New Course Create - looking for ideas on a Computer lab/equipment


#1

I am looking for information on creation/refresh of my computer lab to incorporate the AP Computer Science Principles class for the SY1920.

Does anyone have some estimated costing for technology needed?

Just wondering as I’m looking to get information gathered to present this to our board.

Thanks,
Erik Brillon
Florida Union Free School District
Village of Florida, NY 10921
J/HS Technology Teacher


#2

I have Lenovo and Dell All-in-Ones in my room. The benefit is having a nice big screen for App Lab.


#3

Mr. Schmidt:
Thanks! Can you tell me what type(s) of software your lab has? I am a firm believer in having a computer lab (it will house no more than 10 computers) and different types of programs (e.g. programming languages, operating systems, etc.).

Thanks again!
Erik


#5

We run Windows 10 here. I don’t have anything special installed for AP CSP. After the exam we do play with Arduinos and little circuit board kits so I do have that software installed. Most of the extras here are for my Exploring Computer Science class.


#6

Cool! I’m just trying to get some hardware and software costs together for my presentation to the Board. My boss is all in favor so I have to ask for any monies NOW as opposed to later, as I’m sure you know how that works!

Thanks,
Erik


#7

You could also consider Raspberry Pi’s. For about $1,000 USD you can get 4 Raspberry Pi’s with touchscreens plus network equipment to connect them. Each additional Pi runs about $200.

The touchscreens are admittedly small, but for about $1500 you could go the PiTop route. In this scenario, each additional PiTop runs about $320.

More in depth numbers here.

A colleague of mine posted the following inexpensive setup he’s messing around with on the Windows side:
Byte3 PC $209.00 Byte3 on Amazon
MX500 M.2 SSD $74.99 MX500 on Amazon
Logitech K400 wireless keyboard $17.98 K400 Plus on Amazon

Windows will allow IT to manage the computers centrally, push organization rules and resources, etc. Pi’s are great for exploring Linux and hooking up other hardware peripherals (similar to Arduino).


#8

James,

That is GREAT information! Thanks for sharing and helping.

Erik


#9

Page 47 here talks about all the needs for the course: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1COu_fLJmAB4TAwvz1OC8G6mezYQ4T3Oift1pARKIs90/preview

The tech needs can be found here: https://code.org/educate/it


#10

Katie,
Many thanks for the link for resources - it really does feel good that I’m not alone in this endeavor.

I just want to ensure that I have all my information lined up to be presented well and that I can answer any questions that come my way.

One question - do you use code.org with other providers (e.g. CodeHS)? I was just wondering because I see some places use more than one.

Thanks again,
Erik


#11

@ebrillon

I have used codeHS or albert.io for AP test prep, but my first year it was 100% code.org. Now it is 80-90% only because I tend to move through the material a little faster so I add in some arduinos and Processing things at the end of the year along with a little more ethics/current events as issues arise in the news.

Each teacher will find what is right for them. I think when it is your first year, a single set of quality resources is just a good place to start. From there, you can tweak what you like and don’t like, but what drew me to code.org was how student-centered their lessons are. I found it to be a great base for my teaching style!

KT


#12

Kaitie,

Thanks again for the good resources. Any charge to use Code.org or Codehs? I’m just trying to do costing for my presentation.

Thanks again for the good info!
Erik


#13

Hi @ebrillon,

Code.org is totally free - teacher accounts, student accounts, all features, everything.

CodeHS is generally free but if you want more “premium” features, they charge. Here’s their pricing page - https://codehs.com/info/plans

Frank


#14

Frank,

Thanks! I figured as much as I got the phone call from CodeHS about pricing - though not terrible - it is NOT free :slight_smile:
Thanks again and enjoy the support I’m receiving on this site already!
Erik


#15

The full curriculum is not free but like @kaitie_obryan I used both codeHS and albert.io last year. I only used the free parts of codeHS but that really was enough for what I wanted to do with it. Our school subscribes to albert.io. I liked what codeHS had for test prep. I really think it helped my students.


#16

Hey,
Thanks! I am trying to get some information on fees that I’ll need to budget for during the process. I’ll reach out to Katie about costs. I am currently testing codeHS and I like even the free version!

Thanks,
Erik


#17

Kaitie,

Do you happen to have any costing information on Code.org for me? I just am trying to budget it for SY1920.

Thanks!
Erik


#18

@ebrillon the curriculum is free itself! The only thing you would want to budget for really is teacher training. Each regional partner has their own model for how they are funding the training. You can watch for an update here with your regional partner contact information soon!

Also, I should mention, you don’t NEED to be trained to use the curriculum, but it is really nice to have! :wink:


#19

I’ve been flying blind without the Code.org training (but I did receive AP CSP training). My past work experience and knowledge keeps it going but rough around the edges at times.

If you or your org can afford it, def get the training!


#20

@kaitie_obryan Thanks! I’m looking to budget for some training also, so that is helpful information. I have to train with AP (something I’m not sure about) also, so I’m trying to see how I can get both over the summer (fingers crossed!).

Thanks again!
Erik


#21

@ebrillon I hear you, you can also contact support@code.org and ask for who your regional partner is for your area. It looks like there are two for NY but support@code.org could tell you which one serves your area and how to contact them. Your regional partner could tell you about costs.

ALSO, just a heads up that the code.org workshop and PD program for CSP is endorsed by the college board. To do this, code needed to show that they cover the same material as an AP SI workshop (and, in code.org’s case MORE material than what is covered in an SI).

I lead code workshops and have had participants who went to an AP SI already and they found the summer workshops with code still helpful, but found some parts of the summer workshop less novel only because they had just covered that same material at an SI. If you want to do both, go for it! But summer is precious time so if you only had time for one, that would be OK too. I know some schools/districts have “requirements” that AP teachers go to an SI to teach an AP course but in the past participants have explained the differences/similarities of the SI vs. the code PD and have gotten around that requirement since the code PD meets the same criteria as an SI.

Hope that helps!
KT