Mobile CSP Change Log (2017-18 Edition)

This table summarizes the changes made to Mobile CSP lessons for the 2017-18 edition of the course. Many of the changes were the result of feedback received from teachers and master teachers. (Changes to earlier editions of the course are after this table.)

Lesson

Date

Description of Change

Explanation

Generic Changes Made to all Lessons and Lesson Plans

6/15/2017

Solutions - Solution videos have been removed from the lessons themselves and moved to Unit 10 Additional Resources on the student-facing site.

The Mobile CSP team feels that some students may need to refer to solutions as part of their learning experience.  Also, these “solutions” are only videos describing how to code the solution, not the source code itself.  For all such lessons, students are still required to post a screenshot and discuss their solution in the Reflection.

6/15/2017

Pseudocode - All pseudocode has been revised to conform to the College Board’s style.

6/15/2017

Pseudocode tracing - Additional exercises emphasizing algorithm tracing.

These problems conform to questions students are likely to see on the AP exam.

6/15/2017

Loops - Additional loop algorithms have been added to the course.

2016-17 teachers requested more loops.

6/15/2017

Socially useful tutorials - Several lessons (Android Mash, Pong, Magic 8 Ball) have been replaced with ones that try to reinforce the course’s “socially useful app” theme.

The replaced lessons have been moved to Unit 9 - Beyond the AP Exam.

6/15/2017

Blown to Bits Lessons - All such lessons have been shorted and refocused and supplemented with links to current event suggestions.

Feedback from teachers suggested such changes.

Changes to Specific Lessons

1.3

6/15/2017

Google Account and Portfolio Setup - A 2017 edition of the Portfolio template has been created.

2.1

6/15/2017

Algorithm Basics - The sum-a-list algorithm example has been replaced with a robot-navigation algorithm and pseudocode exercises have been added.

Robot tracing should be more engaging and more accessible to students at this point in the course.

3.2, 3.3, 3.5

6/15/2017

Paint Pot Lessons -  Cut Paint Pot from 4 lessons to 3.

Teachers requested more and better pseudocode examples.  The material in the 4th Paint Pot lesson (TinyDB) is moved to 3.9, Map Tour.

3.8-3.9

6/15/2017

Map Tour Tutorial, Parts 1 and 2 - Replaces Magic 8 Ball lesson. Part 1 includes an introduction to Lists (formerly in Magic 8 Ball) and Part 2 introduces the Location Sensor, TinyDB and the use of Geocoding API.

Provides an accessible introduction to Lists and TinyDb (persistent storage) as well an accessible example of an app that uses location awareness.

4.2-4.3

6/15/2017

Lights Off Tutorial and Projects - Replaces Android Mash tutorial to promote a socially useful theme.

The theme was suggested by students of Ingrid Roche at Boston Latin Academy.

4.4

6/15/2017

Logo 1 - Added review of AP pseudocode control structures.

4.5

6/15/2017

Coin Flip Simulation - Incorporated instruction on coding the for-each-number loop instead of just providing it in 4.6.

Teachers requested more instruction about loops.

5.2

6/15/2017

Logo 2 - Added AP pseudocode for procedures with parameters.

5.5-5.6

6/15/2017

Caesar Cipher and Debugging - Replaces Pong tutorial and debugging.  Introduces functions (procedures that return a value) and local variables.

Provides another opportunity to use a loop in an app plus introduces important programming concepts -- local variables and functions.

6.2-6.3

6/15/2017

Quiz App and Projects - Revision of presidents quiz to focus on CS pioneers. Also added a search loop and AP pseudocode for Lists.

Teachers requested more emphasis on women in CS.

6.5-6.6

6/15/2017

Clicker App with TinyWebDB and Firebase - Replaces parts 3 and 4 of presidents quiz.  The first tutorial uses TinyWebDB and the second uses Firebase.  

These lessons cover the same concepts but in a simpler and more engaging fashion with more variety in apps.

7.2

7/15/2017

Internet Basics: updated activities

Reduce lecture and focus on engaging activities

7.3

7/15/2017

Broadcast Hub: being revised. No Texting while Driving app moved to Unit 9.

Currently being revised

7.4

7/15/2017

Internet Architecture and Packet Switching: updated activities to POGIL activities using ping/trace and a new unplugged simulated network packet routing activity.

Reduce lecture and focus on engaging activities

7.5

7/15/2017

IP Addresses and Domain Names: new lesson with a DNS simulator app.

Reduce lecture and focus on engaging activities

8.3-8.4

6/15/2017

AP Pseudocode and Exercises - Presents summary of AP pseudocode and some additional pseudocode tracing exercises.

Provides an opportunity for students to practice before the AP exam.

Mobile CSP Change Log (2016-17 Edition)

This table summarizes the changes made to Mobile CSP lessons. Many of the changes were the result of feedback received from teachers at the focus group sessions that were held in May 2016.

Lesson

Date

Description of Change

Explanation

Generic Changes Made to all Lessons and Lesson Plans in Summer 2016

6.02

6.03

1/10/2017

Time Estimate Update - Tutorial updated to 45 mins and Projects updated to 90 mins.

