First-of-its-kind streamable lesson series for K-5 educators and professional development resources with hardware kits
New York, NY, August 17, 2021
Infosys Foundation USA, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to computer science (CS) and maker education across the U.S., announced today that it is adding four additional computer science modules for K-12 teachers to its digital learning platform, the Pathfinders Online Institute. Educators can now choose from over 30 unique courses and trainings geared to meet different skill-levels, grades and programming interests. The new offerings are meant to help ease teachers back into the classroom and STEM computer science learning loss after a year of remote and hybrid instruction. The new materials can be accessed for free at Infosys.org/pathfindersonline.
According to the 2020 State of CS Report, 28 states recently passed new laws to promote computer science education but not all mandated funding for professional development for teachers. Additionally, a recent study by the Kapor Center that surveyed over 3,500 PreK-12 CS teachers found that over a quarter of respondents felt limited by their own subject matter expertise and expressed a need for low-cost computer science professional development. The Pathfinders Online Institute addresses these challenges by providing educators with access to computer science curricula, innovative professional development and first-of-its-kind streamable K-5 lessons for educators with no computer science background – at no cost.
"Teachers have overcome insurmountable instructional challenges over this past pandemic year," said Kate Maloney, Executive Director, Infosys Foundation USA. "As they return to the classroom and seek to capture their students’ imaginations, the Foundation is providing creative resources. This will help them bring leading edge computer science and making curricula to their classroom, so their students are equipped with the fundamental digital literacy required to succeed in a tech-driven world."
Infosys Foundation USA is partnering with CS is Elementary, Raspberry Pi and BirdBrain Technologies to offer these innovative learning modules that will help educators enhance their computational fluency. The modules include:
"The Covid education crisis showed that we can teach K-5 computer science via distance learning if we keep students continuously engaged and provide expert virtual co-teachers," said John Pearce, Executive Director, CS is Elementary. "Kode5 courses are built upon this concept, enabling scalable baseline K-5 CS instruction for any child in any school, grade, classroom, or family."
"Robots are powerfully motivating CS learning tools that bring computer code to life, but they are most effectively used by teachers who are well-supported," said Tom Lauwers, Founder and CEO, BirdBrain Technologies LLC. "That is why we are so excited by this opportunity to offer educators a free course and robot with Infosys Foundation USA, to help teachers spark deep and joyful CS learning in their classrooms."
"Supporting computer science and maker educators is a critical part of our work," said Matt Richardson, Executive Director, Raspberry Pi Foundation North America. "We're delighted to collaborate with Infosys Foundation USA on these free courses and to help students use newly-acquired skills in order to solve problems that matter to them."
The courses are open to all K-12 teachers across the U.S. and can be accessed by creating a free account on the Pathfinders Online Institute at Infosys.org/pathfindersonline.
About Infosys Foundation USA
Infosys Foundation USA was established in 2015 with the mission of expanding computer science and maker education to K-12 students and teachers across the United States, with a specific focus on increasing access to underrepresented communities. The Foundation achieves impact through delivering professional development programs for teachers, partnering with leading nonprofits, and delivering innovative media campaigns that inspire everyone to be creators, not just consumers, of technology. For more information, visit infosys.org/USA.
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