Irish Computer Science Leaving Certificate Curriculum Consultation Update

Last Tuesday I attended a consultation session for the Leaving Certificate Computer Science Curriculum. This is Ireland’s shot at putting CS on the pre-university curriculum, specifically the Irish Senior Cycle – which leads right up to where secondary school and university meet. I am particularly interested in this as I teach, research, and am pretty much obsessed with CS1 – the first programming course that CS majors take at university. I am also teaching this year on a new programme at my university, University College Dublin (with support from Microsoft), that is one of the first (if not the first) teacher training programmes specifically for this new curriculum.

The event was hosted by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, and was addressed by Irish Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton. It was an engaging and lively day of discussion and it was really good to see so many different stakeholders in attendance. I was in one of I believe 6 (or more) focus groups, and we had university professors, industry leaders (including Apple and Microsoft), current (and former) school teachers, and a member of the curriculum development team in the room, (and I am missing a few people here).

There is another consultation event on September 16 at Maynooth University, hosted by the Computers in Education Society Ireland (CESI). The consultation officially closes on September 22, and a final draft of the curriculum is expected soon thereafter.

Introducing programming to the Irish primary and secondary curricula

follow 3 pngYesterday the Irish government anounced more strategy for their plan to introduce programming to the primary and secondary curricula. As currently set out, this will take place through the mathematics curriculum (at least at the primary level). As part of the wider plan, Computer Science will be introduced as a secondary level (high school) subject, a development I have also been following recently.

The Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 plan for 2017, which was launched by Minister for Education Richard Bruton yesterday, seeks to increase the use of ICT (information and communications technology) in Irish schools and includes the introduction of a benchmarking system from this September to allow teachers to track their progress in using digital technologies when teaching.

I have read the Department of Education press release, and the Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 Action Plan 2017 (both cited by The Irish Times yesterday) as well as the Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 Action Plan cited by The Times (London) yesterday. It seems at this point there are plenty of  “details” but not many details.

So I dug into the references of the Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 Action Plan and found Programming and Coding -Draft Specification for Junior Cycle Short Course. This (although not specifically part of the 2015-2020 Action Plan, or the Action Plan 2017) had some interesting details. Note: this dates from October 2013 and was published by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, one of the many chefs in a busy kitchen. The Junior Cycle is the first three years of second-level education, set at level 3 of the National Framework of Qualifications. The closest analogue in the US would be Junior High School. Under Strand 1 Computer science introduction it is stated that students should learn about My digital world: The importance of computers in modern society and my life Being a coder – step by step: How to start programming and develop basic algorithms. The following learning outcomes are listed:

1.1 present and share examples of what computers are used for and discuss their importance in modern society and in their lives
1.2 describe the main components of a computer system (CPU, memory, main storage, I/O devices, buses)
1.3 explain how computers are devices for executing programs via the use of programming languages
1.4 write code to implement algorithms
1.5 test the code
1.6 develop appropriate algorithms using pseudo-code and/or flow charts
1.7 discuss and implement core features of structured programming languages, such as variables, operators, loops, decisions, assignment and modules
1.8 evaluate the results in groups of two or three

Under Strand 2 Let’s get connected it is stated that students should learn about Making connections: Computers are communication devices and Bits and bytes: How computers store data. The following learning outcomes are listed:

2.1 discuss the basic concepts underlying computer networks
2.2 describe how data is transported on the Internet and how computers communicate and cooperate through protocols such as HTTP
2.3 build web pages using HTML and CSS
2.4 explain how search engines deliver results
2.5 explain how computers represent data using 1’s and 0’s
2.6 investigate how drawings and photos are represented in computing devices

Under Strand 3 Coding at the next level it is stated that students should learn about More advanced concepts in programming and computational thinking and
Documentation and code analysis. The following learning outcomes are listed:

3.1 creatively design and write code for short programming tasks to demonstrate the use of operators for assignment, arithmetic, comparison, and Boolean combinations
3.2 complete short programming tasks using basic linear data structures (e.g. array or list)
3.3 demonstrate how functions and procedures (definition and call) capture abstractions
3.4 describe program flow control e.g. parallel or sequential flow of control – language dependent
3.5 document programs to explain how they work
3.6 present the documented code to each other in small groups
3.7 analyse code to determine its function and identify errors or potential errors

