What is MyCS?

MyCS, or middle-years computer science, is a true CS curriculum. Middle-years means that the course is designed for middle-school, early high-school, and late elementary-school students.

The curriculum has been piloted in the Pomona, CA and Kaua'i, HI school districts, with over two dozen classes and over 4000 students earning elective credit as of fall '15.

As of 2015-6 our partnerships now include five other Southern California regional school districts and Hawaii. Pilots are also being run in the San Fransisco and Phildelphia School Districts in 2015.

Who is MyCS?

Teachers are the most important facet of our program:

  • MyCS provides computer science content.
  • The most crucial facets of student experience - the pedagogy, class organization, and personal interaction - are, as always, designed and fostered by MyCS's teachers.
  • MyCS Online enables any teacher in any school to offer a CS course to their students. We plan to deploy MyCS Online in Fall 2014.

CS for all students... and their teachers

The online lecture is dead.         - Clarissa Shen, Udacity

In 2014 we opened our online version of the MyCS course. Like typical massive, open, online courses (MOOCs), we intend it to be possible for self-directed learners to use the materials on their own. In 2015, we added a six-week (instead of 18-week) EdX version. Both are linked from the Curriculum tab.

However, self-study is a side-effect, not the MyCS design goal. MyCS online is designed for middle- and high-school teachers who want to offer MyCS as a class for their students. Because CS is a new field, teachers may not feel confident with all of MyCS's material -- MyCS Online provides a "content backstop" so that teachers can offer a full computer science course, organize and assemble topics and activities, structure classroom time and guide personal interactions -- in short, the foundations of all teaching -- while using the MyCS Online materials as a motivation, introduction, and scaffold for the class.

MyCS Online's lessons

Each MyCS Online lesson provides several short videos (30-90 seconds or so) that

  1. motivate the lesson's topic
  2. introduce the knowledge, skills, and practice exercises underpinning the lesson
  3. scaffold the hands-on activities for the lesson
  4. revisit details and recapitulate big ideas

They may be used as-is, in which case they provide a full-semester (18 week) computer science course.

They may be adapted/interwoven with existing courses that have related topics, e.g., tech electives, office-suite applications, business skills, etc. Note: we hope that adding MyCS to those classes will help them bridge important application-specific skills with the skillset and mindset that comes with composing computing oneself!