September 27, 2017

Tata Consultancy Services and Discovery Education launch Ignite My Future in School to prepare K-12 Students with digital skills for 21st century careers

10 US school systems and 1,90,000+ students join as early computational thinking adopters, receiving professional development, educator guides, model lesson plans, CS curriculum connectors, and a learning leader for year-round support

New York, NY | Silver Spring, MD: Tata Consultancy Services, (TCS), (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital education content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced the launch of Ignite My Future in School. This, a first-of-its-kind, multi-million dollar initiative, which leverages computational thinking and new teaching resources as a catalyst to transform the way K-12 students learn across America.

Recognising the importance of computational thinking as a foundational skill, Ignite My Future in School has a goal of engaging 20,000 teachers and one million US students by 2021. As a first step towards this goal, TCS and Discovery Education also announced that 10 US school systems – with more than 6,700 teachers and 1,94,000 students – joined the effort as early adopters of this trans disciplinary approach.

These partner school systems are Brooklyn, NY; Charlotte, NC; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Dublin, California; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Janesville, Wisconsin; San Anselmo, California; and Stone Mountain, Georgia. They have joined the initiative in a five-year educator training and learning commitment to help empower middle school teachers. These select schools will experience the unique opportunity to learn and apply computational thinking through an annual free day of professional development for educators and community night for parents. In addition, TCS and Discovery Education have launched an online programme, TECHademy, which will engage teachers nationwide in an exclusive, cost-free, virtual professional development experience that includes curriculum resources, eLearning courses, webinars, and more. These resources are aligned to national standards, as well as the recently launched K-12 Computer Science Framework.

“As an industry leader, Tata Consultancy Services has a fundamental responsibility to prepare the next generation of US students with computational thinking and digital fluency that are critical to succeed in their future careers across all sectors,” said Surya Kant, President of TCS North America, UK and Europe. “Partnering with Discovery Education enables us to deliver maximum impact through a trans disciplinary approach to learning that starts with providing teachers the knowledge they need to empower their students through computational thinking skills that will set them up for success.”

“Advanced thinking and greater investment in our students is always to be commended,” said US Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., a member of the Senate committee that oversees education. “Students and teachers across 10 school districts, including DeKalb County, Georgia, will benefit from the opportunity Tata Consultancy Services and Discovery Education are providing as we find improved ways to help equip our students to be ‘big picture’ thinkers. This type of initiative will help to prepare them for many careers and elements of jobs that do not yet even exist. Now, more than ever, our students need to learn the basic skills that will help them prepare for lifelong learning.” 

Today, less than 25 percent of US schools teach computer science-related courses. However, in less than five years, there will be one million more jobs requiring computer science skills. The expansion of Ignite My Future in School will empower educators, administrators and school districts to champion a trans disciplinary approach to learning, as they introduce computer science to students within the context of core subjects, including English, mathematics, social studies, science and the arts.

“Discovery Education is proud to partner with TCS to help educators and students reimagine learning,” said Bill Goodwyn, president and CEO, Discovery Education. “Through Ignite My Future in School, our shared goal is to help revolutionise innovative learning experiences by strengthening teacher effectiveness and increasing student interest in computational thinking.” 

Unveiled during the launch of Ignite My Future in School, professional development, educator guides, model lesson plans, curriculum connector resources, and learning leaders for year-round support to partner school systems were introduced. Additionally, the initiative will provide:

TECHademy: Launched today LIVE from One Discovery Place in Silver Spring, Maryland, TECHademy will engage teachers across the nation in an exclusive virtual professional development experience. The immersive engagement will catalyse their learning journey and provide hands-on experiences they can bring back to their classrooms.

Days of Discovery: Up to 150 educators and 250 community members will attend each Day of Discovery and Community Night. Additionally, each market will have local learning leaders, who will promote teacher learning communities, connect participants and act as guides for cross-district learning and sharing. Moreover, more than 3,000 TCS employees will be actively involved as mentors and support the building of local coalitions in each city. Educators will be provided with high quality professional development content that aligns with existing curricular requirements, enabling them to reach students in a compelling, hands-on manner.

Curriculum Resources: Inspiring educators across the US through a virtual digital platform, IgniteMyFutureInSchool.org will feature an abundance of curriculum resources – engaging trans disciplinary lessons that tie in exciting, real-world scenarios covering computational thinking strategies across core subject areas. Inspiring family activities provide the opportunity to have fun while providing powerful learning experiences in the process. Collaborative resources complement schools’ existing curriculum with computational thinking exercises and activities. Career vignettes connect students with real-world TCS professionals using computational thinking to solve complex problems and promote innovation.

eLearning Module: Giving teachers the knowledge they need to empower their students through computational thinking, will help to infuse computer science with everyday subject instruction. The Ignite My Future in School e-learning module, accessible by all teachers will provide a guided online introduction to computational thinking courses that can be completed in one or multiple web-based sessions.

Webinar Series: Compelling webisodes will feature key topics on computational thinking brought to teachers by thought leaders in the education industry. Instructional courses and content will provide faculty with the opportunity to leverage new teaching strategies in their classrooms; the series is designed to promote increased student engagement and achievement.

Computational thinking is a problem-solving process. Much like critical thinking, computational thinking is a higher-level process, whereby students can decipher problems and form innovative solutions. Students will move from consumers to creators, and Ignite My Future in School will prepare them for bright futures where they can use their computational thinking skills to harness the power of digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, and design the future.

Ignite My Future in School builds on TCS’s robust global community initiatives that have inspired more than two million young people in STEM education and careers. TCS is a founding partner for two national mentoring initiatives in the US, US2020 and Million Women Mentors. TCS’s flagship student engagement programme, TCS goIT, has engaged more than 12,000 middle and high school students across 54 cities in the US and Canada, with hands-on experiences in computer science, inspiring them towards tech careers in all sectors.

To learn more about Ignite My Future in School, go to ignitemyfutureinschool.org. For more information about Discovery Education’s Streaming Plus, digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow them on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find them on Instagram and Pinterest.