This month CSTA Iowa shines a spotlight on Wren Hoffman. Wren is a member CSTA Iowa's Leadership team serving as our Advocacy Agent and is the Computer Science Consultant at the Iowa Department of Education.

CSTA Iowa Spotlight on Wren Hoffman

District/Organization: Iowa Department of Education
City: Des Moines
Describe your teaching position or role:
I am the Computer Science Consultant at the Iowa Department of Education. As the state lead for computer science I manage the CS PD Incentive Fund grant, collaborate with the Governor's STEM Advisory Council on the CS is Elementary project, support teachers, administrators, and AEA consultants with planning for CS pathways and instruction, lead the Statewide Computer Science Leadership Team, help develop policy around legislation, and support the department's work on equity and MTSS.
What 's your favorite CS concept or lesson to teach? Why?
I love teaching educators about Iowa's Computer Science Standards. So often teachers don't know where to find the standards or how to use them - and they really are a great tool and resource. Seeing the light bulb go on for an elementary teacher when they realize that they already teach so many of the standards is exciting. Computer science doesn't seem so foreign when you can connect what you already know and do with the standards. And then watching a teacher blossom as they gain confidence is an inspiration!
What 's your favorite CS resource? Why?
My favorite resource is the one that works for a teacher and students. I don't mean that to sound glib. I know there are a lot of options out there and teachers have to find what matches their comfort level and teaching style. In my role of the Computer Science Consultant at the Department of Education I have seen teachers find success with so many different resources. My personal new favorites are the Hello Ruby books by Linda Liukas.
Why did you join CSTA & CSTA Iowa?
I joined CSTA Iowa to support and connect with CS educators and get to know the people doing this work. I remember feeling so alone when I was teaching computer science - there was nowhere to turn when I had questions, needed to brainstorm, or wanted to brag about a win. Iowa's CS teachers don't have to experience that! There is so much energy and passion in our tribe of CS educators. I'm no longer in the classroom and that pull on my heart is awakened after each CS conversation with Iowa's teachers.