Computer Science (CS) education in Georgia is undergoing a transformation from a set of high school electives to a comprehensive K-12 discipline. As our society experiences a shift into a widespread digital presence and awareness, our education system must also evolve. Students need to graduate with all the tools necessary to thrive in society; these tools now include a computer science education. CS education encompasses ideas such as digital literacy, digital competency, and computational thinking. This skill set will empower our students to solve many of our societal challenges and participate effectively in this digital age.
The Facts: STEM jobs are growing faster than any other job segment in our national economy and 60% of all new STEM jobs are in computing while only 8% of STEM graduates are in CS. In Georgia, there are roughly 21,000 open computing jobs with an average salary of $90,000. This equates to $1.7 trillion in potential state incomes just in terms of salaries. These jobs are not just programmers at tech companies but span every industry. Even jobs that aren't inherently computing jobs are becoming increasingly more reliant on computer literacies. Students that leave secondary education without a computer literacy will be ill equipped to thrive in a digital society. Additionally, when surveyed, students report enjoying computer courses the most, second only to the arts and 90% of parents want CS in their children’s schools, while only 40% of schools offer CS.
Updates: This past legislative session, the Georgia Legislature passed a bill (GA SB 108) that will require all middle schools and high schools in Georgia to offer Computer Science by the 2024-2025 school year. This gradual rollout is designed to give districts time to find and train computer science teachers.
There are some exciting things on the horizon in Georgia, including:
A state plan for CS Education (here)
The first ever K-8 Georgia Standards of Excellence for Computer Science (Approved March 2019)
New online CS professional development courses on GaLearns (first course is available in your local SLDS professional learning portal. Search for Computer Science)
CTAE Middle School Computer Science grant (awarded July 2019)
First Regional CS Summit (CompSci Con) in Columbus, GA (here)
CS4GA Computer Science Capacity grant
Check out the TAG-Ed web site for additional CS activities (here)
Join CS4GA for year round event information for CS Education (here)
Teachers, join the edweb GA CS teacher communities (here)