No Computer Science for #iPad Adopters?

Video Source: Computer Science Unplugged -

A message from Jennifer Bergland (TCEA):

The SBOE has tentatively adopted a proposed rule change in Chapter 74, SubChapter A of the Texas Administrative Code. This change would eliminate the requirement that districts must teach one of the four Technology Applications courses that the district is required to offer. Currently, if ten or more students indicate they want to take one of the four courses, the district must teach it. The proposed rule change would eliminate this requirement. 
The SBOE is currently taking comments on these proposed changes. I have written a blog post on this issue that has all the pertinent information. You can find it here: 

I STRONGLY suggest that you read the blog post and that you send an email to the SBOE to express your professional opinion on this issue. The blog post has links to the proposed changes as well as the email address to send your comments. I also encourage you to come and testify on this issue on January 26th.

Jennifer Bergland
Texas Computer Education Association
Director of Governmental Relations and Membership Services
Ph: 800.282.8232 | Direct: 512.450.5448 | Fax: 512.476.8574 | Cell: 979.324.6236
jbergland@tcea.org @tceaadvocacy
Jennifer's main argument is as follows:
It is obvious that technology is the heart of our economy. It should also be obvious that teaching our students computational thinking is more than just teaching them how to create a movie or how to put together an effective PowerPoint. As our world becomes more dependent on technology our students must have a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of computer science. If a student is not introduced to these concepts in their K-12 education, they are unlikely to see computer science as a viable field for them to enter.
What are the deeper fundamentals of computer science? You know, after I threw away my Computer Basics programming book, I didn't look back.
I'm starting to recall why Computer Science didn't quite "engage" me in high school. Still, someone ought to know how to do this stuff, right? I remain unconvinced that cutting computer science for many means cutting corners in America's economic future. After all, if kids are interested, won't they find a way to do it themselves?
Fascinating as well is this well as reactions to it.
“I think the iPad generation is going to miss out on software programming,” said Oliver Cameron, developer of the Friends iPhone app. “Kids don’t need Macs anymore.”
It doesn’t help that Apple enforces strict rules around how iOS apps must be programmed, which occasionally results in some collateral damage. 
Take for example Apple’s rejection of Scratch early last year. Scratch for iPhone was an app for kids to view programs coded with MIT’s Scratch programming platform. 
Apple rejected the app, citing a rule that apps may not contain code interpreters other than Apple’s. This rule appears to be specifically designed to prevent meta platforms such as Adobe Flash from appearing on the iPad, thereby allowing Apple to keep its iOS platform to itself. 
The young community of Scratch programmers, however, doesn’t pose a threat to Apple’s business, and the rejection of the Scratch app shows how Apple’s developer rules can harm the art of programming.
It would be foolish to imagine that putting iPads in the hands of kids led to the end of computer science in schools, but...could it be that we just don't think you need to know how to program to use a computer well?

Certainly, if we were all members of free software development communities, we might have a different perspective. So what would it take for Linux?
Technology in high school is a waste of time. Why kids can't do this Computer Science stuff in college when they have their math, science down solid?

Yep...who needs it?

(tongue firmly in cheek...Call, Email those SBOE folks NOW!)

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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