“Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn to code.”
Fresh from last week’s EDUCAUSE conference in Denver, here’s what is on the top of the minds of IT professionals in higher education:
It’s like Mashable knew we were doing a talk on Facebook Groups and Pages for faculty today. This article presents various ways educators deal with interacting with students on Facebook, but unfortunately doesn’t go too much into using Groups or Pages with classes. Even so - it’s a helpful read for inspiring you to solidify your own policy regarding how you interact with students on Facebook.
If you’re an educator looking to start using social media with your students, I also recommend the book Social Media for Educators: Strategies and Best Practices. I went to a workshop given by the author and found her tips and case studies very insightful.
Calling all (aspiring and) professional web developers - check out the new wiki site WebPlatform put together by the W3C and browser vendors. The site features resources and documentation about web standards from these organizations into one place, and they want the webmaking community to contribute and build it up.
I’m excited to recommend this site to students as a living repository for web education and industry/community engagement.
“We spend more than seven hours with technological devices every day, yet most of us don’t even know how they work,” said LittleBits founder and MIT Media Lab alum Ayah Bdeir in a statement today.
“LittleBits aims to break the boundary between the things we consume and the things we make, and make everyone into an inventor. We want LittleBits to be an affordable educational tool that is used in schools everywhere…”
The code literacy movement began to gather steam in late 2011, when Codecademy started teaching basic programming skills for free. The debate came to a head this week as two blog posts took the top spots on the tech website Hacker News.
If you follow this tumblog, you know I’ve posted a number of times on this issue of adding programming to our definition of literacy, and the debated importance of integrating it into K-12/higher education.
This article is a good place to start if you want to catch up on this idea and its implications for how we define 21st century tech skills in the context of “traditional” communication needs.
I would second that notion pretty strongly, with the provision that “programming” be broadly interpreted as any sort of creative act that gets a computer to function in a way that is not totally obvious or already part of its built-in feature set. Under that interpretation, “programming” could include activities like writing a technical document in LATEX, writing a simple web page in HTML, writing an Excel macro, and so on. There’s no reason why every student in a university cannot or should not learn skills like this. And if you want to think and act freely (hence the term “liberal” in the liberal arts), and not be a slave to the technology you use, there is certainly an argument to be made that all students need to learn about computing on a non-superficial level.