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Georgia Tech Moves Unemployed IT Pros into Teaching Jobs

The College of Computing at Georgia Tech is looking to transform economic lemons into educational lemonade by shifting unemployed technology professionals into teaching careers.

Dubbed "Operation Reboot," the program is designed to prepare IT professionals to teach high school computer science. It kicked off Sept. 1 with an initial set of 30 technology workers and is expected to operate for the next three years. It's being funded by a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Combining the Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program with the university's high school computing teacher training program, the initiative will pair computing teachers with IT professionals to teach at least two CS courses together for one year. The IT workers will become familiar with classroom teaching environments and will receive a teaching certificate and computer science endorsement.

"A teacher's motivation, self-efficacy, job satisfaction and commitment to teaching are closely linked with their professional identity," said Barbara Ericson, director of computing outreach at the College of Computing and principal investigator for Operation Reboot, in a statement released this week. "Through the teacher workshops at Georgia Tech, courses needed for certification, co-teaching and mentoring we will transform these IT worker's identity into that of a computing teacher."

According to information released by the university, Georgia Tech will publish findings from the project and "share materials with other states to serve as a model on how to successfully transform unemployed IT workers into high school computing teachers."

In a news release, Georgia Tech said that the project may result in 30 percent more students receiving CS educations in high schools that receive the benefits of the program.

Further information about Operation Reboot can be found here.

About the Author

Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters.

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Wed, Sep 23, 2009 Jim

I do both - I'm a network engineer at a college by day, and I teach computer science college classes at night. I love both, so why limit myself to one or the other? Plus, the extra money helps with my kids' college expenses.

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