Trending: Amazon and Seattle’s NBA dreams: Steve Ballmer on the city’s prospects for bringing back the Sonics

Rupert Murdoch. Photo via Wikipedia

There’s been a lot of chatter in recent months about the need to boost computer science education in the U.S., driven in part through the efforts of Hadi and Ali Partovi at

Now, Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire media mogul behind News Corp., wants to do something about the lack of computer science education. Murdoch’s Amplify education unit plans to launch a new advanced placement online computer science course this fall, taught by longtime high-school instructor Rebecca Dovi.

The course is described as a MOOC, short for massive open online course. It is free to high school students, though additional resources will be made available for $200 per student. It is geared toward those who want to take the computer science AP exam in 2014.

According to Hadi Partovi at, there are only about 6,000 full time teachers committed to teaching computer science at the high school level in the U.S. and just 2,000 schools offer the AP computer science exam.

Here’s a description of the course, which is based around Java.

“The first semester will focus on the tools of programming and the basic building blocks of computer science, with topics including: control structures, primitive and class data types such as arrays, ArrayList and Strings, methods, and recursion. The second semester will focus on manipulating data to create more sophisticated programs, with topics including: class design, algorithm development, and user-defined data types.”

Here’s Dovi talking about the course, which she calls “fast paced and rigorous.”

[Hat tip to Slashdot and Theodp]

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.