Tuesday, December 10, 2013

So, What is code?

Great video from PBS Off Book, a series that explores art in the digital world

Is Code the Most Important Language in the World?


It does a great job of quickly describing what code is and then delving into some of the current issues in computer science. I am using it this week as a part of CS Education Week as a journal prompt for my students.

"It is hard to say what problems would be solved with a more diverse workforce."
- Adda Birnir, Co-Founder SkillCrush
 This is the driving force behind a lot of my own work lately. This moves is beyond just looking at diversity of the workplace, but really at how we solve problems as a society.

Inevitably the problems we solve are going to reflect the views and experiences of those solving them. At a deeper level though, the people with the ability to solve these problems through coding have the power to ultimately decide what problems get solutions.

Computer Science is predominantly white and Asian males. In the 2010 census this group made up roughly 38% of the overall population in the United States. That means that 62% of the population is outside of this circle of influence. In essence their problems are outside the view of the people solving humanities problems.

I highly recommend the series in general. The videos are very engaging, short, and show a great diversity of people working with technology.

Some other topics they cover:

And in case you are using writing in your cs classes here's a full list of the Journal prompts I use in CS Principles.

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