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C'est la Z

A new book on teaching CS in K12 - and I wrote a chapter!!

I was involved in a really exciting project a few months ago and now that it's available, it's time to tell everyone about it.

There's a new book on teaching CS in K12 - Computer Science in K12.

I got an email a few months ago from Shuchi Grover. Okay, actually a DM over twitter. I hadn't officially met Shuchi although I'm pretty sure we've been at the same table or group in a conference or two but I did know her from reputation. Shuchi was putting together a book on teaching CS in K12 and asked if I was interested in contributing a chapter. I was flattered and honored and since I've never written a chapter in a book I agreed.

The book's made up of 26 chapters with a who's who of authors including teachers, professors, researchers, and other CS Ed adjacent professionals. Check out the full cast of characters. It was cool to see many friends involved in the project. It should be a welcome addition since I don't think there's anything like in currently out.

I haven't read the full book - I'm anxiously awaiting my copy to arrive but with chapter titles ranging from concepts like "Data Structures" and "Repetition and Recursion" to techniques like "Questions and Inquiry" and "Guided Exploration Through Unplugged Activities" it should be a really valuable resource to teachers rather than just a book to use in a class and keep on the shelf.

I worked on the chapter on functions. Once again I was paired with my long time partner in crime JonAlf Dyrland-Weaver. Jens Monig, whom I hadn't known prior also worked on the chapter contributing the drag and drop material - something that neither JonAlf nor I felt particularly comfortable with doing ourselves.

One weird thing, though it makes sense, was that I never interacted with most of the other authors - just my chapter co-authors and Shuchi. Nothing wrong with it but given the number of friends working on the book and a chance to meet new friends it would have been great to have something like a meetup at SIGCSE had it happened. On the other hand, working with Shuchi was terrific. This not only gave me a chance to contribute to a book but it also got us together and now I look forward to future collaborations.

The other big take away for me was that writing the chapter was fun. I've been playing with the idea of writing a book on teaching CS but wasn't sure I'd enjoy the process. Now I think I might and I might get started in August when I think I'll finally have some project time. What do all of you think?

For now, check out Computer Science in K-12.

Just released on Amazon in Color and Black and White.

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