Changing Systems for CS with Leigh Ann DeLyser


Leigh Ann DeLyser has a well-traveled path on her CS journey. From being raised in a mountain cabin in rural New York to working with New York City Public Schools to bring CS opportunities to all students, she believes that all students should have an opportunity to work with computer science. During this in-depth interview, she discusses what schools should focus on to make systematic change as well as the diversity of needs of both the most populous and most rural schools in our nation.

Empowering Computer Science Education for All: A Captivating Conversation with Dr. Leigh Ann DeLyser


Welcome to an in-depth and insightful interview where we have the privilege of engaging in a captivating conversation with Dr. Leigh Ann DeLyser. Dr. DeLyser, a renowned authority in the field of computer science education, serves as the Executive Director of CS for All, a national initiative committed to ensuring equitable access to computer science education for students of all backgrounds. Join us as we embark on a remarkable journey, exploring Dr. DeLyser’s personal experiences, her passion for computer science, and the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on education. Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of CS for All and discover how they are driving systems change to empower every student in the realm of computer science.

Unlocking a Unique Journey: Discovering a Passion for Computer Science

Dr. Leigh Ann DeLyser’s journey into the world of computer science is an inspiring tale of discovery and perseverance. Growing up in a rural area where access to computers and video games was limited, she initially missed out on the early exposure that often sparks interest in the field. However, during her undergraduate years, she had a serendipitous encounter that would change her life forever. Immersed in database systems and honing her coding skills, Dr. DeLyser experienced firsthand the power of computer science and its potential to revolutionize education. This eye-opening experience ignited a lifelong passion and led her to dedicate herself to ensuring that every student has an opportunity to explore the wonders of computer science.

CS for All: Pioneering Equitable Access and Impactful Change

At the heart of our conversation lies CS for All, an innovative and trailblazing initiative that emerged from Dr. DeLyser’s pioneering work in New York City. Fueled by a powerful vision to reach every student across America, CS for All focuses on driving systemic change to make computer science accessible and impactful. Rejecting a one-size-fits-all approach, CS for All recognizes the need for tailored solutions in diverse educational settings. Dr. DeLyser emphasizes the importance of considering the three key elements—people, practices, and policies—when implementing computer science programs. By addressing these components comprehensively, CS for All aims to bridge the digital divide and ensure that computer science education becomes an integral part of every student’s educational journey.

Navigating Challenges and Embracing Assets: From Urban to Rural Education

As we dive deeper into the conversation, we explore the challenges faced by educational institutions in both urban and rural settings. Dr. DeLyser sheds light on the unique obstacles encountered in different contexts and emphasizes the importance of leveraging the specific assets present in each school. Recognizing that what works in one location may not be suitable for another, CS for All’s approach embraces the resources available in each community. By engaging in meaningful partnerships and collaborations, CS for All aims to bring about sustainable change and foster equity in computer science education. Their comprehensive programs empower teachers, actively engage students, and ensure that no student is left behind in the digital age.

AI: Shaping the Future of Computer Science and Education

Our conversation takes an intriguing turn as Dr. DeLyser explores the transformative role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of computer science and education. Drawing a compelling analogy to the evolution of transportation, she illustrates how AI has the potential to optimize tasks, much like automobiles, planes, and trains revolutionized our ability to travel. However, Dr. DeLyser emphasizes that the rise of AI does not diminish the importance of human creativity and connection. Instead, it presents an opportunity for humans to engage in deeper, uniquely human endeavors while AI handles mundane and repetitive tasks. Through thoughtful integration and responsible use of AI, computer science education can prepare students for the future, equipping them with the skills and mindset needed to navigate an ever-evolving technological landscape.

Conclusion: Empowering Accessible and Equitable Computer Science Education

Dr. Leigh Ann DeLyser’s insights shed invaluable light on the critical need for accessible and equitable computer science education. CS for All’s mission to drive systemic change, leverage school-specific assets, and empower students and teachers is nothing short of transformative. As the field of computer science continues to evolve, the integration of AI holds immense potential. By embracing AI as a tool to enhance human capabilities, we can unlock new possibilities, foster connections, and shape a future where computer science becomes a gateway to unlocking human potential.

We encourage you to explore the wealth of resources and initiatives offered by CS for All. Visit their official website at to learn more about their groundbreaking work. We extend our deepest gratitude to Dr. Leigh Ann DeLyser for her unwavering commitment to empowering students and teachers in the realm of computer science. Lastly, we would like to express our appreciation to our partners at Rex K-12 for their invaluable support in bringing you this enlightening conversation. To gain access to their comprehensive computer science platform, which includes cybersecurity and app development courses, visit Stay tuned for more captivating discussions on the ever-evolving landscape of computer science education, and join us in shaping a future where every student has access to the transformative power of computer science.

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