January 2021: I have not found a champion for CS in SBISD leadership, so I am going to have to look to my grandchildren to be the change agents. Looking for angels and princesses, which I find in WHChamps. Gaga was singing today for our new President to bring peace. I dream of going back to the White House. We did not have our moment in time. We trekked through the snow to get there. My 8th grade grandson was going with me, alas the flights were cancelled. The media events were cancelled. Please bring us CS WH Champs back so we can bring CS to All. So I can bring my four grandchildren. And Gage now in 11th grade can have his moment in time.
I am just one of 1300 Champions of Change –
Inspiration – ‘Together is Better”
Thanks to Steve Jacobs for creating an interactive map.
Imagine 40 jets of water pulsating against your aching back,
tired from one homework assignment after another …
Teacher GAGA needs A SONG!
I am not alone, I am just way ahead.
You can either get on the bandwagon or stay on your stage coach.
We all need a Champion – Real World Relevance
What an honor!!! Thank you Karen Justl, SBISD Interim Director of Educational Technology, for nominating me. This is what she said:
Karen works tirelessly to advance computer science education across the state of Texas and beyond. She advocates in public and political forums, is a member of ISTE’s CS network, conducts code.org workshops regularly, and will assist districts and private schools in any way to move computational thinking and CS forward in our schools. Karen has helped me network with various organizations and people across the state/nation and encourages me often to expand computer science initiatives across Spring Branch and the Houston area. It is because of her dedication and drive that Spring Branch ISD now supports Hour of Code at each of our K-12 campuses, annually hosts the AAUW Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics Conference for middle school girls, hosts summer Code Camps for students grades 4-8 and has doubled the CS courses available for our students in our high schools. (And, we are just getting started!) I can’t say enough to truly represent the positive impact that Karen North makes in computer science education around the world.
Below is the bio that I submitted. But with limited words I could not name all those who are my Champions, so over the next year will challenge myself to add my motivators. And if your name is not here, please write me. As I have learned the older I get, the more I forget. And that is why I need buddies!
Karen North is a retired computer science and math teacher, Code.org affiliate, Code Buddy for Spring Branch ISD, and advocate for equitable access to computer science education in public and political forums as a volunteer with the American Association of University Women (AAUW-WHC), National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) Computing Teachers Network, Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Technology Application/Computer Science SIG, Texas Alliance for Computer Science Education (TACSE) and Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). Karen has been a change agent for computer science education since 1985. She served on both the 2000 and 2011 committees that wrote the computer science standards for Texas, successfully fought to keep computer science certification for teachers and has played an integral part in increasing programming and computational thinking in the K-8 Texas math standards. Karen is passionate about advancing Computer Science Education across the state and beyond to help all students succeed. She continues to assist districts and private schools successfully move computational thinking and coding forward in schools.
I am supposed to tell my personal story for the White House blog in only 200 words. That story can be found on my many websites (a scavenger hunt of links) that I started in 1985. I am supposed to share my efforts, so going to list things here that I wanted to add, but like time in schools, no room when limited by the rule of 200.
- Best thing I ever did was to take the time to post my ideas and lessons online. Best filing cabinet in the world! It is easy, one day at a time, one sentence, one step. And one has the freedom to say whatever they want.
- Have to collaborate to make things better, and my friends in AAUW make that easy and possible.
- I rarely said no when asked to do something to enhance education, and rarely took no for an answer when it did not make sense.
My blog post submitted to the white house:
What an honor to be selected as a Champion of Change. I thank all those who have been part of my adventure, as they are my champions. I started teaching in 1985 and enhanced my math lessons by coding with Logo and BASIC on an Apple IIE and TI calculator. I experienced how coding helped students build problem-solving skills. That started my journey advocating in public and political forums for increased educational opportunities. I testified before the Texas State Board of Education, and was on the committees that wrote the Texas computer science standards in 2000 and 2011. In 2013, there were not any computer science courses offered in Spring Branch ISD. Now all but one high school teaches CS.
My main goal is to continue to open up the world of computational thinking for every student in Spring Branch ISD through code.org workshops, Hour of Code events, Code Camps, training Code Buddies, and the West Harris County Branch AAUW Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics Conference for middle school girls. As an organizer with the Houston NCWIT Aspirations in Computing, I aspire to motivate more girls to study computer science. I believe a key to success for every student is to help others become advocates and champions for CS education.
From Young to Old, we all like to Code.
Karen North is a retired educator, code.org affiliate, and a volunteer with the American Association of University Women (AAUW-WHC), National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), International Society for Technology education Computing Teachers Network (ISTE CTN), Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA), Texas Alliance for Computer Science Education (TACSE), and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).