2023 Professional Development

One-Week Workshops for Teachers

BJC Professional Development Workshops

BJC is a College Board-endorsed AP Computer Science Principles curriculum and professional development based on the themes of creativity and social impacts. Since 2012, we have provided professional development to more than 600 teachers throughout the U.S., reaching more than 5,000 students.

We are excited to announce that this summer, we will be offering 2 different workshops - one for our middle / early high school curriculum, and the other for our high school curriculum.

BJC Sparks - Middle School / Early High School PD

The creators of BJC are developing a new course called BJC Sparks for middle school and early high school that teaches a functional approach to programming, emphasizing the flow of information through functions — rather than emphasizing iteration and commands — and including exciting projects in graphics, data, and media. We are offering a week-long, virtual workshop for teachers, administrators, and parents or community members running extra-curricular activities. No prior experience with computer science is necessary, and all course materials will be available online for free.

This workshop will be led by Dan Garcia, Teaching Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. The curriculum and workshop is supported by a small team of BJC veterans, BJC TAs, and Lead Teachers — and is funded with generous support from the Infosys Pathfinders Foundation and the Hopper Dean Foundation.

BJC - High School PD

BJC has offered High School PD workshops since 2012 at low or no cost to teachers with support from the National Science Foundation (grants 13469222 and 1542922), DonorsChoose, and Infosys Foundation USA. They have been organized by Professor Tiffany Barnes at NC State University, who leads our efforts to provide regional BJC PD workshops at universities around the United States.

BJC PD workshops are led by BJC Lead Teachers who have attended a BJC Summer PD workshop, taught the BJC course in high school, and participated 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.

We typically offer regional 5-day face to face summer professional development workshops for teachers intending to teach BJC within the next 2 school years (with priority to those teaching sooner), however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Summer 2023 PD workshops will be held online.

BJC PD Summer 2023 Schedule and Application

Below is our 2023 PD schedule for our PD workshops and links to the PD Application.

Date Time Grade Level Delivery Stipend Registration
June 26 - 30, 2023 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST High School - CS Principles Online No Closed
July 17 - 21, 2023 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST High School - CS Principles Online No Closed
July 24 - 28, 2023 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST BJC Sparks - Middle School Online Yes + Hardware Closed
July 24 - 28, 2023 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST High School - CS Principles Online Yes Closed
July 31 - Aug 4, 2023 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST High School - CS Principles Online No Closed

We do offer private PD workshops for school districts or organizations for a fee. If you are interested, please email us at pd@bjc.berkeley.edu.

How much does it cost?

For the July 24-28, 2023 BJC High School (CS Principles) and BJC Sparks PD workshops, we are partnering with the Infosys Foundation USA to offer PD free of charge to all public school teachers in the United States. There is no cost to attend the July 24-28, 2023 PD workshops if you are a public high school or public middle school teacher in the United States. If you are not a public high school or public middle school teacher and you would like to attend either the BJC High School (CS Principles) or the BJC Sparks July 24-28 workshop, we are charging a non-refundable $75 registration fee to hold your spot. All course materials and year-long ongoing support are free.

Public school teachers in the July 24-28, 2023 BJC Sparks workshop will receive both a $200 stipend and hardware to keep. Public school teachers in the July 24-28 BJC High School (CS Principles) workshop will receive a $200 stipend. The stipend (and the free hardware given only for BJC Sparks participants) are contingent on full participation and attendance in all 5 days of the workshop. Fractional stipends will not be issued for partial PD participation. For BJC Sparks participants, if you fail to attend in full daily, you agree to mail the hardware back to the BJC team at your own cost. There is limited space in both the July 24-28, 2023 workshops, and seats will be allocated first come, first serve.

For all of our other BJC PD workshops this summer, we are charging a non-refundable $75 registration fee to hold your spot. All course materials and year-long ongoing support are free. There is no stipend available for attending these workshops.

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, and weekly group calls.

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 600 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.

Contact

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