Under Strand 4 Problem solving in the real world it is stated that students should learn about Real world problems: Computer Science inspiring me and computational thinking and Putting the pieces together: Build a final software project that incorporates concepts learnt in the previous strands. The following learning outcomes are listed:

4.1 identify a topic or a challenge in computer science that inspires them
4.2 conduct research on the topic/challenge
4.3 work in teams of two or three and decide on a topic or challenge on which to build a final software project
4.4 brainstorm ideas in the requirements-gathering phase
4.5 discuss aspects of user-interaction design for the project
4.6 design, implement and test a solution
4.7 document team contributions and document the code
4.8 present to peers for feedback
4.9 assess the feedback
4.10 based on feedback, complete the software project and present a convincing argument for the final proposal to their peers

Now, that’s meaty! I have to admit I found this most intriguing: 3.4 describe program flow control e.g. parallel or sequential flow of control – language dependent. The report goes on to discuss assessment also. I won’t analyze that here, but I’ll copy the ‘Features of Quality’ for Strand 3 Coding at the next level:

Achieved with Distinction (90-100%): There is evidence that the programming tasks are executed with complete confidence and there is a very high level of creativity demonstrated. The tasks demonstrate an excellent understanding and comprehensive knowledge of the advanced concepts of programming and computational thinking. There is evidence that very good connections are made between team members and effective and communicative team working is demonstrated.

If this could be accomplished by the age of 14 or so we would be cooking with gas! Let’s not forget though, this is a 2013 draft specification and afor now we have no idea if any of this will become reality.

Back to the Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 Action Plan 2017. Below I have included ‘Key Elements of the Plan’ and ‘What does success look like’. Of these, I found this to be particularly interesting: All students [will] have a digital portfolio with self-created content across the entire curriculum and a recognised capacity in discerning the ethical use of digital technologies.

Key elements of the plan include:

  • A new clustering programme, through which schools across the country will collaborate with each other on innovative projects for using digital technology in teaching and learning. This will be an important means of encouraging schools to innovate in this area, and also for the system as a whole to develop new method
  • A programme of curriculum reforms will see ICT embedded in all emerging curricular specifications and intense preparation for the phased introduction of Computer Science as a Leaving Certificate subject option from 2018 and coding as part of the primary school maths curriculum
  • A new Digital Learning Framework will be trialled in the new school year and will allow schools to evaluate their progress and measure how they stand against benchmarks of highly effective practice of using digital technologies in teaching and learning. Examples of good practice will continue to be captured and shared amongst the teaching community.
  • Provision of a range of professional learning programmes for teachers and school leaders to enable them engage effectively in whole school planning and self-evaluation to support them to embed digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment
  • A full suite of content and exemplars of good practice available through an online portal which will also facilitate the sharing of good practice between teachers.
  • The continuing rollout of a €210million capital investment programme backed by the dissemination of research on best practice in equipment selection, collaboration and technical support
  • A progressive programme of high-speed broadband connectivity
  • New ways of business and industry supporting schools in embedding digital technologies in all aspects of their activities
  • Reviewing policy on the ethical use of the internet and online safety for young people

What does success look like?

1.   All functions of teaching and learning in  schools are fully digitally supported and enabled, with full engagement across the entire school community

2.   All subject specifications support a constructivist learning model and reflect the role of digital technologies in facilitating this model

3.   All students have a digital portfolio with self-created content across the entire curriculum and a recognised capacity in discerning the ethical use of digital technologies

4.   All schools can demonstrate effective or highly effective practice as described in the Digital Learning Framework, underpinned by a whole-school approach to e-planning

5.   All teachers have upskilled and embed digital technologies in their teaching practice

6.   Our Providers of Initial Teacher Education have become recognised leaders in innovative learning for quality outcomes

7.   An increasing number of schools participating in clusters each year leading innovation in the use of digital technologies that can be disseminated to all schools

8.   Good protocols are in place to assist schools in managing their digital resources with robust relationship with industry, business and higher education institutions

9.   All schools have high speed broadband connectivity

10. Schools use a variety of ICT equipment and delivery models for supporting their learning activities with demonstrable cost effectiveness and shared learning

Sources: Irish Times, The Times (London), the Department of Education (Ireland), Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 Action Plan 2017, Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 Action Plan, and Programming and Coding -Draft Specification for Junior Cycle Short Course.

