In India, computer science is one of the most sought-after education streams. It gained momentum in around 2002-2003 when the IT sector of the country started blossoming. Back then, precisely around 15 years ago, when technology hadn’t taken over lives completely, there was very little or no need to incorporate computer science in school education. Although yes, experts then as well had projected the need for incorporating computer science in school education! But, even today, at a lot of places, computer science is something reserved for graduation, and schools and educators have very little to do with it during the school years of the children.
Over the years, we’ve now come to a stage wherein we can’t do away with computer science. Students must learn it right from the beginning. This is imperative from the viewpoint of contributing the industry with technologists, and computer specialists who’ve gained a deeper understanding of the various subject matters involved in it.
5 Ways of Incorporating Computer Science in Schools
Students choosing computer science out of peer pressures, parent pressures, industry wave, etc. and failing miserably in the first year itself has been a harsh reality since quite a long time. Incorporating computer science right from the schooling years will, therefore, help students to learn concepts better, be considerably prepared with the required know-how when they step out of the school.
There’s no set formula to incorporate computer science. Teachers need to keep trying until they meet success. The following 5 tips may help in this regard.
- Learning how to Teach Computer Science
The fundamental question here is, are teachers ready to take up teaching computer science in their classrooms, and do they have the required technical know-how of teaching the various subjects that it entails? If the answer is yes, great! If not, teachers, at the outset, must enroll for an in-person or an online training course to learn how to teach computer science to school going students. The course must also involve sessions on learning how to integrate computer science lessons in their existing lesson plans.
- Creating Awareness
Resistance, in the beginning, is quite normal. However, teachers along with educators must explain parents and their children the significance of integrating computer science in the existing curriculum, and how learning computer science will translate into a lucrative career in the years to come. And, it isn’t just a great job in any of the multinationals, but explaining how computer science will help their child contribute better to the country’s progress can also play an instrumental role in convincing both the parties.
- Establish and Run Exclusive Mentor Programs
This is more of a joint effort rather than a school working it out alone. Companies and schools can collaborate to establish, and operate exclusive mentorship programs that will encourage students to learn computer science, and augment their skills to be future-ready. This can be done through after-school programs or co-taught lessons. When students are assured about the support and the bright prospects, their interest in learning computer science will automatically and naturally increase.
- Offer Students Something in Return
Teachers can incentivize an initiative by offering students extra credits, extra points, etc. to encourage them to use free online learning tools, and build the fundamental computer science expertise while working on a particular project.
For some, learning coding may seem to be going overboard with computer science education in schools. But, it isn’t. Learning age-appropriate coding through several apps such as Scratch, and the likes will help parents develop problem-solving abilities in their children, and explore how computer science works in real life.
Learning computer science is as important as learning other subjects such as mathematics and regular science. And, especially, when technology has already transformed and going to transform a lot of things in the years to come, learning computer science, right from the school days, is gradually becoming imperative. But, K-12 teachers alone cannot make a difference. Educators (the administrators or the owners of the school) as well need to support this movement, and back teachers with the required resources and support to simplify this seemingly difficult task.