Government Offers 20,000 Scholarships to Those Training as Computer Science Teachers reports Azuma Learning
(EMAILWIRE.COM, November 13, 2012 ) Houston, TX -- Computer science education is about to change dramatically in English schools.
For one thing, ministers are seeking help from Microsoft, Facebook, and IBM in designing training for new computer science teachers.
For another, the government will offer hefty scholarships to those willing and qualified to take computer science education training.
The current computer science teacher training courses are being abandoned for the new program, a move that "could not be more welcome or more necessary", said Prof Steve Furber of the Royal Society.
A recent Royal Society report indicated that computer education in English schools was highly unsatisfactory, and emphasized a shortage of teachers qualified to instruct in the subject.
According to the Department for Education, students who graduate from university with at least a 2:1 degree and who understand basic computer science concepts, will be eligible for a 20,000 scholarship to train on one of the new industry expert-designed courses.
Furber said the new approach should make a big difference in Englands computer science education programs. "Computer science was a backwater in many schools, he told the BBC.
But this is an extremely clear signal that the government is taking the problem seriously, that even in times of austerity they have heard the message and are sorting things out."
Furber said he would prefer to see one or two computer science teachers in each of the nations 4,200 secondary schools. "Of course there are already some excellent teachers out there doing all the right things, he added. We are not starting from zero."
Education Secretary Michael Gove said computer science may be added to the English
Baccalaureate (EBacc) list of key academic subjects that teens are urged to study at GCSE.
Computer science is not just a rigorous, fascinating and intellectually challenging subject, he said. It is also vital to our success in the global race.
"If we want our country to produce the next Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the internet, we need the very best computer science teachers in our classrooms. They need to have the right skills and deep subject knowledge to help their pupils."
Gove referred to Berners-Lees creation of the internet to allow researchers to share information no matter where they were located while he worked at the CERN particle physics laboratory in the 1980s in Geneva.
Still, Labour questioned the effectiveness of Goves proposed changes. Stephen Twigg MP, the shadow education secretary, said: "Michael Gove has developed an analogue curriculum in a digital age, said Stephen Twigg MP, the nations shadow education secretary. His outdated EBacc places no value on subjects such as computing.
"If we are to remain competitive, we need to instigate a computer science revolution, starting with getting primary school children to learn coding."
AzumaLearning.com (http://www.azumalearning.com/) offers online computing and IT training videos. The companys self-study courses deliver software demos, classroom-like lectures, and video lessons. Some of the courses come with PDF files and hands-on labs designed to deliver practical experience and reinforce the curriculum.
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