By Michael Mitchell
Software has become an essential part of our everyday lives. From smartphones to washing machines, computer applications are here to stay and we must prepare the next generation to be adept in tech.
With the tech business booming, many students are looking to get a head start on their careers in the field. Hamtramck Public School’s partnership with the Microsoft’s Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program is helping students achieve just that.
TEALS allows students to learn how to code from industry leaders at Microsoft through a project-based curriculum. This curriculum was adapted from a computer science class taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and has been successfully implemented at many high schools across the country. With TEALS, Hamtramck Public Schools students learn an extremely valuable skill that will be useful in many career paths in the future, while gaining confidence in themselves and their abilities.
Since the start of this partnership in fall 2020, the Hamtramck program has grown to serve nearly 80 students and the number continues to grow. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and many of them are young women. What makes Hamtramck’s TEALS program unique is the diverse and inclusive instruction, as well as hands-on collaborative learning challenges. Plus, despite what many people think, coding is not difficult to learn. If students had to pick one skill to boost their chances of landing a tech job, coding is it. Most students have been delighted to see how uncomplicated coding can be.
Many of our students also say that, thanks to the program, they feel involved, challenged and even inspired. A significant number of them go on to complete computer science course work in college. The best part is that anyone can start in the program, regardless of experience level — there’s no prerequisite requirement.
The TEALS program has been a great opportunity for students to get introduced to logical thinking and problem solving. It prepares them for a future using technology with hands-on and guided practice activities.
To learn more about TEALS, or to get your child involved in programs like this at Hamtramck Public Schools, please enroll your child by visiting HamtramckSchools.org.
— Michael Mitchell is a high school teacher in the Hamtramck Public Schools.
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