News

Computer science not just a game for S.F. schools

By Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle
October 17th, 2014

Computer science is moving from an elective to a core course in many schools

computer-scienceThe second-period students in Room 124 at Balboa High School are playing Pong as their teacher, wearing a homemade Pac-Man fabric skirt and red-glitter Converse sneakers, offers advice.

A few students have iPods plugged into their ears as they try to bounce the ball between two digital paddles.

They’re not goofing off. They’re in a college-prep computer science class, part of the school’s Game Design Academy and one that counts toward admission requirements for the UC and Cal State systems.

The course puts San Francisco at the forefront of a national trend to incorporate computer science into public schools–and not just as an after-school program or elective. It’s a shift in thinking: Computers aren’t just learning tools, they’re a bona fide course of study–and one with hot job prospects.

(Next page: Computer science expands throughout the nation’s schools)