The time estimates for these lessons were backwards. A tutorial in the Mobile CSP course generally takes one class period while creative programming projects take up to two class periods.

Exam 1

1/10/2017

Instructor Materials - The instructor page was updated with more suggestions on how teachers can review for the midterm/exam 1 with students.

Teachers from the Research Project had questions and ideas for how to prepare their students for the exam.

6.11

1/05/2017

Drills 6 - The set of drills for unit 6 were updated to include FireBase.

In summer 2016, Mobile CSP replaced TinyWebDB with Firebase for storing data and teaching about databases in the course.

All

1/05/2017

Portfolio Answer Key Website - The new portfolio site is now live and accessible by teachers.

Solutions were provided previously, but each unit had a separate Google doc. The portfolio answer key website makes it easier for us to maintain the solutions documents and for teachers to find what they are looking for.

All

8/1/2016

A Hoverable framework has been added to all lesson plans to provide details for CSP Principles big ideas (BIs) enduring understandings (EUs), learning objectives (LOs), essential knowledge (EKs), and computational thinking practices (Ps).  

Teachers can now hover over links in the lesson plan to drill down into the details of the CS Principles learning objectives.

All

8/1/2016

Time Estimates. All lessons have been standardized and rated as either 45, 90 or 135 minute time slots and time estimates have been added to both the teacher and student sites.

This should make it easier to plan schedules.

All

8/1/2016

Icons are included in all lessons and lesson plans for standard elements such as self-check quizzes, professional development.

Icons help identify standard parts of the lessons.

All

8/1/2016

Accordions. Expandable accordions are added to hide details for parts of the lesson plans, including assessment opportunities,  differentiation, background knowledge,

These will make it easier to drill down for additional details.

All

8/1/2016

Vocabulary lists of technical terms  have been added to the Self-Check sections all student lessons where they are appropriate.  Students can hover over the term to see the definition.

Should make it easier for students to look up or review technical terms.

Changes Made to Specific Lessons and Lesson Plans in Summer 2016

1.02

8/1/2016

Mazes, Algorithms and Programming.  Added a lesson plan. The lesson defines algorithm and introduces the concepts of sequence, selection, and repetition (or iteration).

Important for students to know definition of algorithm as early as possible.

1.07

Successful Learning in Mobile CSP.   A lesson plan was added.

2.03

8/1/2016

The Internet and the Cloud. Introduces some basic concepts about the Internet and the concept of cloud computing.  Students read and discuss the Wikipedia article on 10 Commandments of Computer Ethics.  Includes a POGIL activity to discuss browsers, online applications that students use and the difference between the Internet and WWW.

POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) is an effective collaborative learning technique.  We are introducing a less-formal version of POGIL than the more formal approach used by some other projects.

2.06

8/1/2016

Algorithm Basics. Moved from Unit 5.2.  This lesson now covers basic algorithm concepts, including sequence, selection (if/else), repetition (loops).   A POGIL activity asks students to write a simple arithmetic algorithm in pseudocode.

It’s important for students to learn basic concepts about algorithms early in the course.  

2.10

8/1/2016

Hardware Abstractions: Logic Gates. Incorporates a POGIL activity that uses the Logicly app to study logic gates.

Emphasizes  collaborative learning and reduces dependence on lecture only.

3.02

8/1/2016

Paint Pot Tutorial.  The revised tutorial covers what was previously covered in two separate tutorials.

The two tutorials can easily be covered in a single class period.

3.04

8/1/2016

Paint Pot Projects.  The revised lesson covers what was previously covered in two separate lessons.

Goes hand-in-hand with the corresponding tutorial.

3.05

8/1/2016

Paint Pot Refactoring: Procedural Abstraction.  This is a new lesson.  It introduces the concepts of refactoring (rewriting code), procedural abstraction, and commenting.  A procedure is used to encapsulate an algorithm that is used 3 times in the app, thereby reducing complexity.  Also illustrates how to add comments to App Inventor blocks.

How to write procedures and when to do so are important topics and need to be introduced earlier than previously. Ditto for adding comments to code.

3.06

8/1/2016

Error Detection.  Incorporates a POGIL activity that asks students to work in teams to figure out how the trick works. Also incorporates a new interactive widget written by a Mobile CSP student.

Emphasis on collaborative learning.

3.08

8/1/2016

Magic 8 Ball.  Revised the projects to exclude Clock component and focus instead on using a ListPicker to implement a Settings menu to control the app’s sound (Speak, Sound, Silent).  This allows the exercises to include and if/else algorithm.

The Clock.Timer algorithm was too complicated.

More important to give students practice using if/else algorithm.  

3.09

8/1/2016

Persisting Photos Tutorial.  This is a new lesson. This tutorial plus the included projects shows how to save photos to TinyDb, a simple on-device database.   An if/else algorithm is needed to properly initialize the app when initially reading from the Db.   A second project uses a simple list to store multiple photos in the Db.

