The K-12 computing education ecosystem in the United States is comprised of a rich network of educators and many providers offering teaching tools, learning materials, professional development courses, software editors, hardware and accessories.
The demand for curricular programmes and training for pre- and in-service teachers in computer science across K-12 continues to rise across the US.
On a state-by-state basis, there is a growing community of practice which is highlighting successful integrations of micro:bit into new and existing curricula and evidencing the impact of these integrations is helping to encourage deeper engagement with tools like micro:bit and facilitating easier adoption at the local and state level.
Given that computer science is a comparatively new subject area for most generalist teachers, advocating for the subject in general is paramount to establishing micro:bit and similar devices as teaching and learning tools. The work of organisations such as Code.org, CSforAll and the teacher association CSTA play a crucial role.
The Code.org advocacy coalition report maps policies across the United States for implementing computer science, with nine recommended policies to be undertaken at state level, such as:
- Create a state plan for K-12 computer science (CS)
- Define computer science and establish K-12 standards
- Allocate funding for CS teacher training and support
- Implement clear certification pathways
- Create programs at institutions for pre-service teachers
- Establish dedicated CS positions at state agencies
- Require that schools offer CS education with implementation timelines
- Allow CS to satisfy a core high school graduation requirement
- Allow CS to satisfy a higher education admission requirement
These nine policy ideas are intended to offer states options to improve representation, diversity and access in the field of computer science. According to the most recent State of CS report, co-authored by code.org, CSTA, and the Expanding Computing Education pathways (ECEP) Alliance, to date, 20 states have adopted a policy to give all high-school students access to computer science, but of these only 8 have implemented policies to serve all of K-12 with computer science.
Fifteen states have adopted between seven and nine policies, and 47% of high schools offer computer science.
Working in partnership
There is a wide network of support, advisory and advocacy for computer science education across K-12, working in partnership with the Micro:bit Educational Foundation.
Advocacy: Code.org, Computer Science Alliance, Computer Science Teacher's Association, CSforALL, Silicon Valley Education Foundation
Commercial curriculum, CPD & resources: BirdBrain Technologies, Bright Wearables, Brown Dog Gadgets, Modular Robotics, No Starch Press, Project Lead the Way, SAM Labs, SparkFun, Sphero, Texas Instruments, Tynker
Non-commercial curriculum, CPD & resources: AVID, BootUP PD, Engineering is Elementary, Facebook Get Digital, Infosys Foundation, MicroBlocks, Microsoft MakeCode, NYC's CS4All training programme Scratch, TinkerCad