NEW IT Alliance – February Tech Upload
New IT News
We continue to see evidence that IT professionals are in strong demand. One report from HackerRank estimates that there are now 11 positions for every computer science major. At the same time, the report also has insights on the skills needed beyond a degree as well as advice to recruiters (work-life balance is really important to new graduates).
The only way we can reasonably and sustainably meet this demand is by expanding the education pipeline all the way from elementary school through university and career reskilling/upskilling. This month, activities in the NEW IT Alliance were focused squarely on education efforts.
We held our second NEW CS Advisory Board meeting where schools, higher ed, and professionals met to discuss challenges and opportunities in expanding computer science and IT offerings in middle and high schools throughout the region. The conversation has moved to focusing on diving deep into the specific challenges faced by schools and how we can work together to solve them. Schools face challenges in finding and training teachers, adding content to the curriculum, and attracting students into CS classes. This month we partnered with Code.org to present on their pathways and available teacher training. Sandy Bader is a Code.org CS Fundamentals facilitator for Wisconsin, and has experience working in industry as an IT professional, as well as teaching as a Computer Science instructor at St. Norberts, and as a technology training specialist in the De Pere school district. She is currently developing a working document for teachers to help them understand and teach the new Wisconsin Computer Science Academic Standards.
If you couldn’t make the meeting, presentation materials can be found on the NEW IT Alliance website. Schools interested in more information, or looking to schedule Code.org training can contact Sandy Bader ([email protected]).
Our next meeting is on March 12 at NWTC where the focus will be on increasing diversity in the CS classroom by attracting girls and people of color. Schools, higher ed, and professionals are all encouraged to join us. Register here: https://newitalliance.com/events/
On February 4, the NEW IT Alliance participated in the State Manufacturing & IT Industry Sector Pathways meeting. Organized by the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the event brought together industry leaders and colleges from throughout the state to discuss what our students should be learning in school in order to be college and career ready for high demand positions in IT and manufacturing. Feedback from employers will be leveraged by DPI and their partners to modify curriculum and standards in our schools.
One of the important partners for many schools in the region is TEALS, which offers a model where IT professionals co-teach computer science courses with high school teachers. They recently hired a new coordinator to replace Mackenzie Grondahl. Their new coordinator is Amy Bires who comes from a position as CS instructor at Xavier High School. Please help us in welcoming Amy into the Northeast Wisconsin IT community. We look forward to working with her in her new role.
We would also like to thank everyone who offered to help out New Holstein as a TEALS volunteer. They were able to fill their need and students are learning CS thanks to your help.
TEALS is still in need of volunteers for the 2019-20 school year. Contact Amy at [email protected] to learn more about how you can help.