White House announces boost to computer science education

The White House announced on Monday new initiatives to bolster computer science in K–12 education. Citing the rapidly expanding demand for technology jobs, the Obama administration outlined new efforts by two federal agencies: The National Science Foundation plans to spend $20 million on computer science education in 2017, on top the the $25 million it spent in 2016, with an emphasis on training teachers. And the National Science and Technology Council will create a framework to help guide federal efforts “to support the integration of computer science and computational thinking into K–12 education,” according to Monday’s release. The two agencies’ efforts, it said, will complement the Obama administration’s wider efforts to expand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in education. The White House announcement comes in conjunction with new commitments to computer science education by 250 organizations, including Bootstrap, STEMteachersNYC and the American Association of Physics Teachers. Other announcements include Google’s new computer science career prep program for college students and the University of North Texas’s partnership with the Perkins School for the Blind and the California School for the Blind. Computer science is playing an increasingly large role in STEM — nearly two-thirds of all STEM jobs require computing skills. Despite the large need and an overwhelming desire by parents for their children to learn computer science, only about 40 percent of schools offer classes on the subject. Read the sourece here

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends launch of Hour of Code in Canada

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Justin Trudeau wants Canada to lead the way in digital technology and he’s starting by supporting the coding movement that’s currently sweeping the nation.December 5th saw the launch of both the 2016 Computer Science Education week and the Canadian launch of the international coding campaign, Hour of Code. Melissa Sariffodeen, co-founder of Canada Learning Code and CEO of Ladies Learning Code was joined by Hadi Partovi of Code.org to celebrate the event.During Computer Science Education Week, students around the world are encouraged to do an “Hour of Code,” to prove that anyone can learn the basics. To date, over 100 million students, speaking over 45 languages, from more than 180 countries have tried an Hour of Code.“In the 21st century, computer science is just as important to a well-rounded education as chemistry, biology, or physics,” says Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org and creator of the Hour of Code campaign, in a statement.“Computer science will play an essential role in our children’s future, regardless of what career they pursue or what country they live in. This global campaign has engaged 100 million students, and we’re delighted to kick it off in Canada with the Prime Minister.” Canada Learning Code is the official launch partner of Hour of Code. Since launching on Oct. 6, 2016, Canada Learning Code has committed to bringing code to over 10 million Canadians by the year 2027. “We are a nation of diverse, creative, talented individuals with endless potential for innovation, but without
access to the coding education that will help us tap into that potential, we risk stagnating as a nation,” said Sariffodeen in a statement. “I’m thrilled to know that Canadian youth will be able to take advantage of the wonderful Hour of Code program, and I’m encouraged to see our Prime Minister taking such an active interest in computer science education,” she continued. Prime Minister Trudeau has often stated his interest in Canada’s technology and innovation sectors, and this past year dedicated $900 million to boost local innovation and funding Canadian startups. Since then, Trudeau has taken meetings with several large tech firms, has supported the development of autonomous cars in Canada and continues to be an active user on social media. Read more here