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Udemy’s Teacher Tech Initiative

I had the pleasure of attending the White House Science Fair today for the announcement of Udemy’s Teacher Tech Initiative, in support of President Obama’s campaign to improve computer science education and put more Americans in tech jobs. Udemy’s Teacher Tech Initiative brings free and highly-discounted computer technology courses to K-12 teachers across the country, so teachers can better prepare students for the jobs of the future.

In its fifth year, the White House Science Fair event celebrates the country’s most outstanding students in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines. Special honor was given this year to girls and women excelling in these fields. Amongst the energetic buzz of student projects and experiments lies the undercurrent of a lack of computer science teachers in America and a need to equip more of our youth – especially girls – with the skills needed to fill the million plus technology jobs predicted to open in the next decade. Sixty-five percent of grade-school kids will have jobs that don’t exist today, and only one in 10 American public schools teach computer science. Udemy’s Teacher Tech Initiative seeks to help close this gap and make it possible for the next generation to take advantage of tech job opportunities.

Among the many amazing organizations joining this campaign is our Udemy for Business customer Esri. They will provide a grant to make its advanced mapping software running on cloud infrastructure provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) available for free to the more than 100,000 elementary, middle and high schools in the United States. Esri is the global leader of mapping technology and Geographic Information System (GIS) software. Esri uses Udemy for Business to create content that educates people on their technology platform ArcGIS.

At Udemy, we believe that people can be and do anything if given the opportunity to learn. We see our students and instructors embody this notion every day. Take 15-year-old Moksh Jawa, a sophomore at Washington High School in Fremont, California, who is passionate about computer science although there are no related classes offered at his school. He self-studied for the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science exam, founded a computer science club on campus, and last month created an AP computer science exam prep course on Udemy with the aim of making computer science education, and the opportunity of passing the AP computer science exam, accessible to high school students around the globe.

Stories like Moksh’s, coupled with attending today’s Science Fair and meeting some of our country’s most innovative and creative young minds, re-confirms this belief that the opportunities and possibilities for success in technology are infinite. Through Udemy’s Teacher Tech Initiative, we’re honored to do our part in empowering teachers to educate today’s students for a successful tomorrow and demonstrate to their students that you can always learn your way to where you want to go.

 

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