By SARA GIBONEY
KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney Computer Science Department will help rural teachers integrate computer science and information technology lessons into the classroom.
The program, Computer Science Principles on the Prairie, aims to prepare young people in rural Nebraska for information technology careers.
Interested teachers will get support and guidance developing computer science and information technology curriculum. They will also get the opportunity to become certified to teach those courses.
“All teachers are needed to be ambassadors for computer science and information technology concepts,” said Sherri Harms, professor of computer science and information technology. “Small rural schools often don’t have separate computer science or information technology teachers. Any teacher interested in doing this can apply for the program – whether they are a second-grade teacher or a high school English teacher.”
The Computer Science Principals on the Prairie Program is a year-long program that includes workshops, online coursework and activities to introduce K-12 teachers to computational thinking and computer science “big ideas” as outlined in the AP Computer Science Principles curriculum.
Teachers accepted into the program will learn the basics of app development, computational thinking, the Seven Big Ideas of Computer Science, algorithms and programming at a workshop June 7. Teachers also have the option to enroll in an online graduate-level course on information technology teaching methods.
In central Nebraska, the demand for information technology jobs is growing at three times the state average.
According to the Nebraska Department of Education, nine schools in central Nebraska offer an information technology course. There are 63 high schools and 81 middle schools.
The program is funded by a $31,892 Google CS4HS grant. The funding program aims to improve the computer science educational ecosystem by providing funding for the development and execution of computer science teacher development.
Teachers interested in participating in the program should contact Sherri Harms at email@example.com or 308.865.8123. For more information about the June 7 workshop at the Nebraska Career Education Conference in Kearney, visit http://www.nceconference.com/
Source: Sherri Harms, 308.865.8123, firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529, email@example.com