This month, ECEP co-hosted CSEdCon, a 500-person event in which participants explored K-12 computer science pathways, developed implementation plans for their district or region, learned about CS curriculum offerings, and worked together towards advancing state-level policies. The event, spearheaded by Code.org and in partnership with ECEP and CSTA, was held on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 through Friday, September 13, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Wednesday kicked off with our annual ECEP Alliance Convening. Over 100 ECEP state team members attended sessions specifically related to state-level policy building. The convening goals were threefold. The first goal was to affirm the importance of data collection, research, and measurement as tools for state and national broadening participation in computing (BPC) advocacy; the second goal was to identify and refine goals and action plans for statewide CS education BPC strategies to overcome state-level barriers and utilize resources; and the third goal was to identify and describe supports needed from and contributions to the ECEP community to achieve collective BPC goals.
To achieve the goals, the agenda was ambitious, packing in more interactive sessions than any previous ECEP Alliance Convening. Building on prior years, ECEP teams were asked to develop a slide deck that captured current BPC goals, data showing evidence of progress, and a rank order of current tools and resources that could support their ongoing efforts.
Thursday and Friday sessions, led by ECEP, Code.org and CSTA leaders and collaborators consisted of workshops and panels. These sessions were designed to share knowledge and resources to advance computer science education in K-16. Additionally, one major highlight was the release of the 2019 State of Computer Science Report, which ECEP was a co-author on this year. This annual report tracks state-level policy changes related to computer science and sheds light on the current inequities in regard to access to computer science education.
Overall, it was a fantastic event and a pleasure to see so much of our hard work translate into a diverse, energized group of attendees all dedicating their time toward the goal of broadening participation in computing.