Web Conferencing

Skype in the Classroom Makes STEM Push with Code.org

Skype in the Classroom has partnered with Code.org to connect students with tech professionals in an effort to encourage more kids to pursue careers in computer science.

Skype in the Classroom is a free service from Skype that supports collaboration with other classes, hosts guest speakers for classrooms and lets students take virtual field trips. Code.org is a nonprofit organization working to make computer science available in more schools and to encourage more students to pursue computer science, particularly women and underrepresented students of color. This partnership supports the mission of Code.org by providing students with the opportunity to connect with working professionals in the computer science industry as guest speakers through Skype in the Classroom.

According to information from Skype, tech professionals available as virtual guest speakers include coders, developers, program managers and product designers. They can speak to students about how they found their way to their career, the kind of work they do and why they love their jobs.

The Hour of Code is an initiative by Code.org to introduce kids of all ages to computer programming during Computer Science Education Week. Skype in the Classroom supports the 2014 Hour of Code, but computer science professionals are available through Skype in the Classroom and the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative throughout the school year. The 2014 Hour of code takes place Dec. 8 to 14.

Tech professionals interested in participating as guest speakers can apply online, and teachers interested in bringing these virtual guest speakers into their classrooms can connect with them through Skype in the Classroom's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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