This week we celebrate and recognize the second annual Computer Science Education Week (December 5-11). We’re proud to continue our support for CSEd Week and our commitment to Computer Science education.
We believe that all students should have the opportunity to become active creators of tomorrow’s technology. With that in mind, our goal is to use Google’s strengths and infrastructure to increase access to high-quality open educational content and technology in order to invest in the next generation of computer scientists and engineers. Here are a few programs we worked on in 2010 to expand the reach and quality of computing in education:
Implementing new education technologies and tools that scale
- In July, we introduced App Inventor in Google Labs, a web-based environment that allows students with no computer programming knowledge to build apps for their Android phone. Rather than writing syntax, students design the app and then piece together puzzle-like blocks to set the app’s behavior. Educators around the world have found App Inventor to be a powerful platform for introducing students to the high-level concepts of computer programming and the world of technology.
Increasing access to and the quality of computing curriculum
- In October, we released a set of classroom-ready lessons and examples—created by teachers in collaboration with Google engineers—showing how educators can incorporate computational thinking into K-12 curriculum for math and science. Computational thinking is a set of skills that software engineers use to write the programs that underlay all of the computer applications we use every day. On our site, you can find resources like curriculum templates and forums for educators to share and support ideas around computational thinking.
- In mid-2010, we revamped Google Code University, a collection of university-level computer science tutorials, labs and lectures, to make it easier for people to find and use materials they need. All Google Code University content is Creative Commons-licensed so college professors can use the materials directly in their classrooms.
- We provided grants to 35 universities throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for Computer Science for High School (CS4HS), a workshop to promote computer science in high school curriculum. With funding from Google, colleges develop a two-day program for local high school CS teachers that incorporates informational talks by industry leaders and discussions on new and emerging CS curricula at the high school level.
Influencing positive changes in education through advocacy and community engagement
- We continued to partner with many organizations to advocate the importance of computer science in the classroom, such as Computing in the Core, a non-partisan advocacy coalition of associations, corporations, scientific societies and other non-profits that strive to elevate computer science education to a core academic subject in K-12 education.
We’re excited to be involved in initiatives that highlight the importance of computer science, and look forward to increasing our involvement with Computer Science Education Week in the coming years. Technology and CS are increasingly important to all of us, and we hope others will pay more attention to this critical field. As for Google, we’ll continue to be an advocate for computing and help elevate computer science education at all levels.
Posted by Maggie Johnson