Computer Science Professional Development Incentive Fund application process now open
The Computer Science Professional Development Incentive Fund application process is now open through Nov. 9 for districts, accredited nonpublic schools, and collaboratives. Funding is aimed at building the computer science teacher workforce by offering high-quality professional development to prepare Iowa teachers to teach computer science, engaging teachers who are new to computer science and encouraging innovation.
The incentive fund was created through 2017 legislation that encourages computer science in every school in Iowa, and is funded through a state appropriation as well as with dollars from a 2007 settlement of an Iowa class-action lawsuit filed against Microsoft Corp.
Applications for funding must demonstrate how schools will prepare K-12 educators to teach computer science and expand high-quality computer science instruction based on Iowa’s computer science standards adopted by the State Board of Education. The goal is for students to have a strong computer science foundation in elementary school, and then build upon it as they move through middle and high school.
Computer science develops students’ computational and critical thinking skills and is more than computer literacy and digital citizenship. Considered a new basic skill in an increasingly competitive, technology-driven economy, computer science is understanding how and why technologies work, exploring whether and how technology could solve real-life problems, investigating procedures, creating solutions and learning about computing systems, programming, data, networks and the effects on society and the individual.
Computer science is learning how to create new technologies, rather than simply using them. This fundamental knowledge is needed to prepare students for the 21st century, regardless of their ultimate field of study or occupation.
For questions about the incentive fund, contact Wren Hoffman at email@example.com or 515-981-3306.