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3 Reasons Students Aren’t Into Computer Science—Yet

Ed Surge – Jaime Perez

“I attended Everest Public High School in Redwood City, Calif., and during the years that I was in high school, never once did I hear about computer science, coding or hackathons. To this day, I still do not have a clear idea of what those phrases really mean. However, I am not the only one who seems to be in the dark. So many students go through their entire high school career without being exposed to computer science—a rapidly growing field of study that is an important key to opening doors to jobs at tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook. And ever since I started interning with the Code Next team at Google this past summer, I became even more curious to understand: Why aren’t students into computer science?” (more)

In a New Survey, Teachers Say There’s a Disconnect in Computer Science Education

Ed Surge – Tina Nazerian

“Is there a disconnect in current efforts to teach computer science? Some teachers think so. In a new survey, 88 percent of teacher respondents said they believe computer science is critical for students’ success in the workplace—but two in 10 teachers said their students aren’t taught any computer science. Commissioned by Microsoft, in time for Computer Science Education Week, the survey was conducted by public opinion and data company YouGov, who surveyed 540 K-12 teachers.” (more)

Opinion: If the U.S. Wants to Protect Itself Against Cyber Warfare, It Must Invest Big in K-12 Computer Science

The 74 Million – Andrew Lewis

“A yearly rite of passage for state lawmakers across the United States is creating an annual budget, and as sure as the sun will rise and set, there will be debate about K-12 expenditures. Go to any state capitol building and you will hear arguments over whether the state is spending too much or too little to properly educate its public school students.” (more)

Computer science in high school?

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Computer science has advanced considerably since the first computer programming language was developed in the 1950s. Instead of using punch cards to communicate with large mainframes, coders now work on personal computers, enjoy user-friendly programming languages, and have access to extensive libraries that include algorithms for many common operations.


Here are some of the highlights from the history of computer science from 1953 – 2016:
1953 – The first computer language, COBOL, is created.
1977 – Jobs and Wozniak incorporate Apple.
1985 – Microsoft announces Windows.
1998 – Google is founded.
1999 – WiFi is introduced.
2004 – Facebook is launched.
2007 – Apple introduces the smart phone and app developers flourish.
2016 – The first reprogrammable quantum computer is created.

During this period, Gordon Moore (Intel), Steve Jobs (Apple Computer), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Steve Case (AOL), Larry Page (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and many others made fortunes using zeros and ones to process and store information.

In 2017, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced development of a new “Molecular Informatics” program that moves data processing and storage to the molecular level. Instead of using zeros and ones these molecular computers would use qualities like size, orientation, and color to process and store massive amounts of data.

If the molecular approach to computing is accepted, computer science would likely shift from a discipline within electrical engineering to a specialty of chemical engineering. In addition, there would no longer be a need for traditional circuit boards and other computer components. Most, if not all, of the current computer programming languages would be obsolete.

With the possibility of such a radical change, one wonders how education needs to morph to prepare our children for the new paradigm. Sadly, it is impossible to predict the exact direction technology will take. As a result, it is impossible for schools to develop a curriculum that provides the perfect preparation for the workplace.

Rather than trying to chase each new advance, it is probably best to encourage children to build an strong understanding of foundational subjects like chemistry, physics, biology, reading, writing, speaking, and creative problem solving. This way they will have the building blocks to adapt whether computer science is electrical, biological, chemical, or some blend.

Strange as it may seem, basic is better when the pace of technological change accelerates.

Computer Science for All (Starting in Kindergarten)

Edutopia – Stephen Merrill

“Back in 2012, the idea for Code.org was just a glimmer in Hadi Partovi’s eye. He was already a successful entrepreneur—Partovi was part of the founding team that sold voice recognition pioneer Tellme Networks to Microsoft in 2007—but he was looking for something more meaningful as his next step. “Starting another start-up to make money wasn’t motivating to me,” explained Partovi in an interview on Recode, before adding that the death of Steve Jobs had him thinking about his own mortality: “Steve Jobs was 12 or 13 years older than me, and I thought ‘If I die in 13 years, what will I look back on?’” By way of an answer, Partovi launched the nonprofit Code.org with his twin brother, Ali, in 2013.” (more)