Irish computer science dropout rate falls

The number of students dropping out of Irish computer science courses before beginning their second year has fallen for the first time in several years.

This is welcome news, particularly as in recent years, Computer Science courses have had some of the worst progression rates of all courses. This year* their progression rate has risen from 80% to 84% for honours degree (level 8)** programmes. For university courses the figure is 88pc, compared with 80pc at institutes of technology.

The problem of high dropout rates in Computer Science courses is not limited to Ireland, and has been a big problem in many, if not most countries.

Overall, there has been a small decrease in drop-out rates, although more than 6,200 (nearly one in seven) first year students in 2013/14 did not continue into second year. Interestingly and encouragingly, students from farming backgrounds, and female students, are least likely to drop out before second year.

The source of these figures is a newly published report from the Higher Education Authority (HEA), A Study of Progression in Irish Higher Education, 2013/14 to 2014/15. Figures in the report show that 85% of first years in 2013/14 progressed to second year, up from 84% in the previous year.

HEA chief executive officer Dr Graham Love attributed the improved progression rates in computer science to additional funding for retention initiatives such as maths enabling courses, peer mentoring and tutorials.

*The report detailed here is for students who began their course in 2013/2014.

**For international readers, “honours degree, level 8” courses are ‘traditional’ degree courses, typically 4 year BSc courses. See here for more.

Computer Science to be offered in Irish secondary curriculum by 2019

According to RTE news, the Irish Minister for Education has said that Computer Science, including programming, will be a Leaving Certificate subject by 2019, paving the way for Irish students to have the option to study the subject at secondary school. However the nature of the curriculum has not been settled, nor is not known how many schools will offer the subject. The rules in Irish schools vary, but most require students to take seven subjects for the Leaving Certificate. Some students may take fewer, for example, those who are not taking Irish. Other students may choose to take more. There is no specific rule about how many subjects a student should take, however students must pass six subjects in the Leaving Certificate in order to be eligible for NFQ Level 8 (honours) undergraduate degrees, and the CAO uses a student’s best six subjects to determine CAO points (which determine eligibility to study at the undergraduate level). Every student must take English, mathematics and Irish, unless they have an exemption from Irish. Students will normally choose another four subjects [1].

The UK’s computing curriculum, as part of the UK National Curriculum, has been running since September 2014 for students in primary and secondary school. The road to this curriculum was long and winding, which Neil C. C. Brown and colleagues document in this ACM Transactions on Computing Education paper.  In the US, the CS4all initiative is helping organise efforts to bring computer science to primary and secondary schools, where the landscape is complicated due to primary and secondary schooling being overseen largely at the state level. According to Code.org, only 33 states allow students to count Computer Science courses toward their high school graduation requirements, leaving them to take classes, if they’re offered, as electives. However, Computer Science classes still aren’t even an option for high school students in many districts. See the last link for an interactive map that summarises the status of Computer Science efforts in each state. This week, as part of Computer Science Education Week, the White House announced efforts in two federal agencies to expand access to and quality of computer science education in US K-12 schools [2].

 

‘Supercomputing’ in the curriculum

A recent article on ComputerWeekly.com is calling for supercomputing to be put ‘in the curriculum’. In it, Tim Stitt, head of scientific computing at the Earlham Institute, a life science institute in Norwich, UK, says children should be learning supercomputing and data analysis concepts from a young age.

Although I agree in principle, the article doesn’t specify a particular curricula although it does seem to be aimed at pre-university ages. In the article, Stitt claims that current initiatives such as the new computing curriculum introduced in the UK in 2014 which makes it mandatory for children between the ages of five and 16 to be taught computational thinking, may “compound the issue”, as children will be taught serial rather than parallel programming skills, making supercomputing concepts harder to learn later on. Again, I can agree in principle, but the extent to which learning parallel programming after learning ‘normal’ sequential programming is debatable, and will certainly vary considerably from student to student.

