What Google’s “Trends in the State of Computer Science in U.S. K-12 Schools” Report Means for Your School

What Google’s “Trends in the State of Computer Science in U.S. K-12 Schools” Report Means for Your School

Key Takeaways

  • The number of computer science courses offered in elementary, middle, and high schools have increased by 25% over the past year.

  • 84% of parents believe that computer science courses are just as important as core courses, creating an enrollment advantage for schools that offer computer science.

  • Computer Science skills, like data organization, procedure creation, and prediction, apply to all areas of study.

  • Codelicious helps make computer science more accessible for the 74% of schools lacking dedicated computer science staff and the 52% of parents who believe computer science is only for gifted students.

Introduction to the Report

In 2016, Google partnered with Gallup, a data analytics organization, to understand perceptions of and access to computer science curriculum in grades K - 12. Gallup conducted interviews with superintendents, principals, parents, and students across the United States. The study defines computer science (CS) as “the study of how computers are designed and how to write step-by-step instructions to get them to do what you want them to do”, focusing on the overall value, demand, and opportunities for computer science in schools (Google and Gallup, 2016). You can read the entire study here. This blog post focuses on key findings and takeaways from this report, as well as what they mean for your school.

Access to Computer Science

With the proliferation of technology in all aspects of life today, many fields require advanced computational knowledge. Even industries that traditionally have nothing to do with computer science, like health care, politics, and design, now involve using computers as a functional tool for data analysis, organization, and automation. That is why it is imperative that these skills are introduced at a young age.

Schools are taking note of this trend; the number of computer science courses offered in elementary, middle, and high schools have increased by 25% over the past year (Gallup, 2016). Likewise, 84% of parents believe that computer science courses are just as important as core courses, like math, science, and English (Google and Gallup, 2016). In talking with educators and administrators across the US, we have seen that this increase in CS offerings creates a competitive advantage for school enrollment. Parents are actively looking for opportunities to build computational skills in their children.

Computer Science is Relevant to All Areas of Study

According to Google and Gallup (2016), students report that they have encountered computer science skills outside of dedicated coding courses. Students organize sets of data, create procedures to perform tasks, and observe patterns to create predictions (Google and Gallup, 2016). In this way, computer science is truly cross-functional; these skills are relevant in math, science, English, history, and the humanities. The critical thinking, communication, and confidence fostered in these computer science activities carry into other classes, higher education, and employment.

Computer Science Opportunities

Google and Gallup (2016) found some interesting opportunities for computer science curriculum in their report. First, 74% of superintendents say they do not offer computer science in their district because they do not have the teachers with the necessary skills to teach it (Google and Gallup, 2016). Second, over half of parents believe that their child must be “very smart” to learn computer science (Google and Gallup, 2016). The report suggests remedying this disconnect by making computer science courses more accessible to administrators, teachers, parents, and students of all levels (Google and Gallup, 2016).

How Codelicious Can Help

This is where Codelicious comes in. Codelicious builds confidence in educators and students in the classroom by providing instant access to computer science curriculum for grades 3-8 that any educator can teach. Codelicious’ full-semester, comprehensive skills-building, and interactive curriculum ensures that teachers are always connected with the most current technology.

With Codelicious Curriculum, there is no need to hire specialized staff; anyone can teach our lessons. Furthermore, Codelicious resources are accessible through any Learning Management System (LMS), so teachers can view a full course syllabus, lesson plans, and educational standards maps at any time.  Finally, Codelicious is customizable for every school’s needs. Schools can easily create student-appropriate courses that make computer science curriculum attainable for all students. Schedule a demo today; we would love to discuss how to accelerate computer science into your school.

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References

Google Inc. & Gallup Inc. (2016). Trends in the State of Computer Science in U.S. K-12 Schools.
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