Computer Science for Hawai‘i

CS is everywhere; advances in Computer Science have transformed the way we live, work, learn, play and communicate. In our global digital society, no other subject will open as many doors in the 21st Century as CS, regardless of a student’s ultimate field of study or occupation.


 

What is CS?

CS is defined as:

As the foundation for all computing, Computer Science is defined as “the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their [implementation], and their impact on society” (Tucker et. al, 2003, p. 6). Learn more.

CS is much more than using a computer and coding. CS provides a collaborative learning platform for a variety of student learning opportunities that include: technical digital skills, innovative creativity, computational thinking, and problem solving.

 


According to Code.org, there are more than 695,077 open computing jobs nationwide, but only 159,982 Computer Science students graduated into the workforce with growth projected at twice the rate of all other jobs. 

In Hawai`i, there are nearly 2,928 open computing jobs, but only 154 students who graduated with a CS degree. Not only are these careers in demand, they’re lucrative — “According to the 2021 Hawai`i IT Workforce Needs Analysis report, the average tech industry hourly wage in Hawai`i is $39.92, 157 percent higher than the $15.53 ALICE Individual Wage.”

About CS for HIDOE

With rapid technological changes in CS, the HIDOE recognizes the urgency for a statewide Computer Science education program and envisions all students having the opportunity to graduate with foundational CS knowledge and skills to thrive in our increasingly digital world. However, there are common myths and misconceptions about CS education that are described in the following video:

 


In 2017, the HIDOE Computer Science program was established to develop, implement and support statewide K-12 CS education. The following video provides an overview of the major timeline of events from inception to the present:

 
CRDG 2017-2020 cover with technoly app icons


HIDOE CS Landscape Report

In 2021, the HIDOE and the College of Education at the University of Hawai`i-Manoa produced a report on CS education: Catching Up to Move Forward: A Computer Science Education Landscape Report of Hawai`i Public Schools 2017-2020. The report provides an overview about Computer Science education and provides a baseline for the CS education program to expand upon.


K-12 CS Framework and Standards

CS education in the HIDOE is aligned with the national K-12 Computer Science Framework consisting of five (5) core concepts (what students should know) that define key focus areas for CS education. In addition, there are seven (7) core practices (what students should be able to do)  that describe the behaviors and ways of thinking used by computationally-literate students to fully engage in today’s data-rich and interconnected world. (https://k12cs.org/navigating-the-practices/)

The following video provides an overview of the K-12 CS Framework:

 



In 2018, the Hawai`i BOE adopted the Computer Science Teachers Association’s K-12 Computer Science Standards, Revised 2017. The CSTA K–12 Computer Science Standards delineate a core set of learning objectives designed to provide the foundation for a complete Computer Science curriculum and its implementation at the K–12 level. 

The CSTA Standards:

  • Introduce the fundamental concepts of Computer Science to all students, beginning at the elementary school level.
  • Present Computer Science at the secondary school level in a way that can fulfill a computer Science, Math, or Science graduation credit.
  • Encourage schools to offer additional secondary-level Computer Science courses that will allow interested students to study facets of Computer Science in more depth and prepare them for entry into the workforce or college.
  • Increase the availability of rigorous Computer Science for all students, especially those from underrepresented groups.

The standards have been written by educators to be coherent and comprehensible to teachers, administrators, and policymakers.

Click Here to view the CSTA K-12 CS standards.

Hawaii CS Legislation and Data Dashboard

CS in Hawai`i is more than just an educational initiative. The Hawai`i State Legislature recognized the economic disruption caused by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic illustrated a need to diversify Hawaii’s economy beyond tourism and acknowledged the need for an increased focus on CS as a key driver of economic growth and digital literacy.

In support of the HIDOE’s CS education initiative, Governor David Ige and the Hawaii State Legislature signed into law the following Acts:

  • 2022 Annual Report on Computer Science Courses with picture of mountainsOn June 21, 2018: Act 51 (HB 2607), which provided $500,000 in Fiscal Year 2018-19 to develop and implement a statewide Computer Science curricula plan and ensure each public high school offers at least one Computer Science course each school year.
  • On July 2, 2021: Act 158 (SB 242), which requires all public and charter elementary and middle schools to offer Computer Science. In addition, an annual report is due to the BOE and Legislature on the status of Computer Science education.
    • Click Here for the annual Act 158 Legislative Report on CS Education
    • The HIDOE created an Act 158 Reporting Dashboard to accompany the legislative report.  

Action Plan for CS Education 

To ensure that Act 51 & 158 legislation goals are rolled out with fidelity and equity among all HIDOE schools, a Computer Science Team was established in each of the Department’s fifteen (15) Complex Areas. Each Complex Area CS Team consists of a Complex Area CS Lead(s) who coordinates and supports their respective elementary, middle/intermediate and high school CS Team representatives (e.g., CS Teachers, Administrators, etc.).

Each CS Team is developing a Complex Area CS implementation plan guided by the HIDOE State CS Action plan developed by the Computer Science support team [Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design (OCID)’s Digital Design Team (DDT)]. The plan is based on a national State CS Planning Toolkit from Code.org (with feedback from ECEP) and is aligned with Hawai`i CS education legislative goals as well as recommendations from the 2020 Hawai`i CS Landscape Report.


Resources
Follow the conversation about Computer Science education in Hawai`i with the hashtag #CSforHI.

Contact Information

Brett Tanaka

Phone: 808-784-6485

Email: Brett.Tanaka@k12.hi.us

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