Gary Stager shares some thoughts on computer literacy and how it seems we’re dumbing down computer usage in the classroom (via Matt Bloomingdale):
I know what some of you are thinking. Not every kid needs to learn programming. You don’t have to be able to fix a transmission to drive a car, blah blah blah…
First of all, the educational technology community and schools seem to have decided that no kids should learn to program. I’d be happy with the same nine-week programming class I was required to take in 1975.
Second, computer programming is not like fixing a car. It’s much more like designing the car, making sure all of its systems work in an integrated fashion, mitigating the environmental impact of cars and imagining their impact on society. Computer science is a legitimate science that has profound implications for learning all sorts of other powerful ideas, working in diverse fields and making sense of the world. You just would not know this if you go to school.
I think he has a point, as we have gotten away from having technology to learn about technology, but instead having it to use for other things (which is fine, but why not have students appreciate how the technology works?