computer science

State Kicks Off New School Cybersecurity Initiative

May 7, 2018

Cybersecurity in schools is the focus of a new initiative from the Indiana Department of Education, and it includes thousands of dollars in funding for some schools.

The initiative aims to get schools on the same page, and more prepared, in terms of cybersecurity. Schools can apply for matching grants of up to $25,000 to build up their cybersecurity systems, and improve 24-hour system monitoring.

The department’s chief technology officer John Keller says it’s crucial, since more schools are offering more tech to students.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

House lawmakers unanimously passed legislation Monday to require all Indiana public schools to offer a computer science course.

Nearly half of all Indiana public schools currently offer computer science classes. Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) says the legislation she co-sponsors to spread that to all schools will help address Indiana’s skills gap.

“We have over four thousand current jobs available in computer science and we don’t have enough people to fill these jobs,” Shackleford says.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

SECOND OF A TWO-PART SERIES

Universities are seeing success in recruiting more women to their computer science programs, but making sure they want to stay in the major is a different challenge. And colleges can struggle to make sure the environment is as inclusive as possible.

For example, in the computer science department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, there’s only one bathroom.

The building only has room for one, and for a while it was men-only.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

FIRST OF A TWO-PART SERIES  

The computer science field is booming, yet women are still underrepresented within it. Research shows one reason is that girls are not as exposed to computer science in K-12 education. So universities are reaching out to schools to introduce computing earlier.

The Senate education committee heard testimony on a bill to mandate schools teach computer science. It mandates computer science curriculum in elementary and middle school. It also requires it as an elective in high school, and it earmarks money for teacher training.

Technology companies, interest groups and computer science teachers supported Senate Bill 172 – including Brown County teacher Jacob Koressel.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce emphasized education in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, in its plans for the 2018 legislative session. Chamber Vice President of Education, Workforce Development & Federal Relations, Caryl Auslander, says a major focus is on making computer science a prerequisite for high school graduation.

“While there are STEM requirements for high school graduation, there is not a computer science requirement,” Auslander says. “And we believe that needs to change.”

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Purdue University’s enrollment of women in computer science has risen 260-percent in the last five years. Still, the program’s current freshman class is comprised of 22-percent women, which is about on par with the national rate of women in the computing field.

Purdue University will help train thousands of new Infosys employees in Indiana and nationwide.

The five-year agreement comes as the technology and consulting company readies a new hub in Indianapolis.

For years, Infosys hired mainly visa workers from overseas. The company said in May it’s shifting course, hiring 10,000 American employees – including 2,000 in Indiana.

Global tech firm Infosys will bring 2,000 jobs to Indiana in what Gov. Eric Holcomb calls a “game-changing announcement.”

Infosys plans to open four hubs across the U.S. in the next few years, hiring 10,000 Americans. One of those hubs – and 2,000 of those jobs – will be in Indiana. Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka says the company’s plans are aimed at stressing local hiring as it adjusts to a constantly evolving tech world,

New Indiana School Standards Emphasize Computer Skills

Aug 1, 2016
Brad Flickinger / https://www.flickr.com/photos/56155476@N08/5326220288

For the first time, schools will be required to teach computer science skills to all Indiana elementary and middle school students.

Indiana will be one of seven states with formal statewide computer science standards this school year.

All summer, computer science has been a focus at the Lincoln Street Boys and Girls Club in Bloomington. About 20 rowdy campers pile into the club’s computer lab.

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