2018 Professional Development

1-Week Workshop for Teachers

This page describes the PD opportunities for all teachers outside of New York City. NYC Teachers, please visit the NYC PD Opportunities page.

2018 BJC & PD Information Flyer

Regional BJC PD model

Professor Tiffany Barnes at NC State University leads our efforts to provide regional BJC professional development workshops at universities around the United States. These workshops have been offered since 2012 at low or no cost to teachers with support from the National Science Foundation (grants 13469222 and 1542922), Donors Choose, and the InfoSys Foundation.

BJC PD Workshops are led by BJC Master Teachers who have attended a BJC summer PD workshop, taught the BJC course in high school, and participate in our ongoing "Train the Trainer" professional development program. The workshop content is based on the BJC curriculum, but is designed to also prepare teachers for facilitating hands-on programming labs, supporting collaboration, and creating equitable opportunities for students to learn computing.

In 2018, we will offer several 5-day in-person regional workshops. To sign up for email updates when we finalize our 2018 locations, complete our interest form at http://bjc.link/pdinterest18. If you are interested in hosting a BJC workshop, or becoming a BJC Master Teacher, email pd@bjc.berkeley.edu.

BJC @ Pathfinders July 15-21, 2018

BJC will offer free computer science professional development in Indianapolis Jul 15-21 for up to 80 high school teachers with generous support from the InfoSys Foundation. See the Pathfinders Institute announcement for more info.

The BJC curriculum, in short

BJC, The Beauty and Joy of Computing, is an AP Computer Science Principles curriculum that emphasizes the joy and complexity of creating visual computer programs and apps, balanced with critical reflection on both the potential benefits and harms of new computing technologies. The Beauty and Joy of Computing adheres to the College Board’s new AP Computer Science Principles course requirements.

BJC has a strong design and programming focus, using the visual programming language Snap! and a collaborative, exploratory approach where students work in teams to bring their own unique creations to life.

BJC is culturally situated, presenting programming and computing ideas not in isolation, but in the context of how students interact with computers in their daily lives. In our readings and discussions, we critically explore how technology has changed the world for better, and for worse, enabling students to understand the potential benefits and harms of creating new things with computing. Student readings are taken mainly from the companion book Blown to Bits, which is available for free online download.

BJC is designed to meet the requirements of the College Board AP Computer Science Principles curriculum framework. It was originally developed as a university breadth course at the University of California, Berkeley, and has been extensively revised for high school use at EDC (Education Development Center).

The newest curriculum is at bjc.edc.org.

Why choose BJC?

  • BJC teaches strong fundamental concepts of programming.
    • In BJC students use Snap!, an accessible but full-featured block-based programming language, to explore concepts ranging from loops and variables up through recursion and higher-order functions.
  • BJC focuses on collaboration.
    • In BJC, students are encouraged to work in small groups, using pair programming for projects, and collaborating online to answer each others’ questions.
  • BJC assignments foster creativity and design thinking.
    • BJC includes project-centric labs, where groups are encouraged to build and design their own games, applications, and more. See Snap! examples!
  • BJC situates computing in the real world.
    • BJC units explore how computing is used in real-world applications, from Google Search algorithms to Big Data to today’s news.
  • BJC emphasizes that computing is for everyone, and is a matter of equity.
    • Computing is a vital skill in the 21st century; everyone needs to have input into new computing innovations. BJC emphasizes equity and engages students and teachers in discussing how we can promote it.
  • BJC is well-supported.
    • BJC teachers attend face-to-face professional development programs and have access to a wealth of online resources, including a repository of shared course materials, weekly group calls, and personalized support via edX SPOCs (small, personalized online courses that provide a management system for your BJC course).

For more information on how BJC compares to the general CS Principles framework, please see our comparison guide.

Who is teaching BJC?

The Beauty and Joy of Computing is taught across the country, with over 250 teachers from 41 states applying to attend our teacher preparation workshops. Teachers are also using our curriculum in Canada, Ireland, Guam, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, Senegal, Cape Verde, Nepal, Austria, Italy, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Germany.

How can I be part of BJC PD?

We offer summer professional development workshops around the country for teachers intending to teach BJC the following year.

Please complete our 2018 PD Interest Form to receive updates. We will be confirming our 2018 dates and locations soon.

How much does it cost?

The traditional BJC Summer PD is offered at potentially NO cost for U.S. public school teachers; these teachers use the DonorsChoose model to raise the tuition. Private school teachers must pay $2,000 for the PD.

Where is BJC PD being offered?

BJC will be offered as part of the Pathfinders Institute in Indianapolis, IN from July 15-21, 2018, with generous support from InfoSys Foundation. See the Pathfinders Institute announcement for more info.

We also plan workshops in the following locations:

  • Colorado School of Mines, Denver, CO (likely Jun 25-29)
  • Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA
  • Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Kean University, Union, NJ (NYC area) (likely Jul 23-27)
  • Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY (likely Jul 23-27)
  • Kean University, Union, NJ (NYC area) (likely Jul 23-27)
  • George Mason University, Fairfax, VA (DC area) (likely Aug 6-10)

New in 2018, NC State University and The Citadel are partnering to offer PD on integrated project-based lessons that integrate computational thinking, BJC-style, into STEM courses for middle and high school. Two 5-day workshops will be offered, one in Raleigh, NC Jul 30-Aug 3 and one in Charleston, SC Aug 6-10. More info coming soon!

How do I become a BJC Master Teacher?

If you are a BJC teacher, and would like to prepare to lead BJC workshops, email pd@bjc.berkeley.edu , and we will send you our Train the Trainer workshop application. Be sure to plan to attend our 2018 BJC "Train the Trainer" Master Teacher workshop July 9-13, and one or more 5-day in-person BJC workshops as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in the remainder of the summer (July 15-August 10).


If you have questions about the BJC CSP Research Project, please email us at pd@bjc.berkeley.edu and include your name, school name, and location.