I have mixed feeling about the word supercomputing. I can imagine someone saying “Really? You are going to teach supercomputing to kids? Don’t you think that’s a bit much?” I couldn’t blame them for being skeptical. The word itself sounds, well, super. Personally I think that High Performance Computing (HPC) is more down to earth, but I also concede that that may still sound a little ‘super’. I have some experience with this. I am one of many that maintain the Irish Supercomputer List. That project didn’t start off as the Irish Supercomputer List, but we changed the name in order to, quite frankly, be more media ‘friendly’. (Side note – interesting discussion on disseminating scientific work to the media here).  Additionally, the Indian and Russian lists also have the word supercomputing in their names and/or URLs. The Top500 list also used the word supercomputing before they rebranded a few years back. Anyway…

So, what we are really talking about is putting Parallel Computing (or parallel programming) in the curriculum, and therefore opening the door to supercomputing, as almost all HPC installations require parallel programming. In fact the current Top500 Supercomputer List is composed entirely of clusters (86.2%) or Massively Parallel Processors (MPPs – 13.8%). Clusters are parallel computer systems comprising an integrated collection of independent nodes, each of which is a system in its own right, capable of independent operation and derived from products developed and marketed for other stand-alone purposes [1]. MPPs (such as the IBM Blue Gene) on the other hand, are more tightly-integrated. Individual nodes cannot run on their own and they are frequently connected by custom high-performance networks. They key here is that in both cases memory is distributed (as are the cores), thus requiring parallel algorithms (and therefore parallel programming).  Before switching gears I would like to return to the point I opened this paragraph with – we are talking about parallel programming – not necessarily supercomputing – although learning parallel computing is indeed the essential requirement to eventually program supercomputers.

At the university level, there is more than an awareness of the issues that form the core of the argument which is the focus of the article that I started this post with. In particular there are two conferences/workshops that directly address HPC education at university level:

  1. Workshop on Education for High-Performance Computing (EduHPC-16), held in conjunction with SC-16: The International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis
  2. The Parallel and Distributed Computing Education for Undergraduate Students Workshop (Euro-EDUPAR 2016), held in conjunction with Euro-Par 2016, the 22nd International European Conference on Parallel and Distributed Computing.

[1] Dongarra, J., Sterling, T., Simon, H. and Strohmaier, E., 2005. High-performance computing: clusters, constellations, MPPs, and future directions. Computing in Science and Engineering, 7(2), pp.51-59

Open letter from 27 governors and business leaders push congress on CS education

In an open letter, 27 state governors and a who’s who of technology business leaders have urged congress to help provide CS education in K-12 schools, stating “We ask you to provide funding for every student in every school to have an opportunity to learn computer science”.

The list of signatories includes Bill and Melinda Gates, Eric Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and Tim Cook.

The letter notes that three quarters of U.S. schools do not offer meaningful computer science courses, and states: “… what is increasingly a basic skill is only available to the lucky few, leaving most students behind, particularly students of color and girls. How is this acceptable?” The letter also cites 500,000 unfilled computing jobs, contrasting this with only 50,000 graduates per year.

This letter, combined with President Obama’s CS4All initiative and recent announcements from Microsoft and Oracle (committing $200 million) on efforts to computer science education have given congress more than ample pressure to effect meaningful change on a national level. However to-date many of these efforts represent only the beginnings (however substantial) of what is required. Other efforts, including this letter, so far only amount to (very welcome and convincing) calls for action, leaving big questions remaining:

  • How much will congress apportion and how?
  • How much change can industry along with local, or even statewide actions deliver without congress?
  • How will underrepresented groups benefit?
  • Will they benefit?

The letter and full list of signatories follows:

Dear Members of Congress and fellow Americans,

As business leaders, elected officials, and educators, we join forces to deliver a bipartisan message about opportunity and the American Dream. Technology is transforming society at an unprecedented rate. Whether it’s smartphones or social networks, self-driving cars or personalized medicine, nothing embodies the American Dream so much as the opportunity to change or even reinvent the world with technology. And participating in this world requires access to computer science in our schools. We ask you to provide funding for every student in every school to have an opportunity to learn computer science.

