education. I took a sports psychology class that informed my approach to expertise and skill acquisition and whatnot. I’ve taken classes on discourse analysis and video games and learning, and so like looking at video games and how people learn how to play the game informs the way that you can design curriculum or design educational experiences like a class, etc. Or if you look at sociology, you can look at some of the power structures that influence education and learning, which is really important considering all the discussions that have been going on with Black Lives Matter and things like that. Like you can look at that through a sociology lens and apply that into your classroom setting. So the biggest recommendation that I can give for right now is read outside of the field.

In terms of a year from now, what I generally recommend is just take these new ideas and experiment with them. Even if you, like, say to the students that you’re working with. Hey, I’m going to try this thing. I don’t know how it’s going to go, but just bear with me and give me some feedback afterwards. It might go really well or it might just completely bomb and we can laugh it off and try something different the following week.

In terms of five years from now, just know that this is a process. And as you continue to experiment each week or each class with new ideas. Eventually, when you get to year five, you’re going to have this new bag of tools and tricks that have been tested in different environments. And you can apply them in different settings and be like, “Oh, well, this particular class in CS1 is just really not understanding this, but a classroom three years ago when I tried this one thing, it worked really well. So I’m gonna try it again here and maybe modify as needed.”

So that’s kind of my general recommendation. Read outside of the field, start applying it today, and eventually know that you will have a set of tools that you can use because you’ve been reading outside of the field and experimenting with your pedagogy. 

Kristin [26:18] Do you have any particular recommendations on what people should read? 

Jared [26:22] It depends. So, like I personally have an interest with, like, neuroscience and sports psychology and like video games and learning. So I’d recommend just kind of starting with your interests and then going from there. I could certainly give other recommendations. So, for example, Kristin, you’re interested in like large classroom settings and whatnot. So there’s a media studies scholar named Henry Jenkins, who I believe was and possibly still is at UCLA. And his classes, he experimented in those large lectures like how can I make it so that it’s more individualized and dialogical and had like open book and collaborative tests and things like that. And this is a media study scholar who’s talking about this sort of thing. So just trying to find people who have similar interests but who are trying to apply it in a different context might be a good place to start. So for your interest in large classroom settings, you can look at that topic and try and find, “Well, what are history professors doing? What are political science professors doing? How could this potentially apply into my classrooms?” 

Kristin [27:25] Well, that sounds like another interesting recommendation might be to find someone that has a similar context to you or also have a similar interest in some way and ask them what you should be reading, because, like, I’ve actually never heard of this person before. And I’m definitely going to look him up later. 

Jared [27:42] Yeah, and like so even outside of that, you could also look in like K–12 spaces. So, going with the idea of large classrooms and with my background of music education. What are the band directors doing? So, like, I’ve worked in bands with over 100 students in them: How do you facilitate those learning experiences to have high quality performances come out of that? And so there are ways that you can work with 150 kids to achieve great things as a group. And what are some of the potential things that you could learn from, like, marching band directors that you could apply in your context? 

Kristin [28:15] What can I learn from a marching director? As someone who’s been one. Do you have a sound bite for me? 

Jared [28:21] Yeah, I mean, marching band directors typically have several staff members who are essentially like the TAs. You have students who are teaching each other, who you could also do in your class. And you have things broken down in different sections: you have, like woodwinds, brass, percussion, guard, et cetera. And within that, you have subsections. So, like, in the woodwinds, you have clarinets doing their own thing, saxophones are doing their own thing. So these could all be small groups in your class and you could assign group leaders who are supposed to teach something and the TA is kind of, like, oversee what they’re all working on. And so you could break out into small groups, say, “Here’s your goal, we’re all going to work on this particular concept and spend some time doing that.” And then that allows TAs and yourself to kind of like facilitate in smaller group settings. And then you pull back as a group and go, “OK, now let’s see where we’re at.” Like you mentioned on my podcast with like, “Let’s do a poll.” If people are not doing well on this particular concept, you then break down into the sections. Then you do a poll again afterwards and see, “OK, did we learn from these small group instructions?” That is very similar to what a lot of marching band directors do in terms of how they work in small groups in a full group setting. 

Kristin [29:29] Do you identify specific students to lead those groups? 

Jared [29:32] Yeah, and I have had some of those rotate. So we would have like each week who that identified student would rotate. And the reason for that is because I have found that I have learned and students have learned really well when they have to teach a concept. And so if it’s not just one student teaching it over and over, and every student’s having to do that, then they have to take some ownership of the understanding. Otherwise, they’re going to fail themselves and the group that they’re working with. 

Kristin [29:58] OK. I like that idea. Like, one thing I was wondering is, like, how do you identify who is this the student lead? But you basically turned it around and said, I’m not gonna identify one. We’re just going to rotate. Cool. I like that. All right. So as we close out. Let’s close with TL;DL, too long didn’t listen. What would you say is the most important thing you’d want our listeners to get out of our conversation? 

Jared [30:23] We technically had like two main areas. In general, I think the TL;DL would be that whether you’re a K–12 practitioner, researcher, higher-ed educator, whatever we can learn from each other, and not just in the field of computer science education, but outside of it. And while we’re learning outside of these fields, we need to find ways to better communicate that to each other. So we need to have practitioners and scholars collaborating with each other. So one way that a lot of people are doing that nowadays is through RPPs, so research practitioner partnerships. And that is one great way to do that. But we can do it outside of funded grants and just simply have spaces and conferences where practitioners learn from researchers, researchers learn from practitioners, et cetera. 

Kristin [31:20] So with that, I’m going to close out, thank you so much for joining us, Jared.

Jared [31:22] Thank you for having me. And I appreciate you coming on my podcast as well. 

Kristin [31:25] This was the CS-Ed Podcast hosted by me, Kristin Stephens-Martinez at Duke University, and produced by Amarachi Anakaraonye. And, remember, teaching computer science is more than just knowing computer science. And I hope you found something useful for your teaching today.

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