Computer Technology News articles 2013

Douglas Poland teaches an AP computer science class at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Va. As a part of Microsoft's TEALS program, professional software engineers help teach the class.Three numbers are written on the board in Doug Poland's classroom at Stone Bridge High School: two, four and six.

"You have one guess to figure out the rule, " he tells his Advanced Placement Computer Science class on a Friday morning before winter break.

The students - sophomores, juniors and seniors - team up to test patterns of numbers they think will either fit or fail the rule Poland has written down on a piece of paper ("ascending numbers").

As Poland circles the classroom, he tells the students they're "thinking too logically." These are the kinds of "warm up" activities Poland says he likes to use to encourage his students to think creatively. Then, after a short lecture on a new subject or particularly challenging topic from a previous class, Poland lets the students loose to program for the remaining hour of class time.

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"They want to be hands on, they want to be doing as much as possible, " Poland says.

The computer science program at Stone Bridge High School is an outlier compared to other high schools throughout the nation. Students at the high school in Ashburn, Va., have the opportunity to take introductory and advanced placement computer science classes, and can also participate in a computer programming club.

But in nine out of 10 high schools in the United States, there are no computer science classes offered, according to Code.org, an organization that encourages more students to learn programming and coding skills. Additionally, in 33 of 50 states, computer science classes do not count towards high school math or science graduation requirements.

That lack of opportunity is adding to a growing concern among educators and industry professionals who worry there will not be enough educated workers to fill the ballooning number of computer science jobs.

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