Infosys Foundation USA Partners with the National Science Foundation and DonorsChoose.org to Pioneer a New Model of Public-Private-Community Collaboration for Computer Science Education
Partnership will help train thousands of new CS teachers in support of the nationwide CS for All initiative
Palo Alto - April 28, 2016: Infosys Foundation USA today announced its CS for All community giving model, a new private-public-community collaboration that builds on partnerships with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and DonorsChoose.org to provide as many as 2,000 teachers with computer science professional development.
Infosys Foundation USA and NSF have partnered to define an end-to-end approach to computer science education, developing new evidence-based curricula along with sustainable funding mechanisms to ensure teachers are trained effectively in computer science instruction. NSF and Infosys Foundation USA have together committed $6 million to this effort.
For its part, NSF will continue to pilot and expand professional development approaches in computer science within schools across the United States. Infosys Foundation USA will match community-funded donations for professional development training made through DonorsChoose.org.
Harnessing the power of crowd-funding, Infosys Foundation USA and DonorsChoose.org are providing local communities with the means to sponsor computer science professional development in their schools. Parents and other citizen donors will be able to directly impact the communities that they care about through their contributions. Teachers will also have the option to request a stipend for additional financial support for their training courses. The funds will impact up to 60,000 students in the first academic year and directly influence CS curriculum within public schools.
This collaboration is part of Infosys Foundation USA’s mission to broaden access to computer science in all public schools in the country. This program will especially benefit teachers and students in districts with significant funding challenges and limited or no access to computer science education.
“This CS for All community giving model pioneers a sustainable funding approach that puts the power back in the hands of the stakeholders - teachers, students, citizens, and especially parents.” says Vandana Sikka, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation USA. “Skills learned through CS education are essential for success in tomorrow’s workforce. Investing in CS professional development and training the teachers creates a multiplier effect that expands the learning opportunities for our students especially in under-served communities. The crowd-funding dimension of this initiative has the potential to be transformational. It accelerates the impact of this public-private funding and enables us to solve the CS teacher shortage in a unique new way.”
NSF has long supported efforts to develop, pilot and assess course materials and models of professional development for teaching CS. The new partnership will enable more teachers to access some of these evidence-based frameworks, including Exploring Computer Science (ECS), CS Principles and Bootstrap, developed by leading educators and researchers at six universities across the U.S.: Brown University, Trinity College, University of California at Los Angeles, University of California at Berkeley, University of Oregon and University of Texas at Austin.
“By piloting approaches for effective professional development for teachers, we aim to realize the CS for All goal of making rigorous and engaging computer science education available to every student in the nation,” said Jan Cuny, Program Director for Computing Education at the National Science Foundation. “This new model could allow many more teachers to bring quality computer science to their schools.”
DonorsChoose.org has facilitated support for public school teachers across the country through public crowd-funding for more than a decade. This model will leverage DonorsChoose.org’s established network of 400,000 teachers and 2 million citizen donors to create an easy framework for businesses and philanthropic organizations to fund professional development opportunities in their local communities.
"Computer Science skills are a critical part of a 21st century education, essential for preparing students for the careers of the future," said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org. "We're so excited to work with Infosys Foundation USA to prepare teachers and expand course offerings in areas most-in-need of CS education opportunities."