Archive for September 14, 2016

New Progress and Momentum in Support of President Obama’s Computer Science for All Initiative

Ruthe Farmer at the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has been working furiously towards today’s announcements.  The Obama Administration is aiming to achieve the goal of CSforAll, and with only a few months left before the new Administration takes off, they’re showing what they’ve put in place today.  The full details on all the announcements are here. There’s a webcast at 1 pm EDT today here.  The biggest deal to me is the establishment of the CSforAll Consortium (see website here) which is meant to carry on the initiative, no matter who wins in November.

To mark this progress, and celebrate new commitments in support of the President’s initiative, the White House is hosting a summit on Computer Science for All. Key announcements being made today include:

  • More than $25 million in new grants awarded from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to expand CS education;

  • A new CSforAll Consortium of more than 180 organizations, which will connect stakeholders with curriculum and resources, as well as track progress towards the goal of Computer Science for All; and

  • New commitments from more than 200 organizations, ranging from expanded CS offerings within the Girl Scouts of the USA that could reach 1.4 million girls per year, to Code.org supporting professional development for 40,000 additional teachers, to new collaborations to bring CS to students in a variety of settings from African-American churches to family coding nights to tribal Head Start programs to students as Chief Science Officers.

Source: Fact Sheet: New Progress and Momentum in Support of President Obama’s Computer Science for All Initiative | whitehouse.gov

September 14, 2016 at 9:39 am 1 comment

Meeting the need for computing teachers in Australia

ICER 2016 was just held in Melbourne, Australia, so I found the article linked at the bottom (and from which these images come from) particularly relevant and interesting.

Australia is facing a boom in primary school students, which creates additional demand for teachers.  As has been mentioned here previously, there is a shortage of teachers.  The shortage isn’t distributed across fields.  In particular, over 30% of computing teachers in Australia are teaching without qualification (see image below).  When considering other shortages (e.g., declining number of computing teachers in Scotland, as described in the last post), it’s clear that the pipeline of CS teachers is going to be an impediment to CS for all.

But an influx of new students isn’t the only problem our school system needs to address.Shortages in specific subject areas mean that many students are being taught by teachers working outside of their qualifications.

Source: What will school education look like by 2020?

September 14, 2016 at 7:55 am 1 comment


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