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Fostering Tech Talent in Schools

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Teal program

We are taking the kids farther than I could do, said Michael Braun, a teacher who is working with the Microsoft volunteers.

Credit: Stuart Isett for The New York Times

Microsoft recently launched the Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (Teals) program, an effort aimed at getting high school students interested in computer science. There could be as many as 150,000 U.S. computing jobs opening up every year through 2020, according to an ACM analysis of federal government forecasts, and technology firms are worried there won't be enough people to fill them.

Microsoft's Teals program sends company employees to teach high school computer science classes for a full school year. The Teals program is currently in 22 schools in the Seattle area, and has expanded to more than a dozen other schools in Washington, North Dakota, Utah, and California. "I think education and bringing more people into the field is something all technology companies agree on," says Google software engineer Alyssa Caulley.

The Teals program shows students how technology is used in their everyday lives. It also has Microsoft engineers teach the teachers so that they can develop their own computer science lessons. Although many educators believe that for students to be excited about computer science it is critical to introduce them to it at an early age, most states only offer computer science as an elective and not a required core course.

From New York Times 
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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