Posts tagged ‘technological literacy’

The new Core Standards for English Language Arts Literacy: Implications for Computing Literacy?

I found this fascinating discussion about the new Common Core standards efforts around English Language Arts, and it got me wondering about creating an analogy.  Are the parallels to the below for computing literacy?  “Students should read as much nonfiction as fiction.”  What does that mean in terms of the notations of computing? Students should read as many program proofs as programs?  Students should read as much code as comments?  The “coherent knowledge” part seems to connect to the kinds of ideas in the CS:Principles effort.  What is “close reading” of programming?

I’m sure that there are not one-to-one mappings from English Language Arts to Computing, but they are interesting to think about.  If this is what it means to be text literate, what does it mean to be computing literate?

Say what you will about CCSS, but there are three big ideas embedded within the English Language Arts standards that deserve to be at the very heart of literacy instruction in U.S. classrooms, with or with or without standards themselves:

1. Students should read as much nonfiction as fiction.

2. Schools should ensure all children—and especially disadvantaged children—build coherent background knowledge that is essential to mature reading comprehension.

3. Success in reading comprehension depends less on “personal response” and more on close reading of text.

via Meet the Children Where They Are…and Keep Them There « The Core Knowledge Blog.

June 7, 2012 at 6:30 am 6 comments

Getting the level right in learning to be computationally literate

Really interesting piece in the NYTimes on the increasing demand to learn about coding.  I especially liked this point — people want to learn something, and they want to learn enough to be literate, but not necessarily to be “a good programmer.”

The challenge for Codecademy and others catering to the hunger for technical knowledge is making sure people actually learn something, rather than dabble in a few basic lessons or walk away in frustration.

“We know that we’re not going to turn the 99 percent of people interested in learning to code into the 1 percent who are really good at it,” said Mr. Sims of Codecademy. “There’s a big difference between being code-literate and being a good programmer.”

via A Surge in Learning the Language of the Internet –

But I’m really disappointed in the comments to this piece.  Why are programmers so defensive about protecting their turf, insisting that only those who are going to be “real programmers” should learn anything about coding?  Such a battle going on!  I’m on the side of people like this:

What’s with the elitism in these comments? People don’t casually learn software development to become the next John Carmack; they do so because they want to usefully apply it to their lives. Wanting to know how to configure and admin a CMS, or doing cool things with Google Earth, or use shell scripting to automate tasks, is something you could get via CodeAcademy. Writing effective fabric dynamics isn’t.


March 30, 2012 at 9:19 am 6 comments

APM’s Marketplace: Why you should learn to code

I’m a listener of American Public Media’s Marketplace, and I was surprised to see that they’re getting on the “computing for everyone” bandwagon.  But arguing that Code Year will not only work (you’ll learn to code, if you give them five hours a week), but it will “be fun” may be promising more than they even Code Year promises.

Code Year’s minimum commitment is one new lesson every week. The company says that it will take a typical person about five hours to complete a lesson, so you’re looking at about an hour of training every weekday. That’s not so bad, considering that the lessons are free and the reward could be huge.

By helping you get acquainted with the primary force driving the modern economy, learning to code is becoming nearly as important as knowing how to read and write. One more thing — it’ll be fun!

via Why you should learn how to code | Marketplace from American Public Media.

March 12, 2012 at 10:30 am 1 comment

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