Today was a historic day for computer science education and a huge validation for NewTechKids.
President Obama announced the ‘Computer Science for All’ initiative which will bring computer science education to all students in America, beginning in primary school. President Obama is calling for US$4 billion to be allocated in the 2017 budget to Congress to significantly increase the teaching of computer science, namely by developing teaching materials, providing teacher training and building effective regional partnerships.
The initiative places special emphasis on making computer science education accessible to female and minority students who are under-represented in this field as students and professionals.
The plan is that US$135 million will become available this year from the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
The ‘Computer Science for All’ initiative is the first time since the 1940s that a new mandatory academic subject has been introduced in the U.S.
According to President Obama, “In the new economy, computer science isn’t an optional skill. It’s a basic skill, right along with the 3Rs.” He added “That’s what this is all about — each of us doing our part to make sure all our young people can compete in a high-tech, global economy,” Mr. Obama said. “They’re the ones who will make sure America keeps growing, keeps innovating and keeps leading the world in the years ahead.”
Watch President Obama announce the initiative.
Mandatory computer science education needs to expand all over the world, including Europe. NewTechKids is committed to helping this happen by developing curriculum and teaching materials and providing teacher training.
Yesterday, NewTechKids’ co-founders spoke at length with Dr. Mark Nelson, Executive Director at the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), one of the leading associations for K-12 computer science education and its educators. In addition to discussing NewTechKids’ teaching framework, pedagogy, teaching approaches and the core concepts we teach, we talked about the need and desire for increased international collaboration and knowledge-sharing.
NewTechKids focuses on teaching computer science in the context of helping kids develop higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills. We teach computational thinking, computer science, key coding/programming concepts, and technological literacy. We don’t focus on coding and technical skills.
There’s still a lot of work to be done to bring computer science education to Europe and other regions around the world. Here’s information on initiatives in the U.S. and Europe, including the Netherlands.
NewTechKids looks forward to working with CSTA and other organisations to support the expansion of computer science education here in Europe and around the world.