A project by Erikson’s Technology in Education Center is helping educators in Chicago Catholic schools learn how to integrate computer science programs into the classroom, while a new survey will gauge early childhood educators’ access to technology tools.

Early childhood educators from Chicago Catholic schools participate in a hands-on computer science workshop at Erikson Institute.

Early childhood educators from Chicago Catholic schools participate in a hands-on computer science workshop at Erikson Institute.

Two new initiatives by Erikson Institute’s Technology in Education Center have been included in a White House fact sheet detailing how 250 organizations across the country are committed to providing all students the opportunity to learn computer science.

Through a new project, which began this fall, the TEC Center is collaborating with the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office of Catholic Schools to provide training on developmentally appropriate computer science programs to early childhood educators. As part of the initiative, educators and administrators participate in online and in-person workshops, and they eventually will develop their own integrated technology lesson plans based on lessons they have learned.

In the first year, the project will reach 6,000 preschool through third-grade students from all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds across 25 schools in Chicago’s second-largest school network. Over the course of several years, the project has the potential to reach 58,000 students across 200 schools.

“Through this initiative, our goal is to empower teachers working with young children from diverse backgrounds to provide computer science education that offers a strong foundation for future learning,” says Tamara Kaldor, M.S. ’11, assistant director of the Technology in Education Center.

In addition, The White House’s fact sheet also mentions that the TEC Center is launching a teacher survey and research project to measure what access early childhood educators have to WiFi, technology tools, and professional development.

The White House’s fact sheet kicks off Computer Science Education Week 2016 and also calls attention to new federal actions aimed at expanding access to computer science education and prepare students with the skills needed for a growing number of technology-based jobs.

To read the full fact sheet, click here.