Computer Science Standards

After I participated in the Computer Science Education Work Group I was invited to take part in a Computer Science Standards Review Team. Both the Education Work Group and the Standards Review team were created at the direction of the Iowa Legislature. Our directions were to develop recommendations to ensure that elementary, middle, and high school students in Iowa have the opportunity to develop computer science skills. We met 5 times from January through May 2018 and published a final report on June 15, 2018.

With the rapid development and integration of technology it has become apparent that students need skills beyond the core academic standards to succeed in the future. Though standards already existed for 21st Century Skills and Technology Literacy, computer science standards had not been established for Iowa schools. These standards will direct the creation of rigorous coursework so that Iowa's students can be successful no matter what their futures hold.

After careful examination of standards from across the country and review of public input gathered through forums and polls, we decided to adopt the Computer Science Teachers Association Standards. The Computer Science Teachers Association is a group of educators from 145 countries who are committed to providing quality computer science education. We considered modifications that other states have made to the standards as well as suggested changes from team members and public input. Since suggested changes and modifications were minor and didn't add anything substantive we decided to use these standards as is. This will make future updates easier and ensures that coursework is taught to nationally recognized standards.

We are increasingly surrounded by technology and no one that participates in modern society does so without using technology. Being surrounded by all of this technology without a basic understanding of how it works is like going to a library without knowing how to read. Increased access to computer science education across the state means that more Iowa students have the chance to explore their potential and encourages them to consider all of the ways that computer science benefits them regardless of their future career. This creates increased equity in computer science education and makes students less likely to self-select out of a field in a technology related field.

Being part of the creation of computer science standards for the state of Iowa reinforces how passionate Bio::Neos is about education. We will continue to work to create educational opportunities for students across the state so that they can explore computer science as a career field as well as a basic skill-set that can benefit them no matter what they want to do after they graduate. To learn more about our work in education and ways that you can be involved please get in touch with us. We'd love to hear from you.

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