Most teenagers are obsessed with the latest technology, gadgets and devices, but only 30,000 high school students in the US take Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science. Does this mean they don’t care how their iPhones and iPads work? Not necessarily. Out of the more than 26,000 public and private high schools in the country, only 7 percent offer AP Computer Science. (Only six out of every 1,000 high school teachers teach computer science full time.) So with limited access to AP classes and teachers, how can we prepare today’s teens for the 1 million jobs that will be created in computer science related fields by 2020?
Tech-savvy education company Amplify is offering a free two-semester Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for High School AP Computer Science. The big advantage of MOOCs is that anyone can take it online and can watch and re-watch lessons at their own pace and get instant feedback when doing practice problems. But it’s not all online, MOOC Local students (those who take the course through their high school) can also have a personal coach assigned by their school trained by Amplify. A great opportunity, right? The students think so. The first year program saw 1,254 students enroll. Still a long way to a million.