This week thousands of students, teachers and parents are participating in Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) activities and events to raise awareness about the role computing plays in all our lives and to promote computer science education for all students.
Computer science touches everyone’s daily lives and plays a critical role in today’s society by driving innovation and economic growth. From mobile phones, to social networks, to basic industrial processes, the field is shaping the future by solving some of the world’s greatest challenges and creating today’s most exciting innovations. Computing related jobs remain strong despite the nation’s extraordinary economic challenges.
This enormous potential of computer science is often hard to appreciate because computer systems are often so interwoven in our daily lives. Even as the role and significance of computing has grown, the teaching of computer science in our K-12 education system has dramatically declined. U.S. K–12 education has fallen woefully behind in preparing students with the fundamental computer science knowledge and skills they need for future success. Most of our schools don’t offer an innovative computing curriculum for students at all levels, so few of them have the opportunity to study computer science in an engaging and rigorous way. There is all-too-often a lack of ethnic and gender diversity among those who do take computer science courses, and even our teachers who want to expose students to the critical thinking and problem solving skills that computing can offer have few opportunities for professional development and certification in computer science education.
CSEdWeek 2010 is a call to action to raise awareness about computer science education and computing careers. It is endorsed by the U.S. Congress and designated as December 5-11, 2010 in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Hopper (December 9, 1906).
If we can eliminate misperceptions about computer science and computing careers, and communicate the tremendous opportunities for which computer science education prepares students in K-12, higher education and careers, we can help American students be prepared for the jobs of the 21st century and gain the ground they need to compete in the global economy.
To participate and find out more, you can go to www.CSEdWeek.org.
For teaching and learning resources related to computer science, visit http://www.free.ed.gov/subjects.cfm?subject_id=134.