MSU joins national effort to expand computer science education

September 14, 2016

computer-science-tabletsMichigan State University is taking steps to support President Obama’s goal of expanding computer science education across the nation.

Today, the MSU College of Education is among more than 200 organizations being recognized by the White House during a summit on Computer Science for All (#CSforAll). The event marks progress on the initiative since the president’s call to action in his State of the Union eight months ago, and celebrates new commitments in support of the effort.

According to the White House, nine in 10 parents want computer science taught at their child’s school and yet, by some estimates, only a quarter of K-12 schools offer a computer science course with programming included. However, the need for such skills across industries continues to rapidly grow, with 51 percent of all science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs projected to be in a computer science-related field by 2018.

Yadav-Aman-2014-smallAs announced in the White House fact sheet, the MSU College of Education will redesign its Introduction to Educational Technology course around computational thinking. This will prepare students in the Teacher Preparation Program to embed computational thinking concepts and practices in the classroom. Approximately 175 pre-service teachers will participate in this redesigned course per year.

In addition, the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program will launch a new graduate certificate in creative computing to meet the growing demand of in-service teachers who need computer science education. Approximately 250 in-service teachers will get the opportunity to complete the certificate program as a part of the master’s program annually.

Associate Professor Aman Yadav is leading these efforts in the college. He is one of the nation’s leading researchers on K-12 computer science education, with an emphasis on improving how teachers are trained.

Read about Yadav’s work to create just-in-time online professional development for teachers. The project is part of a larger National Science Foundation effort to bring computer science curricula into 10,000 high schools, taught by 10,000 well-prepared teachers.