Austin ISD teachers attend a training session at Bowie High School on July 29 to learn how they can effectively teach computer science to students. Joseph Basco
Austin ISD teachers were the ones learning July 29 as they were being trained how to teach computer science to students.
The training session at Bowie High School was part of the AISD’s new Computer Science Professional Development Pipeline program. The initiative’s goal is to address student misconceptions of computer science and help staff effectively promote and teach computer science, according to a news release by AISD.
Sarah Ramirez, AISD administrative supervisor of mathematics, said computer coding is already being taught at several AISD campuses, and the district wanted to build upon that foundation and extend the education to more campuses, from elementary schools to high schools.Read more
Technology companies Google and Rackspace funded the $65,000 grant that helped launch the program.
“When we wrote the grant, one of the ideas behind the grant is that we would be incentivizing the teachers for the hard work that they’re doing when they’re pushing out the coding,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez added that the program may offer scholarships to high school teachers who continue teaching computer science to students.
Roger Steele, the technology curriculum specialist at Highland Park Elementary School, attended the July 29 class. He said the program has “great potential” because coding allows teachers to adapt the learning for specific interests such as fashion, design, music and art.
“This [program] is empowering to the students, because they enjoy it, and it’s higher level thinking,” Steele said. “This is basically a form of logic, and if we can have all students learn logic, then we’re going to have a very scientific nation.”