Support for this idea is sweeping our nation. Ninety percent of parents want their children to have access to computer science education at school, and teachers agree. They know that technology opens doors. A hundred thousand teachers have taken matters into their own hands and already begun teaching computer science. Over 100 school districts are rolling out courses, from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, from Miami to Las Vegas. Twenty states have passed policies and are now looking to support professional training for new computer science teachers. Private donors have collectively committed tens of millions of dollars to solving this problem, including $48 million of new commitments announced today by many of the undersigned.

Despite this groundswell, three-quarters of U.S. schools do not offer meaningful computer science courses. At a time when every industry in every state is impacted by advances in computer technology, our schools should give all students the opportunity to understand how this technology works, to learn how to be creators, coders, and makers — not just consumers. Instead, what is increasingly a basic skill is only available to the lucky few, leaving most students behind, particularly students of color and girls.

How is this acceptable? America leads the world in technology. We invented the personal computer, the Internet, e-commerce, social networking, and the smartphone. This is our chance to position the next generation to participate in the new American Dream.

Not only does computer science provide every student foundational knowledge, it also leads to the highest-paying, fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. economy. There are currently over 500,000 open computing jobs, in every sector, from manufacturing to banking, from agriculture to healthcare, but only 50,000 computer science graduates a year. Whether a student aspires to be a software engineer, or if she just wants a well-rounded education in today’s changing world, access to computer science in school is an economic imperative for our nation to remain competitive. And with the growing threat of cyber warfare, this is even a critical matter of national security. Despite this growing need, targeted federal funding to carry out these efforts in classrooms is virtually non-existent. This bipartisan issue can be addressed without growing the federal budget.

We urge you to amplify and accelerate the local efforts in classrooms, unlock opportunity in every state, and give an answer to all the parents and teachers who believe that every student, in every school, should have a chance to learn computer science.

Business Leaders

  • Arne Sorenson, CEO, Marriott
  • Barry Diller, Chairman, IAC and Expedia
  • Bill and Melinda Gates
  • Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard
  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb
  • Brian Cornell, Chairman and CEO, Target
  • Doug McMillon, CEO, Walmart
  • Daniel Schulman, CEO, Paypal. Chairman, Symantec
  • Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Expedia
  • Devin Wenig, CEO, eBay
  • Doug Parker, Chairman and CEO, American Airlines
  • Edward Breen, Chairman and CEO, DuPont
  • Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Alphabet, Inc.
  • Ginni Rometty, Chairman and CEO, IBM
  • Grant Verstandig, CEO, Rally Health
  • Herb Allen, President, Allen & Company
  • Jack Dorsey, CEO, Twitter and Square
  • James Murdoch, CEO, 21st Century Fox
  • James P. Gorman, Chairman and CEO, Morgan Stanley
  • Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO, Amazon
  • Jessica Alba, CEO, The Honest Company
  • Joe Lonsdale, Partner, 8VC. Founder, Palantir
  • John Donahoe, Chairman, Paypal
  • Julie Sweet, Chief Executive, Accenture North America
  • Larry Ellison, Executive Chairman and Chief Technical Officer, Oracle
  • Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock
  • Lowell McAdam, Chairman and CEO, Verizon
  • Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce
  • Mark Cuban, Owner, Dallas Mavericks, Magnolia Pictures, Landmark Theatres
  • Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO, Facebook
  • Rami Rahim, CEO, Juniper Networks
  • Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO, AT&T
  • Reid Hoffman, Chairman, LinkedIn
  • Rich Barton, Chairman, Zillow
  • Richard Anderson, CEO, Delta Airlines
  • Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company
  • Sam Altman, President, Y Combinator
  • Samuel Allen, Chairman and CEO, John Deere
  • Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
  • Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
  • Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman and CEO, Macy’s, Inc
  • Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
  • Vishal Sikka, CEO, Infosys

