Opportunities to learn computer science are often limited by access to resources. But Joe Kmoch is working to change that. The retired educator used to teach students about the inner workings of computer science. Now, he’s part of the initiative to make computer science education more accessible and inclusive. In this week’s episode of Let’s Talk Computer Science, Kmoch joins host Sandhya Padala to explain how infusing computer science with other disciplines can help ensure the workforce has the skillset to stay competitive.
Kmoch is passionate about teaching and technology, so much so, that he spends his retirement developing plans to make sure all students have the opportunity to experience computer science – particularly those in underrepresented groups. He believes that the subject should not only be taught at collegiate campuses, but also deserves its own field of study for students in grades K-12. At a time where computer science programs at universities are not producing enough graduates to fill the demand of the job market, Kmoch is confident that expanding CS education is one way to solve the problem. His presumption is that introducing technology to students at an early age, will pique their interest and lead them to a career path in programming.
Kmoch’s advocacy to expand computer science education began in grad school. While obtaining his master’s degree, Kmoch wrote about the benefits of infusing computer science with algebra. He knew back then, what many are starting to realize now – that code is the future. And it’s not just the students who need training; the retired teacher is encouraging more educators to also jump on the bandwagon. With the shortage of CS teachers across the nation, Kmoch believes training and professional development are desperately needed..
Computer science is a new field that brings with it the chance to explore the changing world of a digital society. In this sense, it is more than just a subject – it is an opportunity for students to learn about aspects of life that they may never have encountered before. It is people like Kmoch who who will help the new generation of STEM leaders succeed – closing the tech skills gap, one line of code at a time.