Support for Advanced Content-Area Reading
Wait, What? Reading in a CS Class?
One thing that makes CSP unusual for a computer science course is the amount of reading that will necessarily be involved, especially where Global Impact is concerned. Many teachers use the book Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion (B2B) as a “textbook” for the Global Impact aspect of CSP, along with articles and commentary from the news media — none of which are aimed at high schoolers!
“Neither Blown to Bits nor articles from the news media are aimed at high schoolers.”
Reading Strategies Protocols for Blown to Bits (and Other Advanced Content)
Mobile CSP has created a series of videos about applying these strategies in CSP:
“Reading strategies encourage students to actively engage with the text.”
One way to help students get the most out of these often-challenging sources is to incorporate specialized content-area reading strategies. Some of these strategies are used before the reading, some during, and some after, but all focus on encouraging students to actively engage with the text.
Either through small-group discussion or writing/note-taking protocols, they provide students with a structure for articulating their questions about the content, recognizing and following up on points they find confusing, and identifying important take-aways.
These videos use Blown to Bits as the primary example, but the protocols can also be helpful when asking students to read, e.g., long commentary pieces or articles aimed at a CS-knowledgeable audience.
Templates for the written strategies can be found at:
Again, the templates can also be used with non-B2B content.
“Blown to Bits protocols can also be helpful for long commentary pieces or articles aimed at a CS-knowledgeable audience.”
Other Reading Resources for Blown to Bits
- Blown to Bits Vocabulary from Mobile CSP
- Blown to Bits in a Google Doc (rather than PDF) — this makes the text compatible with accessibility and markup tools like the Read&Write Chrome extension and the Actively Learn platform
Other contributing contributing curricula for Teach Global Impact have also developed strategies to help students cope with having to do a bunch of reading in a CS class. For example, if you’re following the sequence in the BJC or the UTeach CSP courseware, you’ll find that articles and (in BJC) B2B chapters are broken up with introductory text aimed at a high-school level, along with videos and other learning activities. UTeach CSP eschews Blown to Bits almost entirely, instead covering the content in age-level targeted primers written specifically for CSP.
Teach Global Impact content is licensed by the
International Computer Science Institute under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License.