CS Careers to Classrooms

June 12th, 2017

Today Nextech announced our inaugural Nextech Educator Externship. The five-day professional development program will immerse 18 computer science educators from 17 Indiana schools in the local tech industry.

Teachers don’t always have the relevant industry experience needed to help students bridge classroom curriculum to real-world applications. There is no better resource to provide this context than spending time in Indy workplaces, engaging with the professionals who apply those skills every day.

Through Nextech’s Educator Externship, middle and high school teachers will spend time inside area employers’ workplaces to gain first-hand knowledge about trends, skill requirements and opportunities in computer-related jobs across all industries. After participation in the program, educators will be armed with tools to connect classroom curriculum to career opportunities and student interests.

“I hope that this experience, along with the Nextech professional development, will help alleviate my number one anxiety about teaching CS – my own lack of actual workplace experience. I always question if what I am doing in the classroom is relevant for students when they move on,” said Pete Morey, educator at NorthWood High School. “I want what we do in the classroom to excite the students about potential careers in tech and to see that it is achievable for them.”

The knowledge, instructional strategies, industry experiences and resources the educators obtain over the course of the externship will allow them to confidently deliver computer science curriculum to Indiana students. Participation in the externship will result in increased alignment between classroom curriculum knowledge and skills required by tech employers.

“The exponential growth of central Indiana’s tech sector has placed an increased demand on our workforce, and that demand is growing at astronomical rates,” said Jeff Ton, EVP of product & service development at Bluelock. “It is imperative that K-12 educators and students have a deep knowledge of available career opportunities in technology, and are motivated and inspired to pursue them.”

Participants in the externship will participate in activities focused on the following topics:

  • Demystifying the Cloud
  • The Product Development Lifecycle
  • Agile Development
  • Designer/ Developer Collaboration
  • Day-in-the-Life of a Solutions Architect
  • Entrepreneurship in the Tech Industry
  • New Business Development and Funding
  • Client Software Implementation and Integration

The following companies have participated in the planning process and are defining and delivering the activities that educators will experience throughout the externship: Bluelock, Doxly, Software Engineering Professionals, Nimblejack, The Finish Line, High Alpha and Project Brilliant.

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