How can we make CS work in a student voice and choice-driven, gradeless learning environment with true differentiation allowing for student levels and learning styles?

That’s the essential question.

I know that student engagement is key. I know that big projects are the way to go. I know that "just-in-time" learning is the best.

But I also have always had the carrot and the stick of grades as a control mechanism. Now I’m in a situation where I don’t have that, and truthfully, I’m stumbling along, trying to figure out how to make all this work.

So I’m dedicating some time, thought, and words to exploring this essential question. I have a "lab school" where I can experiment. I have the support of that school. I have a lot of tricks in my trick bag. I have the possibility of connections with other CS teachers in progressive schools. What I don’t have is a whole lot of answers so far.