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Navigating & Selecting Tools for Distance Education

Presented at the 2021 Computer Science Teachers' Association Annual Conference

Schools all across the nation were thrown unexpectedly into distance learning, often with little time to plan. As we settle into our “new normal” in K12 education, we have a unique opportunity to leverage a new suite of tools to reach students. However, with an often overwhelming abundance of research on best practices and other instructional and curricular resources available for teachers online, it can be challenging to find the right tools for your classroom – and even more difficult to find ones that can be used in equitable, inclusive classroom practices that promote self-efficacy, empowerment, and retention in computer science. In this poster presentation, we explore ways of locating research-backed instructional best-practices and how they can be incorporated to remote instruction. Further, we discuss the importance of further tailoring and refining online resources to cater to the needs of student populations that vary across race, socioeconomic status, academic performance, and experience with computer science.

This poster will include some curated resources that have been tested and vetted through the Computer Science Teaching & Learning Collaboratory, a research-practice partnership between Rutgers University’s Center for Effective School Practices (CESP), Computer Science Department, and 15 diverse school districts across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This includes the use of tools like Coding Bat or Project Euler for differentiation, utilizing resources like PearDeck or Runestone Academy to take advantage of benefits of a virtual classroom, and more!

Margaret Incantalupo, a computer science teacher from Sparta, New Jersey will be joining the CESP Team for this poster presentation to discuss resources she has used to make computer science education relatable, rigorous, and successful via distance learning.

CSTA_2021_Presentation_Navigating and Selecting Tools_FINAL
Download PDF • 2.47MB

Key Takeaways:

  • There are strategies to sift through online resources and tools to select ones that work best for your classroom.

  • Online resources can be further refined and tailored to meet the individual needs of your diverse student populations.

  • Distance learning presents a unique opportunity to find ways to reach all learners in new and exciting ways!

Suggested Citation

Blitz, C., Allen, V., Amiel, D., & Incantalupo, M. (2021). Navigating and selecting tools for distance education. Rutgers University.


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