computer-sci

Computer Science Education Week: How will you participate?


Participate in computer science events, which run from Dec. 9-15

computer-science-education-weekComputer Science Education Week begins today, and the week is full of resources and events to help curriculum directors and educators integrate and implement computer science lessons.

As of Dec. 6, 167 countries had planned 33,247 events for 4.5 million students–and those numbers definitely increased over the weekend.

Educators and stakeholders can take a number of steps to support Computer Science Education Week and broader nationwide initiatives.

During Computer Science Education Week, stakeholders and advocates can voice their support for K-12 computer science by advocating for computer science education. The Computer Science Education Act, introduced in the House of Representatives, and the Computer Science Education and Jobs Act, introduced in the Senate, advocate for support of computer science education and note its importance to the U.S. economy.

(Next page: Here’s how you can participate)

Computer science teachers and advocates can meet with their principals, curriculum directors, or other administrators to highlight how important such skills are for students and schools. Resources such as this one, or talking points such as these, are helpful.

Check in with eSchool News this week as we continue to cover Computer Science Education Week. We’ll have a list of top computer science education resources, and we will take a look at how one district is participating in the Hour of Code–an initiative that asks students, teachers, parents, and schools to introduce students to programming for just one hour.

Computer science, which includes programming and coding, is the highest-paid college degree and jobs in the field are growing at twice the national average, according to Code.org, but fewer than 2.4 percent of college students graduate with computer science degrees.

Forty of 50 states do not count computer science toward math or science requirements for high school graduation, and only 1 in 10 schools offer programming classes. That could change, though, if more states make efforts to boost computer science education and count it toward high school graduation requirements.

Recent data indicate that only 35 of the state’s 622 high schools offer AP computer science.

According to data collected by the New Jersey Institute of Technology, 150,000 new computing jobs will need to be filled each year for the next 10 years.

Software engineering jobs are expected to grow by 30 percent by 2020, information systems jobs by 18 percent, database administration jobs by 31 percent, and computing programming jobs by 12 percent.

By that time, 2020, there will be 1.4 million computing jobs and 400,000 computer science students–a shortage of 1 million, and a lost economic potential of $500 million.

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Laura Ascione

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