Parkview Educator Earns Distinction in Field of Computer Science

By Judith Murray, Parkview

Parkview educator one of first three in state to earn two approval codes from the department of education to teacher computer science  

 Mr. Dennis Show is an extraordinary math teacher by anyone’s standards. But now he is also one of the first three people in the state to be licensed to teach Computer Science in the secondary schools.

Show, Crystal Yeager, and Velma Lothridge received one (or more) of the new Computer Science approval codes, according to Anthony A. Owen, state director of computer science education. Owen advises eachers, “Keep submitting those applications, and we will get them processed as quickly as possible.”

Show became interested in Computer Science and programming in high school when “I had a teacher show us how to write programs on the calculator.”

While Show knew he wanted to teach math, and continued to take Math and Math education courses, he also took a few classes in programming, and learned more from friends and the internet.

“I took a few more computer classes for my undergraduate degree than what was necessary because I enjoyed it. Friends and video games have kept the interest alive, even while I still pursued a Math Ed degree. What I have learned about coding, by and large, has been from the internet or just playing with different coding environments.”

“I have gone through an APSI for AP CS Principles that was also a prep course for taking the CS Praxis. I have had a couple of classes to get the overall concept of how programming works and I have learned yet more skills from web-based curriculums like code.org and codehs.com. My “schooling” on the subject has become a Frankenstein of knowledge; formal and informal, books and internet, trial and error,”

Show explained that Act 187 of 2015 requires that public high schools and public charter high schools offer at least one (1) computer science course at the high school level, beginning in the 2015-2016 school year. During the 2017-18 school year, computer science standards in  K-8 grades will be implemented, and computer science standards for grades 9-12, the following year.

Show said that the Arkansas Department of Education has given educators an opportunity to earn license codes to teach the upcoming courses. Teachers that have taken the Computer Science Praxis and passed, teachers that have been teaching the content for 4 of the last 7 years, teachers that are taking computer science courses in college, etc. can fill out a digital application and upload documentation to be granted one or multiple license codes to teach these new Comp Science courses.

“ In pursuant of the direction that the state is moving towards this content, I followed the link emailed by Anthony Owen, filled in my information (personal and work), and uploaded an image of my certificate from my training in AP CS Principles, and was granted two of the new CS license codes, 5016 and 5017, which grants me the ability to teach AP CSP and any of the co-developed/brandedADE/ARCareerED courses for the next four years,” Show said, adding that he's “Still looking at taking the praxis, but this does take some pressure off. So yay!”