Amazon Web Services Inc. today announced the launch of a new program that will help institutions serving historically underserved and underrepresented students deliver artificial intelligence courses.
The program, which was showcased at AWS re:Invent 2022 in Las Vegas, is offered through AWS’s Machine Learning University. Machine Learning University is a platform that provides access to virtual AI courses and other learning resources developed by the cloud giant. AWS uses the platform internally to equip its developers with AI skills.
The new program announced today will help educators at community colleges, minority institutions, and historically black colleges and universities teach AI concepts. The program also deals with related topics such as databases. As part of the program, AWS will host boot camps for educators and provide curriculum resources it has developed with feedback from multiple school systems.
AWS plans to host the first boot camps for teachers next year. They will be delivered in a virtual format and will feature live, instructor-led lectures as well as hands-on projects, the cloud giant said. Participants receive continuing education credits, an AWS grant, and professional development resources ranging from regional events to study sessions.
Teachers who participate in the program also receive course materials, including lecture slides, coding exercises, exams, and teacher guides. According to AWS, the materials were developed with input from multiple school systems and are designed to meet the requirements of college-level courses.
To support educators’ work, AWS plans to provide free cloud infrastructure for students. Students can use the Amazon.com Inc. unit’s platform to practice AI concepts and gain experience with cloud tools companies use to build machine learning software.
“Our goal in launching this program is to make database, AI and ML education widely accessible to all community colleges and universities in the US, not just elite institutions,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, the vice president of databases, analytics and machine learning at AWS. “We need the brightest minds of all backgrounds entering these fields.”
The AWS teacher engagement program came about through a letter that Houston Community College Professor Raymond Brown sent to Bree Al-Rashid, the Machine Learning University leader at AWS. Next fall, HCC will become the first community college in the US to offer a bachelor’s degree in AI.
AWS makes its teacher enablement program available for free. The bootcamps for educators that the cloud giant will be offering as part of the program will begin in January, while the AI curriculum materials AWS has developed will become available in the fall.