AP Computer Science Principles
On-Line for the 2019-2020 School Year
Teacher: Rebekah Lang
Course Description (Adapted from Code.org): Click here for an introductory video! The curriculum from Code.org is designed to prepare students for the AP CS Principles Exam and serve as a foundation for future studies in computer science. It is divided into 7 units: The Internet, Digital Information, Algorithms, Big Data and Privacy, Building Apps, and the Create and Explore Portfolio Tasks.
In this course, you will
- Build problem solving skills through the use of computational widgets such as the pixelation and text compression widgets
- Experience a blend of online, guided tutorials and open-ended, project-based learning
- Learn from a diverse cast of role models, from well-known tech celebrities to social innovators who are using CS to tackle society's problems
- Engage in constructing your own understanding of computer science concepts through inquiry-based instructional strategies
- Prepare for the AP® CS Principles exam, including built-in preparation for the performance tasks
You will be interacting with your classmates and the teacher primarily through Schoology.com, email, and “live” class sessions. The weekly "live" class sessions are encouraged, but also recorded for asynchronous viewing. You can attend the "live" sessions on Mondays from 10 - 11 am EST. If at least 20 students enroll in the course, as has happened the last 2 years, I will survey those enrolled for availability and offer a second "live" meeting time as well. During those small class sessions, I will review upcoming homework assignments, teach key concepts, encourage student presentations and chat, and utilize adapted cooperative learning strategies to engage all students in the class and build a community of learners. On Schoology, you will participate in discussions, submit projects, post resources, upload homework, and complete assessments. We will also have some partner coding and group projects activities during the year.
Who Should Apply: Anyone interested in computer science, technological innovations, creative problem solving, logical thinking, and learning! This course introduces high school students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world. All hard-working 9 - 12 grade students can succeed in this course, regardless of prior coding experience (or lack thereof!); however, students who have limited computer experience or who might not yet be ready for the challenges of an AP course, should consider Intro to Computer Science (ICS) instead. ICS is meant for students in grades 6-10 as a precursor to AP CSP or AP CSA. Students who are primarily interested in coding should consider AP CSA instead.
Prerequisites: The necessary prerequisites for this AP Computer Science Principles course include completion of Algebra I (with a final grade of B or better) and experience in problem solving. Prospective students should be ready to commit 10 hours working alone on the computer each week. Students in 8th - 10th grade with no CS background, while permitted in this course, might find Intro to Computer Science more accessible. **Note: College Board is requiring students to commit to AP Exams in the fall this year--so you should consider that when selecting AP courses...**
Application. Students should click on the link to complete the application. I will review applications semi-weekly and reply with directions for your next step! (If you're eligible for my course, I'll refer you to PA Homeschoolers for payment, add you to my class list, and, in August, email you directions for our "live" meetings and Schoology setup.)
- We will be using material available free from Code.org and other online sources.
- We will be reading chapters from Blown to Bits (available free online).
- Test Prep Optional Recommended Text: Crash Course AP Computer Science Principles (I'll have other online and print resources to recommend closer to the Exam date as well)
- Computer with audio and high-speed internet access
- A Gmail account
- A headset is recommended (but optional) for the live chats.
Course Fee: Early Bird Fee $675 (good before July 1, 2019). Applicants utilizing a staggered payment plan are not eligible for the Early Bird discount. Regular Tuition Fee $750 (July 1, 2019 or later). Audit: $350.
Course Dates: Monday, September 9 through Friday, May 15 (ending on the date of the 2020 AP CS Principles Exam). Students have off November 25 - 29 for Thanksgiving break, December 23 - January 3 for winter break, and April 10 - 17 for spring break. The majority of the classwork is assigned and due weekly, so students can schedule around other holidays or required days off.
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