Shifting mindsets around technology use in schools can be a barrier to thoughtful implementation of computer science in schools. In this week’s episode of Let’s Talk Computer Science, we talk with Digital Learning Coach Jed Stefanowicz about the challenges of supporting teachers with both technology help and pedagogical help. It’s not about the product, it’s about the practice.
Empowering Students through Computer Science and Digital Literacy: A Conversation with Dr. Cathy Collins
Welcome to an engaging discussion with Dr. Cathy Collins, a highly esteemed educator and library media specialist from the Boston Area Sharon Public Schools. In this blog post, we will dive deep into Dr. Collins’ insightful experiences and expertise in the field of education. Join us as we explore her recent participation in the ASCD conference, her perspectives on artificial intelligence (AI) and digital literacy, and her commitment to achieving equity in computer science education.
Exploring the ASCD Conference
At the recent ASCD conference in Denver, Dr. Kathy Collins had the opportunity to immerse herself in a vibrant educational environment. The conference served as a platform for educators and technology enthusiasts to come together and exchange ideas on the future of education. Dr. Collins was particularly moved by the keynote presentations, with one speaker, Dr. Michelle Borba, standing out. Dr. Borba’s talk on teaching resilience resonated deeply with Dr. Collins, prompting her to initiate a community book club focused on Dr. Borba’s book “Thrivers.” This inspiring experience further solidified Dr. Collins’ commitment to supporting students’ mental health and well-being.
Artificial Intelligence and Digital Literacy
Dr. Collins brings a unique perspective on the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital literacy into education. She believes that AI, particularly generative AI models like chat GPT, has the potential to enhance learning and foster creativity among students. However, she emphasizes the importance of media literacy skills to accompany AI integration. Students must develop critical thinking abilities to evaluate the information generated by AI models, understand their limitations, and recognize potential biases. Dr. Collins advocates for responsible engagement with AI and the nurturing of media literacy skills to empower students as informed consumers and creators of information.
Promoting Equity in Computer Science Education
Equity in computer science education is a vital concern for Dr. Collins. She passionately advocates for leveling the playing field, ensuring that all students, regardless of background or gender, have equal access to computer science and digital literacy courses. As a library media specialist, Dr. Collins incorporates coding and digital literacy into her curriculum through project-based learning. By providing inclusive and empowering learning experiences, she aims to inspire students’ creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking skills. Dr. Collins believes that computer science education has the power to transform students’ lives and create a more equitable society.
Dr. Collins’ Journey: From Journalism to Educational Technology
Dr. Collins’ journey into educational technology began during an internship at an elementary school, where she witnessed the production of a captivating morning news show by students. This experience sparked her passion for educational technology and media literacy. Leveraging her background in journalism, Dr. Collins embraced her role as a dedicated library media specialist, equipping students with the skills needed to navigate the complex landscape of information and misinformation. Through teaching media literacy, she empowers students to critically evaluate information sources, distinguish fact from fiction, and become responsible digital citizens.
Connecting with Dr. Cathy Collins
If you’re interested in connecting with Dr. Cathy Collins, you can find her on Twitter (@DrKathyCollins) and LinkedIn. She actively participates in the k12leaders platform, an online community for educational leaders, where she shares her insights and engages in meaningful discussions. Additionally, Dr. Collins is currently working on an exciting book titled “Empowering Students through News Literacy.” This forthcoming book aims to provide practical strategies and resources to help students navigate the ever-evolving information landscape effectively.
In conclusion, Dr. Cathy Collins’ commitment to empowering students through computer science and digital literacy is commendable. Through her experiences at the ASCD conference, her insights on AI and digital literacy, and her dedication to equity in education, Dr. Collins exemplifies the transformative power of education. Let’s join hands with educators like Dr. Collins and work towards creating an inclusive and empowering educational environment where all students can thrive. Together, we can inspire the next generation of learners to embrace the opportunities offered by computer science and digital literacy.