Computer Science Professional Development for All

Coffee cup codingOver the last few years, computer science education has become a priority in our schools. Giving students access to K-12 computer science education is necessary so they are prepared to live in a digital world and can learn to not just consume technology but also create their own (code their own apps). Computer science education helps prepare our students to be ready for any job of the future. Computer science teaches important ‘Computational Thinking’ skills (part of NGSS Practices), and this helps students learn problem-solving strategies they can apply to all learning.

About the Program

KCI strongly believes that providing access to computer science education requires access to quality professional development for educators. Since early 2015, KCI has been offering Computer Science Professional Development (PD) workshops in both 1 day and 3 day formats on Saturdays and during the summer. These workshops are unique from other PD opportunities in computer science since they

  • deliver BOTH computer science content and pedagogy.
  • are conducted by local, active public school computer science teachers with many years of experience.
  • provide an opportunity to learn best practices in the classroom, not just tools and curriculum.
  • provide access to a variety of tools and curriculum so each teacher can learn the best lessons and methods that work in their own classroom. (Instead of marketing one tool or one curriculum, these workshops provide access to multiple ideas that can be used to create a solution that will actually work.)
  • give teachers an opportunity to learn hands-on lessons at their pace to meet their needs
  • connect teachers to a community of local experienced computer science teachers and others interested in computer science education.


Upcoming Workshops

Computer Science Crash Course for Educators

KCI has just been awarded a grant from Google’s CS4HS team to run two workshops this summer. These four day sessions will provide teachers the foundational skills to begin teaching computer science in their schools.

Dates: June 19 – 22, 2017 and July 17 – 21, 2017
Location: Krause Center for Innovation, Foothill College

Past Workshops

  • Computer Science Crash Course for Educators (4 day workshop)
  • Computer Science Professional Development (3 day workshop)
  • Computational Thinking
  • Integrating coding in the Middle School Classroom
  • Integrating coding in the K-5 Classroom


The KCI Computer Science program has a STRONG record of success: 100 % of teachers who attended the KCI computer science workshops recommended them. Sample testimonials below show the positive review from teachers who have attended previous workshops.

Teachers coding Teachers coding

“I appreciate all the viewpoints and different ideas that people shared in class. The time seemed to go fast for a 3-day workshop!”

“Your pace is perfect. You pack so much in a short amount of time. I always leave with too many ideas to try and so much more to research…it’s exactly what I want in a workshop. You’re very respectful of our time. You vary the types of activities and differentiate tasks so everyone is challenged and supported. Best workshop I’ve ever taken at Foothill!!”

“I really liked this workshop; you introduce concepts, then tools that use the concept, and finally activities and curriculum that uses such tools. This training is very complete.”

“BEST WORKSHOP HANDS DOWN — my 6th year being a teacher and this is by far best ever (not just tech but in any content area!).”

“This class gave me a great resources about technology. I really like the coding activities. I will definitely use coding and computational activities next year.”


Sheena Vaidyanathan (Program Director)

Sheena Vaidyanathan has been teaching computer science in California public schools for 7 years and has extensive experience with K-8 curriculum development and professional development. Prior to her teaching career, Sheena worked in Silicon Valley’s technology industry. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science as well as a California Single Subject Teaching Credential in Math. She has presented at several conferences and writes articles on CS education. See more on her work at Computers for Creativity.

Chris Bell

Chris Bell has been teaching at Gunn High School for eight years. He started by teaching Mathematics courses ranging from beginning Algebra to advanced Trigonometry and quickly began teaching Computer Science courses. For the past five years, Chris has been teaching Functional and Object-Oriented Programming along with a Programming for Mobile Devices course that he developed. Currently, he has also been working as a Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) helping teachers at Gunn integrate tech into their lessons and coaching teachers across the district with Blended Learning strategies.

Jessica Hexsel

Jessica Hexsel has been teaching at Gunn High School for three years. She started by teaching Mathematics courses and quickly began teaching Computer Science courses. For the past two years, Jess has been teaching Functional and Object-Oriented Programming with Chris Bell, from whom she often steals materials…like this bio. Before moving to California and earning a teaching credential, Jessica worked in educational research at Carnegie Mellon University developing curriculum for web-based online tutors for middle-school mathematics.

Ann Greyson

Ann Greyson started her career as a software engineer at Apple. She currently chairs the Computer Science & Engineering Department, and designs and teaches both computer science courses and integrated computer science projects in grades 6-12 at Castilleja School, an independent school for girls. Before teaching at Castilleja, she taught algebra and geometry in Redwood City and Burlingame public school districts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from UC Berkeley, and a California teaching credential.

Abigail Joseph

Abigail Joseph has an extensive career as an educator in the Bay Area. Her commitment to education began in the MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement) Center and classrooms at Cabrillo Community College and various technology and engineering after-school and summer programs. She has spent the past five years developing computer science programs at Bay Area schools and working as curriculum and technical volunteer for Black Girls Code. Abigail currently works as a PK-12 Computer Science Teacher at The Nueva School in HIllsborough, CA and is MIT Master Trainer for App Inventor. She holds a B.S.E in computer science from Princeton University and a M.S./Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California at Santa Cruz.