Nearly 150 teachers, counselors, and administrators from across California have gathered at the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) for a concentrated, weeklong immersion in computer science. The “Summer of CS” conference features intensive, in-person professional learning, designed to help teachers of all subjects learn to infuse computer science into their courses.
“There is such broad value in computer science. We must prepare students to compete in a technologically advanced, global economy,” said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon during a keynote speech at the conference today. “Computer science education must start in our K–12 schools. A quality public school system is integral in attracting skilled workers to a community.”
Computer science education can help students develop their critical thinking and interpersonal skills—including collaboration and communication—to help them excel in all subjects. It also provides students with other valuable skills employers need: analytical capabilities, teamwork, and the capacity to recognize both critical details and the “big picture.” The Kapor Center, a conference partner that is working to increase racial and gender diversity in the technology field, recently released a report showing that California is struggling to develop computational thinking, problem-solving, and programming skills in K–12 students.
This week’s computer science conference comes as SCOE is developing a Computer Science Hub partnership that will help districts implement computer science standards, courses, and pathways. School districts from Sacramento County to the Oregon border will receive support through the partnership. Industry and non-profit partners include Cisco, Code.org, Computer Science Teachers Association, CSforCA, ECS, Google, HP Aruba, Lego Education, Microsoft, NCWIT Counselors for Computing, SETA, SMUD, UCLA, and Valley Vision.