In feedback from teachers it was stated that many students want to use TinyDb in their Create Tasks.

3.11

8/1/2016

BB: The Digital Documents.  Incorporates a hands-on activity in which students use an image editor to hide their initials in a Bitmap (steganography).

Provides another opportunity to work with binary numbers and ASCII codes.

4.04

8/1/2016

Logo, I.  Moved from Unit 5.  It now incorporates simple counting loops, which were previously covered in Logo 2.  Revised the template to remove draw() procedure -- it was causing issues.  Remade the videos to reflect new template.

Feedback from teachers suggested earlier emphasis on algorithms and on loops.

4.06

8/1/2016

Coin Flip Experiment. Incorporated a  POGIL activity to conduct the experiment.  

Emphasis on collaborative learning.

4.09

8/1/2016

Read World Models. Incorporates a POGIL activity that focuses on exploring a predator/prey model.

In the previous lesson, the real-world models were not very accessible.  The predator/prey model lets students explore their own hypotheses.

4.10

8/1/2016

Abstraction: Inside the CPU.  This is a new lesson.  It uses a web app to simulate a 4-bit computer, with 16 bytes of RAM, a CPU with ACCumulator and other registers.   Illustrates progress through higher levels of abstraction as different generations of the simulation focus on the fetch-execute cycle, machine language programming, assembly language programming.  

Provides hands-on experience with binary sequences, the different parts of a basic computer, and the idea that software adds levels of abstraction to the hardware.

5.02

8/1/2016

Logo II. Revised the template to remove the draw() procedure.  It was causing issues.  Remade the tutorial video to reflect the new template.

Previous template was causing procedure definitions if students used copy/paste.

5.03

8/1/2016

Search Algorithms. Incorporate a POGIL activity in which students have figure out binary search algorithm and write it in pseudocode.

Emphasis on collaborative learning.

5.07

8/1/2016

Analyzing Algorithms.  Removed details in the analysis of merge sort.

Shortens lesson without sacrificing necessary content on analysis.

5.08

8/1/2016

Limits of Algorithms.  Removed some lecture detail and incorporated a POGIL activity that focus on password protection (using intractable problem to protect a password) and Traveling Salesman Problem (using the nearest neighbor heuristic.)

The lesson is now more hands-on (less lecture) and emphasizes collaborative learning.

6.05

8/1/2016

Abstracting Data to the Web.  This new lesson replaces the lesson that used TinyWebDb in the AndroidMash app.  The new lessons uses App Inventor’s new  FirebaseDB component, which is much easier to work with, to store Presidents Quiz data to the Cloud.  

The Firebase component is much more robust than TinyWebDb and does not require that an app’s data be shared with all App Inventor users.

6.08

8/1/2016

Data Visualization Project  This lesson is converted from what was a performance task.

College Board has dropped the Data performance task.

6.09

8/1/2016

Abstracting Data to the Web Projects (Optional).  This is an optional lesson that shows how to design an domain-independent app that can present any multiple choice quiz.  It uses Firebase.

Lots of students seem to want to create quiz apps. This tutorial would provide an extensible architecture for such apps.

7.02

8/1/2016

Internet: Basic Concepts and Terminology. Revised to remove content that is covered now in Unit 2.

Goes with changes to Unit 2.

7.07

8/1/2016

Cryptography: Securing the Internet.  Revised lectures to reduce unnecessary details about Diffie-Hellman and RSA.

Details did not seem necessary given the college board’s exclusion statements.

7.08

8/1/2016

BB: Cryptography and the Government. Reduced this to a 90 minute lesson by reducing the BB reading to 10 or so pages and focusing on the issue of Apple vs. FBI.

BB is challenging reading. However, instead of providing more days for reading, we are trying to require less reading and focus the reading more on the Global Impact.

Changes Made to Lessons and Lesson Plans in Summer 2015

All

7/2015

Wrap up lesson added to each unit on the student side. The Teach side now also has a wrap up lesson for each unit. Access to App Inventor drills and Mobile CSP quizzes made available in these lessons.

7/2015

Becoming an AP CS Principles course instructor lesson added on to Unit 9 on the Teach Side.

6/2015

Performance tasks (Create #1, Create #2, Explore #1, Explore #2) were updated on the student side to fit the instructions of the latest College Board tasks. We've replaced our own rubrics with the rubrics that were released by the College board.

6/2015

AP Exam prep unit added on the student side. This unit features details about the AP CSP exam and also sample questions that were released by the College Board

All

6/2015

Vocabulary added to the beginning of each unit on the student side

6/2015

Blown to Bits lesson plans with more defined reading strategies and added pedagogical materials on using those strategies

6/2015

Being Successful in Online Courses lesson added to the Teach side.

Changes Made to Lessons and Lesson Plans in Summer 2014

9/2014

Additional Assessments - We've added in where we think a midterm exam, a practice explore innovation, and a data project could be in the course. Right now, there are not instructor materials but we'll work on getting them added.

9/2014

Adjusting the questions under the lessons on the Teach side so that we can gather feedback after you've taught the lesson.