CSforAZ at the 11th Annual CIO/CTO Forum

The 11th Annual CIO/CTO Forum was held on October 4 at the Black Canyon Conference Center. Presented by the Arizona Technology in Education Association, the Center for Digital Education, and Converge, it is a unique event designed to specifically address the unique interests and needs of Arizona’s educational IT community.

The forum kicked off with CSforAZ (csforaz.org) member and AZTEA past president, Jon Castelhano, articulating CSforAZ’s work over the past year and announcing the opening of a landscape of CS survey that was found on CSforAZ’s website through October 13.

The keynote on how Information and technology shape human experiences was presented by “tech humanist” Kate O’Neill. She reminded us that at the center of online and offline, digital and physical is humanity and the human experience. As such, it is critical that we create, encode, and innovate with the best of humanity.

Sessions included highlights of technology integration and computer science throughout the state:

  • Protein folding using distributed computing while integrating positive digital citizenship
  • Integrating blended learning into high school math classrooms
  • District-wide technology refresh efforts
  • Internet of things projects
  • How to implement strategies to maintain digital security

CSforAZ held a session that was well-attended by district representatives from throughout the state. Jon Castelhano, Brian Nelson, and Janice Mak presented CSforAZ’s vision, mission, goals and current work as well as highlights to date. Resources for districts to bring computer science in an inclusive, rigorous, and sustainable way were shared. An inspiring case-study of a large public school district began with their CIO examining the landscape of CS in their 40 schools. From there, course synopses for AP CSPrinciples, game-design, and community-integrated, project-based computer science projects were shared.  With representatives from throughout the state represented in the room, we are inspired by the sense of community and common goal of making computer science in Arizona inclusive and sustainable.

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