Governors

  • Asa Hutchinson, Governor, Arkansas (R)
  • Brian Sandoval, Governor, Nevada (R)
  • C.L. “Butch” Otter, Governor, Idaho (R)
  • Charlie Baker, Governor, Massachusetts (R)
  • Dannell P. Malloy, Governor, Connecticut (D)
  • David Y. Ige, Governor, Hawaii (D)
  • Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor, West Virginia (D)
  • Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor, California (D)
  • Gina M. Raimondo, Governor, Rhode Island (D)
  • Jack Dalrymple, Governor, North Dakota (R)
  • Jack Markell, Governor, Delaware (D)
  • Jay Inslee, Governor, Washington (D)
  • John Hickenlooper, Governor, Colorado (D)
  • Kate Brown, Governor, Oregon (D)
  • Maggie Hassan, Governor, New Hampshire (D)
  • Mark Dayton, Governor, Minnesota (D)
  • Mary Fallin, Governor, Oklahoma (R)
  • Matt Bevin, Governor, Kentucky (R)
  • Matt Mead, Governor, Wyoming (R)
  • Mike Pence, Governor, Indiana (R)
  • Peter Shumlin, Governor, Vermont (D)
  • Phil Bryant, Governor, Mississippi (R)
  • Rick Snyder, Governor, Michigan (R)
  • Steve Bullock, Governor, Montana (D)
  • Susana Martinez, Governor, New Mexico (R)
  • Terry Branstad, Governor, Iowa (R)
  • Terry McAuliffe, Governor, Virginia (D)

K-12 Leaders

  • Antwan Wilson, Superintendent, Oakland
  • Bob Runcie, Superintendent, Broward County Public Schools
  • Carmen Fariña, Chancellor, NYC Department of Education
  • Forrest Claypool, CEO, Chicago Public Schools
  • Kimberly Hill, Superintendent, Charles County Public Schools
  • Michelle King, Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Pat Skorkowsky, Superintendent, Clark County School District
  • Richard Carranza, Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District
  • Susan Enfield, Superintendent, Highline Public Schools
  • Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent, California

Education / Nonprofit

  • Bobby Schnabel, CEO, Association for Computing Machinery
  • Cornell Brooks, President and CEO, NAACP
  • Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, AASA, The School
  • Superintendents Association
  • David Coleman, CEO, College Board
  • Elisa Villanueva Beard, CEO, Teach For America
  • Gail Connelly, ED, National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • Hadi Partovi, CEO, Code.org
  • Lee Hood, MD, PhD, President, Institute for Systems Biology. Co-founder, Amgen
  • Linda D. Hallman, CEO, American Association of University Women
  • Lucy Sanders, CEO, National Center for Women and IT
  • Mark Nelson, Executive Director, CS Teachers Association
  • Matthew Randazzo, CEO, National Math & Science Initiative
  • Peggy Brookins, CEO, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • Telle Whitney, CEO, Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology
  • Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director, National School Boards Association

New Google CS education site

Dr. Chris Stephenson, Google’s Head of Comptuer Science Education Programmes has announced Google’s new CS Education website on Google’s Education Blog  and their Research Blog.

The site aims to make it easier for educators and students to access all of Google’s CS Programs and initiatives, providing fast, easy access to Google grant programs, resources and tools, scholarships and internships. The posts above highlight the CS4All initiative, and cite the known lack of computer science graduates, caused in large part by too few students having the opportunity to study computer science in high school. Google’s research shows that only 25% of U.S. schools currently offer CS with programming or coding, despite the fact that 91% of parents want their children to learn computer science. In addition, schools with higher percentages of students living in households below the poverty line are even less likely to offer rigorous computer science courses.

The post notes that increasing access to computer science for all learners requires tremendous commitment from a wide range of stakeholders, and that Google is striving to be a strong supportive partner of these efforts. The new CS EDU website shows all the ways Google is working to address the need for improved access to high quality computer science learning in formal and informal education. Some current programs you’ll find there include:

  • CS First: providing more than 360,000 middle school students with an opportunity to create technology through free computer science clubs
  • Exploring Computational Thinking: sharing more than 130 lesson plans aligned to international standards for students aged 8 to 18
  • igniteCS: offering support and mentoring to address the retention problem in diverse student populations at the undergraduate level in more than 40 universities and counting
  • Blockly and other programming tools powering Code.org’s Hour of Code (2 million users)
  • Google’s Made with Code: movement that inspires millions of girls to learn to code and to see it as a means to pursue their dream careers (more than 10 million unique visitors)
This is also a fantastic student resource, showcasing significant efforts to improve the accessibility of Computer Science study for all students.