Great article about the importance of Computer Science. This is one of those that superintendents and principals should email their curriculum directors, school board members and PTO's to support and encourage this kind of education.
"This is not about helping the tech industry. It’s about the tech industry helping the rest of America. Today, 67 percent of software jobs are outside the tech industry. If hiring computer programmers is challenging for Silicon Valley, it’s an even greater challenge for every other industry in America.
Tech jobs aside, teaching kids basic computer science is valuable no matter what career path they might choose. Every child can benefit from a strong foundation in problem-solving. As software is taking over the world, a rudimentary grasp of how it works is critical for every future lawyer, doctor, journalist, politician and more.
American schools are struggling to teach basic math and English, and skeptics may worry that we can’t afford to teach anything else. We’d argue that computer science is part of the solution: it motivates kids to learn other subjects. If a school can afford to teach biology, history, chemistry and foreign languages, it should teach computer science too."
Plan now to join in on an "hour of code" December 9-15. Even if you don't have computers or have limited access, there are options for you to host an event. (As a bonus, educators who register will receive 10GB of free storage for Dropbox.) Plan an event and plan now. There are great tutorials and information for all ages about this event December 9-15. Join in.
"Even if you aren't a student, you can take the Hour of Code yourself during Dec. 9-15. And you can help us recruit others to join the movement - at school, in your workplace, in the community.
If you are an educator, host the Hour of Code as an activity in your classroom.
If you're an organizer or employer, host an Hour of Code event as a team-building exercise, after-school activity in a club, or elsewhere in your community. Click the appropriate tab, and start planning your Hour of Code!"
Alfred Thompson, my go-to computer science expert says about programming apps:
"I think there is extra value in app programming. I think that the constraints placed by the smaller form factor makes students think about their user interface in valuable ways. And makes them appreciate what goes into the professional apps they think should be free. The amount and types of storage forces them to think about efficiency of storage and look into cloud storage (and processing) which are keys to the future of computing. I also think that the sooner students start developing using new user interfaces (touch, voice, motion, etc.) the sooner we get really creative ways to use our devices.
The question in my mind is not should students write apps but for what devices and using what tools."
I have students who want to do this and I must learn how to guide them.
Languages are important. We teach them to children. But we ignore computer programming languages - perhaps some of the most important fluencies anyone can acquire. Instead, we black box them and hope they MIGHT look at doing this in college, when in fact, many of the best jobs and opportunities lie in languages: both "foreign" languages and computer languages.
Thought provoking blog post about a conversation:
"Many interesting and stimulating things were said, but one I remember was from Peter Pham over dinner. It was a simple line, “why do we teach languages in junior high and high school but not a computer language?” that had profound meaning to me."
If you have a technology classroom, you should read Alfred Thompson's blog (honestly, his is the only Microsoft blog I read every day) there are 2 new imagine cup challenges. These are great and worth a look.
This 189+ question on Slashdot is a great example of how comments become the post. if you eant to teach game peogramming and want the pros and cons and lots of choices, head here for a great, though time consuming, read.
If you are a compiter Science teacher or advocate for Computer S ience education, you should read Slfred Thompson. he works for Microsoft covering computer science but has a great personality and the kind of genuineness that all companies shoudl wish for in their bloggers. he will tell you what he thinks and I think he has done a great service to computer science educatiion. here, he lists his most popular posts of the year including "Why programming is for girls." Take time to read these posts.
Computer Science education week is this week. Download and share information here. Give the students a present of their future during the holiday season by taking a day of class to talk about computer science. This is important. Talk about it even if you're not great with technology.
How to use the web to understand the way ideas evolve http://ow.ly/4NPsX #computerscience
Some major computer science programs at top universities are seeing a slight uptick in the number of women going into the programs. Citing statistics from Harvard (up from 13% to 25%) and MIT (a 28% jump in 3 years), and Carnegie Mellon (from 1/5 in 2007 to 1/4 last year.)
Most think it is the economy although some attribute programs to get more women interested in the programs.
Nice post from my computer science go-to guy in education- Alfred Thompson. He contemplates why a college like Stanford is seeing a growth in Computer Science while high schools aren't. Interesting conversation and one we need to be having -- computer science jobs are some of the few that they just can't seem to staff fast enough.
Final Teams in US Imagine Cup:
TTHV - Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Central Connecticut State University
Uca Ursus - University of Central Arkansas
Lifelens - Anderson School of Management, Harvard School of Business, University of California San Diego, University of California Davis, University of Central Florida
Note-Taker - Arizona State University
Game Design –Windows/XBOX (XNA):
Bloom - Tribeca Flashpoint Academy
Plump Pixel - California State University Chico
Righteous Noodle - University of Houston
XozGaming - Lick-Wilmerding High School
Game Design Mobile (Zune/Phone)
Big Impact Bear - University of Houston
EDO - Arizona State University
Team AAMP - University of Houston
Team Mintrus - Columbia College in Chicago, University of Louisville
Read Alfred's blog for more.
Alfred Thompson's ongoing coverage of the Imagine Cup. I love this interview with the kids who invented a program about fighting a global pandemic.
Computer science teachers planning this summer should look at this overview from Microsoft uber-blogger Alfred Thompson.
Conversations about Computer Science education week are beginning to float around. I think we can do many easy things including webinars and sessions with leaders that students can interact with live and even just a hashtag for people to follow on twitter who care about the topic would be useful.
Computer Science Education week in the USA is going to be December 7th - Microsoft Blogger Alfred Thompson (and in my humble opinion one of the definitive leaders in advocating computer science education) has shared a blog post about this. If you teach computer science or touch on it, consider planning some things.
Click in to find related links.