Computer Science For All
This past weekend, President Obama said he will ask Congress for billions of dollars to help students learn computer science skills and prepare for jobs in a changing economy. The President’s 2017 budget will ask for $4 billion for grants to states and $100 million for competitive grants for school districts over the next three years. These grants will be used to teach computer science in elementary, middle and high schools.
As the President said in his weekly radio and internet address, "In the new economy, computer science isn't an optional skill. It's a basic skill, right along with the three R's." We couldn’t agree more. Computer science is no longer an obscure subject for “techies.” Today it’s used in almost every field, and 67% of computing jobs are outside the tech sector.
We’ve seen more and more districts and schools responding to the challenge to expose more students to computer science. One of those is the West Mifflin Area School District in Pittsburgh, PA, which is going to provide computer science curriculum to over 1000 students in grades 4 – 8 beginning this month.
West Mifflin saw the need for computer science education across all grade levels, and took action. The launch coincides with a time when computer science jobs are growing but the number of computer science students is shrinking. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 586,982 open computing jobs in the U.S. in 2015. However, there were only 38,175 computer science graduates in 2014.
But computer science education is about more than just having computers in your classroom. It’s about preparing students for college and career success by teaching them critical 21st century skills like problem solving, data analysis, critical thinking, creative thinking, and computational thinking skills. If you’re looking to implement a computer science program in your school, look for a curriculum that:
- Teaches big ideas in mathematics, engineering, and computational thinking
- Provides contextualized activities that relate learning to real-world applications
- Teaches students to use programming as a problem-solving tool
- Keeps students engaged
- Provides a classroom-ready curriculum + tools designed to help any teacher easily implement the solution
- Provides training and support can help teachers achieve success in adopting new technology and curriculum
Posted on February 04, 2016 in Announcements by LeeAnn Baronett : 0 Comments