Skip to main content

New York City’s mayor mandates computer science curriculum for public schools

Computer Music
If New York’s Silicon Alley is to compete with California’s Silicon Valley, the Big Apple is going to have to find a way to nurture talent and instill interest in technology from a young age. And now, thanks to New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s new computer science mandate, the battle between the two coasts may have just swung a bit in the east’s favor.

On Wednesday, Mayor De Blasio announced that all city public schools will have to offer computer science to all their students within the next decade, and while it will not be a graduation requirement for high schoolers, the change marks a distinct effort to expand computer literacy and further opportunities for New York youth with an increasingly important skill set.

Related Videos

The move comes as part of a broader education plan, which the mayor announced in a comprehensive speech Wednesday evening. Computer science and programming, though, is certainly a major focus for the politician, who noted that, “A computer science education is literacy for the 21st century. When you do find students in computer class, they’re learning word processing or typing when they should be learning how to code.”

The expansion of computer science classes will be no small undertaking — over the next 10 years, the city plans to spend $81 million to help train a sufficient number of teachers to actually offer the curriculum. As of today, fewer than 10 percent of schools in the city offer any sort of computer science course, and only 1 percent of students manage to graduate having taken such a class.

But with growing concerns over the lack of diversity in the tech industry, particularly when it comes to engineering and programming roles, the need for greater access to these skills is becoming more and more pronounced. Parents certainly seem to be on board with the changes, with parents like Jennifer Rivera telling local CBS2 News, “I do think it’s very important for the kids. [My son] wants to be a scientist when he gets older, so it’ll be awesome for him.”

Another parent, Yakema Brisman, told the news station, “For my kids and considering the changing times, I want them to be able to keep up with it and do it safely.”

So while it may have just been reading, writing, and arithmetic when we were in school, children of the 21st century are receiving an education that is including literacy in a brand new subject — computers.

Editors' Recommendations

There’s a new use for the failed Google Glass: Helping kids with autism
google glass monthly update october

For all intents and purposes, Google Glass has joined the ranks of the LaserDisc or Nintendo Power Glove among the once-promising gadgets which failed to catch on with consumers. After we had written them off as old news, however, Google’s ill-fated smart glasses may have finally found their ideal use case: Helping kids with autism in social situations.

“Google Glass is a lightweight, unobtrusive, augmented reality wearable device that is ideal for use with individuals who have often have sensory sensitivities,” Dennis Wall, an associate professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Biomedical Data Sciences at Stanford Medical School, told Digital Trends. “It is adjustable, and can fit on children as young as three years of age. Many other smart glasses available today are heavy or bulky, and therefore are not practical for use with children.”

Read more
The Brush Monster makes an augmented reality game out of oral hygiene
The Brush Monster is now live on Kickstarter, seeking $20,000
brush monster ar toothbrush 1024x576 main

If ever there was a good time to instill good oral hygiene practices, it would be during childhood. Getting your kids to brush their teeth doesn't have to be like pulling teeth. At least, not if the Brush Monster has anything to say about it.

Launching soon on Kickstarter, this augmented reality enabled toothbrush for kids comes from Samsung spinoff Kitten Planet, and promises to encourage and educate kids on healthy brushing habits. Better still, it gives parents the opportunity to analyze brushing data via the companion mobile app.

Read more
How much does it charge an hour? Google patents ‘digital babysitter’
worst pinterest fails baby

Wow, we used to think we were latchkey kids. An obscure, 28-page patent filed in Europe three years ago shows that megacorporation Google is thinking about building a digital babysitter.

The patent, titled “Devices and Methods for Protecting Unattended Children at Home,” describes in very general terms a highly complex and adaptable platform to help new parents or inexperienced babysitters provide a higher level of care to infants and children. The patent content sure makes it sound like a babysitter that is adapted from the basic tenets of Google Home.

Read more