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Microsoft Hopes to Expand Program to Reach 33 States in Three Years

Microsoft Hopes to Expand Computer Science Program to Reach 33 States in 3 Years

Over the past few weeks, Microsoft has been aggressively expanding its computer science program, committing $75 million to help teach computer science in schools over the next three years.

"In Microsoft’s Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program, tech workers volunteer to help teach computer science in high schools across the nation. The volunteers work alongside teachers, so they can also learn the course material," according to eSchoolNews.

"Started in 2009 by a Microsoft employee, TEALS was adopted by Microsoft in 2011. The program offers two course levels — an introduction to computer science and an advanced class that is an introduction to Java programming," the article said.

Right now, according to TEALS' website, it currently partners with 162 schools across 18 states and D.C.

In the next three years, Microsoft hopes it's $75 million commitment to TEALS will create 538 new partnerships in 15 new states to teach 30,000 students computer science.

Expanding computer science in schools is a hot topic presently as America's changing workforce increasingly demands computer science skills. As it stands, only one in four schools offer computer science for students, and many of those course offerings are electives only.

While many districts express the desire to increase computer science course availability, it's often a difficult task because of both limited funding and a limited number of teachers trained to teach within the field.

For schools interested in partnering with TEALS, its website says it considers schools that wish to offer computer science but face obstacles priority.

The program is free of charge, but schools must have their own equipment and materials and must provide traveling stipends for volunteer teachers. The average program length, the site says, is two years.

The application process for partnering with TEALS begins in November. For information on how to apply for the 2016-17 school year, see here.

Read the full story here. 

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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