Happy Fourth Day of Computer Science Education Week: Virtual Arkansas Partnership Continues
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Office of Computer Science (CS) is pleased to announce that ADE is continuing its partnership with the Arch Ford Education Service Cooperative’s Virtual Arkansas division to develop additional CS curriculum options for high school programming and our new Data Science pathway over the next two school years. This curriculum will support teachers and students through increasingly rigorous and relevant concepts leading to more Arkansas students being prepared for industry recognized certifications and prepared to enter post-secondary computer science and data science programs. To support this partnership, ADE will provide grants totaling approximately $150,000 over two fiscal years.
This school year Virtual Arkansas released its cybersecurity curriculum pathway that was developed under a previous grant from the Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science.
“We have really enjoyed the course this year, and it was a necessity for us,” says Scott Maddox, Computer Science Teacher in Vilonia, AR. “I was able to use it to cover both in-person students and virtual students. I had a full class load, so no real ‘extra’ time for virtual. Using the course made grading much simpler, and although I still had to do a lot of extra work to keep up with students, it was much easier to streamline the process. I greatly appreciate the ADE Office of Computer Science for funding this project.”
The new curriculum options for schools and their estimated launch dates are:
- High School Programming — Year 2 — First Semester (Level III)
- High School Advanced Programming — First Semester
- High School Data Science — Year 1 — First Semester (Level I)
- High School Programming — Year 2 — Second Semester (Level IV)
- High School Advanced Programming — Second Semester
- High School Data Science — Year 1 — Second Semester (Level II)
The ADE Office of Computer Science will collaborate with Virtual Arkansas, and an ADE Office of Computer Science approved team of curriculum writers to develop the curriculum, which will include all the resources needed for a beginning computer science teacher to appropriately instruct students in this high-quality content.
Virtual Arkansas will assign a teacher and provide all courses developed under this agreement through its digital delivery platform beginning in the 2021–22 school year. Virtual Arkansas will also provide this curriculum for all courses in “content only” format at no charge to the school, the teachers, or the students. Virtual Arkansas will also update the virtually delivered and “content only” curriculum as necessary in accordance with the Arkansas Computer Science and Computing Standards.
This is Computer Science Education Week; Arkansas is releasing a new Computer Science related announcement and/or commitment each day of this week. For a full listing of the announcements as they are made please visit the ADE Computer Science and Computing Initiative at: cs.arkansas.gov