Google to fund computer science training
Google's Eric Schmidt has announced plans for the company to fund the training of computer science teachers and teaching aids. The plan, announced at London's Science Museum, will see Google supporting the Teach First charity in training 102 science teachers, 34 a year for three years.
The majority of those teachers will be ICT teachers, reported the BBC. Google will then provide a bursary for the trained teachers to enable them to acquire teaching equipment, such as the Raspberry Pi or Arduino starter kits, to help them "inspire their classes". "The success of the BBC Micro in the 1980s shows what's possible. There's no reason why Raspberry Pi shouldn't have the same impact, with the right support", Schmidt said.
Teach First's founder, Brett Wigdortz, said that the partnership would ensure "that more than 20,000 pupils from low socio-economic backgrounds will benefit from having access to inspirational ICT and science teachers". Teach First specialised in taking "exceptional" graduates and putting them through a six-week training programme before sending them out to schools.
The UK government recently started a rethink of the computer science curriculum in the UK after it was criticised for being focused on the use of applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel and lacking any deeper computer skills such as programming. "Rebooting computer science education is not straightforward," said Schmidt, "Scrapping the existing curriculum was a good first step – the equivalent of pulling the plug out of the wall. The question is now how to power up."