Shining a national spotlight on computer science education

Earlier this year, the United States Congress voted to celebrate Computer Science Education Week to promote computer science education in the US. This week (6-12 December) is the inaugural year and schools and teachers can find a lot of great resources at the official CSEdWeek web site here: Microsoft is a proud sponsor and to help celebrate we’ve compiled a rich set of information, videos and links for educators and students, featuring software, opportunities and success stories here:

With the current tough economic climate, the importance of education is taking front stage around the world. It has become part of the global agenda, not only because of the need to foster entrepreneurship and innovation, but the need to encourage optimism in countries by creating opportunities for jobs and re-skilling of workers to enable innovation and new businesses in the countries. So the need for quality education has never been more important…and the opportunities for using technology to enhance learning and to enable opportunities for personalized learning experiences has never been greater. An interesting op-ed in the Huffington Post this morning from our own Rick Rashid, Marie Klawe and others about how kids need to know how to do more than simply turn on a computer and play video games, how curriculum needs to change, and how we can share our best practices and progress.

It’s timely and appropriate that we celebrate National Computer Science Education Week this week to showcase the value of technology and creating job opportunities with technology. This is an area Microsoft believes deeply in. And programs like DreamSpark, Students 2 Business and the Imagine Cup are all great examples of venues Microsoft provides to enable students to get access to curriculum, technology and support to explore careers and IT. For educators, our Expressions Web site here is a good resource for tutorials and lesson plans for web design.

A recent offering Microsoft is really proud of is BizSpark which enables students, and really anybody, to start and launch businesses using Microsoft technology provided at no cost 3 years. This has created huge opportunity to excite new entrepreneurs. Increasingly technology is a component of every business so we’ve seen this as an acceleration path for the beginnings of new businesses and that will help revitalize the economies around the world.

What more can we be doing to excite kids about careers and learning more about computer science? What support can we lend to teachers, administrators and schools?