Microsoft Seeks Teachers for Pilot of Visual Studio Code for Education
- By Kate Lucariello
Microsoft has introduced Visual Studio Code for Education, a new computer science instruction platform that takes students beyond beginner coding and teaches them tools used by professional developers. Microsoft is inviting educators to join the pilot program, try it out in their classrooms in the 2023–24 school year, and provide feedback.
VS Code for Education was built for students in grades 9 through 12 and beyond, the company said. Students can gain practical skills for future careers by learning to code with the program.
Educators are invited to try the first course on the new platform, Introduction to Python, which is designed to run a full academic year and does not require any prerequisites or prior coding knowledge, Microsoft said. It is currently offered only in English, and pilot participants are invited to request specific features if they have ideas for making the program better, the company said.
VS Code for Education includes a number of accessibility features, such as zoom and high contrast for visibility, keyboard-only navigation, and screen reader optimization. Most browsers are supported, and there are workarounds for non-support notifications, Microsoft said.
Educators accepted into the pilot program can also join the Educator Professional Learning Community. To qualify, educators must:
Be U.S.-based and teach the Introduction to Python course during the 2023-24 academic year;
Be willing to teach at least part of their computer science course with VS Code for Education; and
Be able to actively contribute to the Educator Professional Learning Community, including providing feedback on their and their students’ experiences with VS Code for Education, as well as participate in customer research calls with Microsoft and other pilot-participating educators.
The VS Code for Education pilot is free for educators accepted into the program, with no additional software or subscription required to participate, Microsoft said.
Learn more and apply to join the pilot at the VS Code for Education website.
Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.