We are nearing the end of the course, and I can say that I have learned a lot not only about technology and computers, but about the society we live in today. As I had mentioned in my previous blog post, at first I thought it was going to be a daunting task to take on a computers course (a subject I was the least familiar with). I soon realized how much I was learning about technology and how rapidly it can change, and for the most part benefit and improve our society.
Taking a computers course was daunting to me at first because I was unfamiliar with terminology, and frankly the word computer made me think it would automatically be a course I wouldn’t understand. Growing up in a digital native society, kids were not forced to learn more about computers and how they work but instead shown how they enriched our lives with fun games and efficient programs to help us with our homework. However, in the 21st century when technology is apart of our everyday lives, I believe it should be apart of our education system to teach kids how computer programs have been engineered in order to serve us better.
Recently this has been a topic of debate, especially in the United States. A non-profit organization launched in January 2013 called Code.org, has started to shed light on this issue and is dedicated to increasing the education of computer science by giving the younger generation the power to learn about computer programming and introducing computer science classes to K-12 schools in the United States.
Code.org has included a video on their website of the importance of computer education, and what their organization is all about. They have even included some very powerful and familiar faces to talk about the topic in more detail.
Why is computer science so important?
With technology advancing all around us, it is very important that the education system is advancing as well. The past ten year, our society has seen many innovations that we thought we would never see in our lifetime. These innovations are only going to become more advance in the future, and the younger generation should have the opportunity to learn more about computers as part of their education curriculum.
Although computer science can be an intimidating subject to learn, just like signing up for a computer’s class was daunting to me at first, it is just like anything else in life. Like NBA player, Chris Bosh mentioned in the video above that computer programming or coding can be learned, just like playing a sport or learning an instrument, it takes practice.
So many jobs in today’s society involve computers, and we all depend on technology to communicate. Not only should the younger generation become more familiar with how computers work, but it would be a skill that will only benefit them in the future with more opportunities. As mentioned at the end of the video, “ One million of the best jobs in America may go unfilled, because only 1 in 10 schools teach students how to code.”
In a recent article by the National Geographic, Hadi Partovi the founder of this organization stated that, “90 percent of schools don’t teach the type of science that leads to 60 percent of jobs in high-demand, math and science related fields”. To me this is a shocking fact that I had never though of before. It made me think whether or not I may have enjoyed or been more familiar with the subject of computer science if I was introduced to it throughout my early education years.
This summer, I have been working for a marketing agency where they also offer web development services. Being more marketing related, it has always interested me to hear how the websites are being developed and how much work and skill goes into the process. The unfamiliarity of the subject, sometimes makes me feel incompetent, however if more education were to be introduced, people my age and the older generation may have more people similar to Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, because according to them it does not take a genius to learn how to code.
“Learning to code” may not be the answer to improving computer education
An article written in June 2013 by Stanford Graduate computer scientist, Shuchi Grover says that the “learn to code” hype does not necessarily teach the younger generation more about computer science and could be causing more misconceptions. Algorithmic problem solving is very difficult, and that children should first understand the way of thinking and problem solving discipline before being discouraged by a program they don’t understand.
In this generation, where computers and technology are such big forces in our everyday lives, I think it would be beneficial to increase the overall awareness of computer science education. Younger generations should have the opportunity around the world to grow up with the familiarity of how computer software and programs have been engineered. Especially if it helps motivate and build confidence in those who want to learn more about computers but are too intimidated.