Computer Science January Newsletter

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January 2020

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AI and Machine Learning

AI is all around us. The most widely used form of AI is called Machine Learning and you probably interact with it every day. Find out what Machine Learning is and how it's changing our world.
AI: What is Machine Learning?


What is AI, exactly?

The definition of artificial intelligence is constantly evolving, and the term often gets mangled, so here is some help.

In the broadest sense, AI refers to machines that can learn, reason, and act for themselves. They can make their own decisions when faced with new situations, in the same way that humans and animals can.


Iron Man

Iron Man, I mean Robert Downey Jr., talks artificial intelligence with us and considers whether  A.I. can make music, can it feel excitement and fear, and is it alive? and Mark Sagar push the limits of what a machine can do. How far is too far, and how much further can we go? 
How Far is Too Far? | The Age of A.I.


Elements of AI

Are you wondering how AI might affect your job or your life?
Do you want to learn more about what AI really means — and how it’s created?
Do you want to understand how AI will develop and affect us in the coming years?
Try this free online course


Recursion Knock Knock Joke

Standards for CS Teachers

These Standards are designed to provide clear guidance around effective and equitable CS instruction in support of rigorous CS education for all K-12 students. The purpose is to:

  • explain what CS teachers should know and be able to do in the classroom, 
  • provide aspirational goals to guide teachers’ professional learning and to continuously develop their teaching practice from novice to master CS teacher, and 
  • establish benchmarks for professional development (PD) providers as they craft CS PD experiences.

Interact with the new standards, and 
Look at the printable documents.



CS - Computer Science 
CSTA - Computer Science Teachers Association 
CT - Computational Thinking 
ISTE - International Society of Technology Educators


Infy Maker Awards

Applications for the 6th year of the Infy Maker Awards will open on January 8, 2020 at 8 a.m. PT! Infy Maker Awards is open to K-12 schools and youth-serving organizations who aim to create more opportunities for students to engage in hands-on, interdisciplinary learning through making. Ten organizations will each receive a $10,000 grant. Winners may also receive Maker professional development for two staff members during the Pathfinders Summer Institute in 2020.


Computer Science Education Week

How did it go? Did you offer your staff and students CS learning opportunities? Did you invite parents, community members, legislators or other government officials in to participate? Did a business come and help out or even teach a lesson? I would love to know more! Drop me a note at or tell the world in a tweet and use the hashtag #CSforIA.



Computer Science Web page

Iowa's Computer Science Standards

Follow me at @wrenhoffman and be sure to use the hashtag #CSforIA

Share a story or an experience and I’ll include it in the next newsletter.