Microsoft will donate $10million to Code.org by 2020, it has been confirmed. The news comes as students worldwide take part in Computer Science Education Week 2018.
Computer Science Education Week 2018 is currently being celebrated around the world. Organisers hope that it will promote the importance of educating the coders of tomorrow, helping to support creativity and imagination.
Code.org is a non-profit group which strives to expand this kind of education in K-12 schools across America. Simply put, their vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. Code.org say that it has just as much right to be included on the curriculum as biology, chemistry and algebra.
CSEdWeek is here! Today we celebrate pledges to bring CS to millions of students worldwide. Thanks to all who helped build this global movement alongside us! ❤️ https://t.co/R6ElbEJP5k
— Code.org (@codeorg) December 3, 2018
The organisation – and their Hour of Code campaign – is supported by some big names. As well as Microsoft; Amazon, Facebook, Google and the Infosys Foundation are also involved.
When and what is Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek)?
The weeklong scheme kicked off on Monday December 3 and will run until Sunday December 9. It is an annual program completely dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take an interest in computer science.
It was originally conceived by the Computing in the Core coalitions. The week is organised by Code.org as a grassroots campaign supported by 350 partners and 100k global educators.
It is held in recognition of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. The legendary computing pioneer was born on December 9, 1906.
Where does Microsoft come in?
“It’s Computer Science Education Week, and we’re here to help you make it great,” said a Microsoft statement.
It continued: “When students engage in computer science, they are not just learning to code to become future software engineers. They are also developing creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will prepare them to thrive in the future workforce, where 77% of jobs will require technology skills in the next decade”
Microsoft has been our partner since we started this journey in 2013. We are so honored by this generous donation and these funds are crucial in helping us achieve our shared vision of bringing CS to every classroom! 🖥️❤️https://t.co/SRwiQprc09
— Code.org (@codeorg) December 3, 2018
Later, the company added: “Microsoft is also committing $10 million to help Code.org continue advocating for computer science education policy.
“So, every state is taking steps to increase access to computer science to their students and ensure every school provides its teachers with professional development in computer science.
“To continue this great momentum, we invite you to join the movement to bring computer science to everyone!”
How important is coding?
Leading up to Computer Science Education Week, Microsoft and YouGov teamed up to survey K-12 teachers in the US. As much as 83% of teachers believed coding could enhance students’ creativity, it was found.
The statement added: “Computer Science Education Week is the perfect time to bring digital learning and creativity together, igniting your students’ passion to create and innovate with technology!
“When asked, 80 percent of teachers said they believe big tech companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple should be helping build computer science skills and 75 percent of teachers said the government isn’t doing enough to equip schools to build these skills.
“That’s why we’re excited by the progress that has been made in recent years.”
It claimed that students in more than 180 countries have been able to learn the fundamentals of coding. This is thanks to free Minecraft Hour of Code tutorials. In fact, more than 100 million sessions were logged in the past four years.
Cnet also outlines that, ‘beyond kicking in cash’, Microsoft has helped Code.org “advocate on federal and state levels”. This is to get computer science considered a ‘modern academic field’.
Computer Science Education Week continues at @BostonSchools. Check out these photos of students at @TheEnglishHS and Tynan Elementary. Learn more about the 2018 BPS Student Coders Contest: https://t.co/aTBHRhWGao #CSEdWeek @CSEdWeek @BPSTechnology pic.twitter.com/WMrikOlAn0
— BostonPublicSchools (@BostonSchools) December 5, 2018
— CSEdWeek (@CSEdWeek) December 2, 2018
How do you get involved?
So, if you’re interested in learning more about coding then you should head to csedweek.org to get started. There you can also learn how to get involved with the teaching and give something back to coding.
The website boasts a vast selection of opportunities to learn more, and promote, CSEdWeek.