Crash course for computer teachers

Google is to bring 67 teachers from throughout New Zealand to Christchurch for a crash course in computer science.

A new high school computer science curriculum has prompted the University of Canterbury and the search engine giant to host a professional development workshop today.

The university's Professor Tim Bell said teachers would struggle with the new curriculum without some sort of help. Until now the curriculum had focused on training pupils to use computers. The changes would give pupils opportunities to develop technology, he said.

However, "the new standards in computer science will have no effect if teachers aren't trained to deliver them", he said.

"Very few teachers in New Zealand have computer science qualifications and therefore would struggle to teach the new material."

While the new standards would take some getting used to, it "will create an income rather than an expense for the country", Bell said.

"We are leading the world in teaching computer science in schools.

"The UK has started changes this year, the US is struggling to make changes."

Google NZ is sponsoring the university to write an online textbook for high schools on computer science.

The Press