Studying Teachers' Opinions about the Use of PixelSpreadsheet to Teach Computing Literacy
Corbett, Tamara A.
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Many factors play into the reasons why there is such a mass underrepresentation of minority students in the computer science field in middle and high schools, such as course offerings, student-teacher ratios, and student-teacher expectations. The focus of this study, however, is improving the computing literacy of the teachers. Students need confident and qualified instructors to teach them computing concepts, for the skills that they learn will benefit them in any field they choose to study. In order to pass knowledge onto students, we will need to educate instructors first and foremost. This study looks at how scaffolding can play a role in helping a participant to construct new knowledge structures and improve on existing structures. Scaffolding provides prompts to assist users with technology to provide clearer instructions for the tasks they set out to complete. In this particular study, scaffolding takes the form of the three tutorial videos that the participant will view in order to perform the tasks provided. We use two methods of scaffolding. The first is “black-box,” which leaves users heavily dependent on the scaffold. The participants would later become less dependent on the videos (therefore allowing the scaffolding to fade away) and the new prompts for tasks will become the second method of “glass-box” scaffolding; scaffolding that allows the participant to construct new knowledge structures and improve on existing structures. The knowledge the participant gained from the videos affects how they will perform in future tasks. Transforming the scaffolding videos from black-box to glass-box, and allowing the glass box to fade is the main goal of the study.