In a previous Look Into Education blog, we discussed the demand in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs and the increase in educational programs to prepare students to fill these positions.
That is, with the exception of computer sciences.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, computer science is the only STEM field that has seen a decrease in student participation since they started conducting the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports back in 1990.
So why has the surge for all STEM sustained except for the “T”? How can bachelors in education majors ignite interest in computers and technology in their future students?
In October, Linda Liukas, programmer, illustrator and author of children’s book “Hello Ruby” that teaches kids, and more specifically little girls, about coding and computing, shared in a TED Talk about why it is not only important to teach kids computer skills, but how to make it fun.
“The kids of today — they tap, swipe and pinch their way through the world. But unless we give them tools to build with computers, we are raising only consumers instead of creators,” explains Liukas.
Through her book, children “learn technology through play,” and understand the curriculum of coding through the eyes of a six year old.
Liukas shares that her goal in working with children, encouraging them to dream and imagine the possibilities of what they could create using computers, comes with the moment when a kid realizes “the world is definitely not ready yet.”
“[The idea] that a really awesome way of making the world more ready is by building technology, and that each one of us can be a part of that change.”
Why is it so important that children start learning these valuable skills at such a young age? First, there is almost no job that exists that does not use some type of computer technology. And secondly, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the Computer and Information Technology field are projected to grow by 12 percent and account for 4.4 million jobs by 2024, a faster growth rate than average.
In another education blog, we discussed the many opportunities Bachelors of Science in Education and Masters in Education students have to gain knowledge and experience in the integration of technology into curriculum, including William Woods University offered Enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies (eMINTS) Certification or the Online Masters of Education in Teaching and Technology degree.
Additionally, education students can take courses like EDU211 Educational Technology I and EDU411 Educational Technology II to gain practice with multimedia and learn to integrate technology into classroom projects.