As holidays come to an end, and students across Australia and New Zealand start their second term this week, many schools will continue to deliver their studies online as a result of COVID-19 closures. With schools around the world moving to remote learning it’s more important than ever that students and teachers have access to the technology and resources to keep them engaged, help them acquire digital literacy, and build our next generation of technology experts.

At Amazon, we’re supporting the education community at this time by launching new initiatives that give students the opportunity to learn about computer science, coding, and robotics, as well as resources to help educators build technical skills and develop remote classes.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, students and teachers across Australia and New Zealand can access free computer science learning experiences through an Amazon sponsored virtual robotics and coding training program, which is designed to open up access to computer science, so students can build their best futures. The program will be free of charge for one month per user in an effort to increase access to computer science education and help to keep students engaged during school closures. As part of this initiative, we have teamed up with CoderZ, an online educational platform, to launch modules that help students and teachers understand the principles of programming, learn coding 101, and even teach them to program their own virtual robots.

Designed for both independent learners and teacher-led sessions, this new initiative uses a series of gamified challenges to give students a deep-dive into computer programming and robotics. The selected courses will be available from Monday 4 May until the end of June 2020. Students and teachers can find out more, and access the courses here.

We are also pleased to share teachers and students in around the world can now access a series of online workshops and webinars through AWS Educate at no cost. For students and educators, we are offering AWS Workshops from Home led by technical specialists for educators and students providing access to online classes for cloud skills, computer science, robotics, and machine learning. Students can even learn to build new skills for the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, and learn about entrepreneurship in the cloud. More information about AWS Workshops from Home sessions can be found here. For educators, we are providing access to a webinar series on topics such as how to create engaging online classes, and counselling and student support services to help them with the shift to online education delivery. The digital content courses will be available on-demand until throughout the school year.

Through these initiatives we are focused on giving teachers and students access to resources that will help them learn new skills while at home, stimulate their interest in cloud careers, and help with the transition to distance education. It’s important that we come together to enable our technology leaders of tomorrow, and provide the educational tools to support students and teachers during this time.

If you’re a teacher or student that has explored our programs, we’d love to hear from you about your experience! Tell us more by contacting us here.