‘Alaska Week of Code’ Aims to Expand Computer Science in Schools

By Samuel Jordan, Education Technology Coordinator, Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

The Alaska Week of Code, December 4-8, 2017, has one aim: to introduce more Alaskan students to computer coding. Through a partnership with code.org, students, teachers, administrators, and parents have access to a wide variety of activities that introduce the basic principles of coding.

Why Coding? Computer science informs almost every aspect of our lives, from communications to shopping to national security and government. Computer code is the basic language of computer science. Students are growing up with technology driving almost every aspect of their lives and will benefit from understanding how to be critical thinkers about and creators of technology. Not only that, it’s fun!

Every 21st-century child should have a chance to learn about algorithms, how to make an app, or how the internet works. Coding is central to each of these ideas. Alaska can begin to build new job sectors and economic drivers with the simple act of teaching basic coding to students in its schools.

Code Stats:

  • Only 40% of schools in the US teach computer science.
  • 71% of all new jobs in STEM are in computer/coding
  • Computer jobs are the #1 sources of new wages in the US. (as reported by The Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine service)
  • On average, Alaska has over 600 open computing jobs, with average salaries of $84,747 – a $58,899,092 employment opportunity for Alaskans. (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Great resources to participate in the Alaska Week of Code can be found at: https://education.alaska.gov/alaska-week-of-code

Join in on social media with #AlaskaWeekOfCode.

Please invite everyone on your staff to give coding a try using the interactive Code.org activities at https://code.org/learn, including the new Minecraft tutorial.