Reinventing CS education- The Teacher.ly Manifesto

We’re building a world where anyone, anywhere, can develop a passion for computer science.

Sameer Kapur
Apr 5 · 3 min read

Let’s make a bold claim: the current computer science education system is fundamentally flawed.

Computer science classes in public and private schools generally teach students coding well, but the issue is that these classes aren’t available to everyone because of lack of teachers and funding. According to a Google report, only 40% of K-12 principals say their school offers CS courses (coding or programming). That means a staggering 36 million students do not have access to coding classes at their school. In-person CS camps suffer from the same issues of elective classes due low accessibility as well as high prices.

The issue is that talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity isn’t.

What we mean is that students in rural towns or cities aren’t any less talented at coding than suburban kids — they just don’t have the resources and opportunities available to pursue computer science.

As a result, we miss out on kids who could become amazing, game-changing programmers in the future, just because they don’t have the opportunity.

Now, you could say that the Internet has made all information accessible — anyone, anywhere can learn computer science online through platforms like Udemy or Coursera…

But, platforms like Udemy or Coursera only have a 5 to 15% completion rate. Completing these online courses requires an incredible amount of willpower and determination — something that not a lot of K-12 students have at first. There’s nothing holding students accountable to completing these courses, which is why there is such an abyssal completion rate. Similar to learning a language, starting earlier makes a world of difference, but there are very few courses targeted at teaching students coding from a young age.

With Teacher.ly, we want to solve the two main problems in computer science education — accessibility and accountability.

How?

Well, we run amazing, live, online computer science courses for students 10–17 years old.

With live classes, we have actual instructors for students to interact with. Not only does this make the learning process a lot smoother, but it also keeps students accountable for finishing a course. Here’s why:

  1. Students attend class at a set time each week — there’s no more procrastination on finishing a course by yourself. As a result, students are more likely to finish a course
  2. Students develop social bonds with their teachers and classmates. We predict that these social bonds will keep students more involved in the course, further increasing the completion rate
  3. Students join the Teacher.ly community, a hub for students to collaborate, seek feedback, and explore relevant opportunities. Creating a safe space for students to share what they are working on and get help allows for greater motives to pursue computer science.

And of course, being an online class, we instantly solve the problem of accessibility — a student in rural Alabama can take a course taught by a Computer Science student at Stanford.

We’ve tested our hypothesis by speaking to hundreds of parents and students over the last few months and the response has been phenomenal. In the last 8 weeks we have been running beta classes, and parents and students alike have already started to love Teacher.ly:

“Hi [Instructor Name],

Kids enjoyed both the classes thoroughly and they are excited for upcoming classes. As a parent, I really appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule offering sessions to juniors…

Thanks for not just coming with a great idea but immediately implementing in a very organized fashion. Much appreciated.“

With Teacher.ly, we’re excited to be changing the computer science education game. We’d love it if you could share our website https://teacher.ly with parents of kids looking to dive into the computer science world.

Thanks for reading — Appreciate it! This article was written by Saurav, Sameer, and the rest of the Teacher.ly Team.If you have any questions at all, feel free to shoot us an email at saurav@teacher.ly or sameer@teacher.ly — we’d love to be of help :)

Teacherly

Teacher.ly is live, online computer science classes for students. We’re bringing the best parts of the classroom and transforming it into a digital experience for students around the world.

Sameer Kapur

Written by

founder @ teacher.ly · disrupting computer science education

Teacherly

Teacherly

Teacher.ly is live, online computer science classes for students. We’re bringing the best parts of the classroom and transforming it into a digital experience for students around the world.

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