Friday, September 5, 2014

WHY LEARN TO CODE?

There are many many reasons to become code-savvy -- to learn to code or to learn about coding.   Check out some of our favorite quotes below.  Or roll up your sleeves and start coding today!


Superpower says Drew Houston
"It's really not unlike playing an instrument, or a sport.  It starts out being very intimidating but you kind of get the hang of it over time.  I think [programming] is the closest thing we have to a superpower."

Innovation says Code Now
 “Coding is the new literacy. It gives individuals the power to innovate and create. We need to empower our youth – especially those from underrepresented communities – to be the next great technology pioneers."

Help people solve problems tweets
"Because I want to make things that help people solve problems and make the world even just a bit better. And I love the thrill."

Make Things says Jack Levine
“Start small, make things, and then when you’re done, make some more things.   Programming is a means to an end, not an end in itself. You should be trying to do as little of it as possible to make the thing that you want. . . .As you build, you will actually begin to find that programming can in fact be fun!"

Software Eats the World says Ben Horowitz
(at 8:00+  minutes in video) "Software can replace entire industries very quickly:  bookselling, direct marketing, animation, cable, photo processing and next education, financial services, etc."  In this short talk at the 2012 Technovation pitch event, Horowitz talks about why it is critically important to educate girls and women as software developers.

Spark says Rebecca Garcia,  co-Founder, CoderDojoNYC 
 I don’t teach kids for the money, I teach them for the chance to ignite that spark. To show them that you can build whatever you set your heart to.

Great Internships says Rob Bishop of the Raspberry Pi Foundation
One of the great things about computer science is you get good internships.  You go into law or something and you wind up making the coffee;  you go into computer science and you wind up designing pre-prototypes of the Raspberry Pi. [a revolutionary $25 computer]

Economy says ACM Running on Empty Report
Computer science and the technologies it enables now lie at the heart of our economy, our daily lives, and scientific enterprise. As the digital age has transformed the world and workforce, U.S. K–12 education has fallen woefully behind in preparing students with the fundamental computer science knowledge and skills they need for future success. To be a well-educated citizen as we move toward an ever-more computing-intensive world and to be prepared for the jobs of the 21st Century, students must have a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of computer science.

Hunger: says Maura O'Neill, chief innovation officer for USAid 
Geeks can help solve world hunger.  For instance, Palantir used data compiled by the Grameen Foundation on crop blights, soil, and farmer feedback to generate a real-time heat map that helps farmers identify where crop infestations are happening.  Farmers also receive warning messages about looming crop diseases and where they may strike, giving farmers the chance to harvest early.

Popular Culture: says Will.i.am 
"Next year I am going to school to take a computer science course. When I am 57 I still want to be relevant in popular culture and the way to be relevant within popular culture in the future is writing code.  Code writers, they are my idols. Songwriters are cool - I can write songs, too - and bloggers are cool but code writers? Those are the coolest in the world."  
I want to compete, I want to play, I want to contribute, I want to create, I want to design…I want to learn. says Will.i.am here

Confidence  says Joy Buolamwini, computer science major and Rhodes Scholar
“The most valuable thing was the confidence I gained and realizing I could put something out in the world and make it become a reality. Everything became an opportunity after that.”

Change the World says Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code

74% of high school girls are interested in STEM jobs – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  They want to take a Science or Technology or Engineering class.  But less than a third of them decide that they want to select a career that’s in STEM.  And the reason?  Because they don’t know that technology can help change the world and they want to change the world.

Digital Literacy says Doug Rushkoff, Digital Literacy Advocate at Codecademy
1. When we got language, we didn't just learn how to listen, but how to speak. When we got text, we didn't just learn how to read, but how to write. Now that we have computers, we're learning how to use them - but not how to program them.
2. Programming a computer is not like being the mechanic of an automobile. We're not looking at the difference between a mechanic and a driver, but between a driver and a passenger. If you don't know how to drive the car, you are forever dependent on your driver to take you where you want to go. You're even dependent on that driver to tell you when a place exists.
3. Not knowing how our digital environments are constructed leads us to accept them at face value. For example, kids think the function of Facebook is to help them make friends. Even a bit of digital literacy helps us see that kids are not Facebook's customers, but the product.
4. "Computer class" can't be about teaching kids to use today's software; it must be about teaching kids to make tomorrow's software.

Make Cool Phone Apps by Elechi (age 11) and Sobenna (age 8)
At a event in Atlanta, these girls invented an app to add sound to a cell photo photo.

Mathematics says Evan Weinberg

Computational thinking helps you learn mathematical concepts and helps you re-think and re-frame mathematical problems.


Minnesota Fails here are statistics from CSTA
Scoring 9 out of 100, Minnesota ranks near bottom – 47th out of the 50 states -- in a report from CSTA, the Computer Science Teachers Association, summarizing states' efforts to teach computer science to K-12 students.

Critical Thinking Skills...and Jobs! say the CSEdWeek Talking Points

  • Computer Science helps students develop critical thinking skills which are crucial for success in post-secondary education or the workplace
  • Computer science-related job prospects and earnings remain strong despite extraordinary economic challenges
  • Numerous issues depend on computing, including:
    • Securing our cyber-infrastructure
    • Protecting national security
    • Implementing electronic health records
    • Increasing efficiency of the energy infrastructure 
    • http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Time-to-make-computer-science-part-of-schools-4100712.php?t=8aa81e67af

It's not (yet) taught (or taught well) in school says Ruthe Farmer Director, strategic initiatives, NCWIT
While STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education is a hot topic in education circles these days, only math and science courses are required for graduation from high school. The few computer science courses that are offered are categorized as electives, not as core courses students need to graduate, so they do not receive the same emphasis as their higher profile STEM counterparts.
The number of students participating in computer science training has decreased from 25 percent to 19 percent over the last 20 years. And those who do show an interest in the field find that most public schools simply do not offer an up-to-date, rigorous computer science curriculum.
We need to start working with students at a young age to spark their interest in technology and computer science. Our children should not just know how to use apps and video games, they should know how to create apps and video games. Some very popular and very profitable apps have been designed by high school students.

Other Fields says Tess Rinearson  (and middle school is a great place to start.)
An education in CS opens doors in a wide variety of other disciplines. The world is becoming increasingly computational. In fields ranging from biology to linguistics to political science, people are finding that computational skills give them an edge. A few years ago, a CS professor at a well-known public research university explained gleefully that all the biology researchers were coming to his department for help. Simple computer science skills will soon be critical in many fields.
Lots of kinds of Jobs says John Iglar with this partial list of 83 IT careers
There is good information on IT careers, training options and majors on the Minnesota IT Careers Website created by Advance IT Minnesota

Coding gives you the power to make a difference says Con Morran
This video interview features two young Irish coders.  Social entrepreneur Con Morran who started www.crainn.org is on the right.

Tech-savvy says Marc Scott in this great article from Coding 2 Learn
I want the people who will help shape our society in the future to understand the technology that will help shape our society in the future.  If this is going to happen, then we need to reverse the trend that is seeing digital illiteracy exponentially increase... Prevailing wisdom is that all under eighteens are technical wizards and this is simply not true... parents seem to have some vague concept that spending hours each evening on Facebook and You Tube will impart, by some sort of cybernetic osmosis, a knowledge of PHP, HTML, Javascript and Haskell.  


And one quote on why not....  

Why do you think some kids don't want to learn to program?

Endlessly typing says Allison Collier   Inspiring Future Innovators through Entertainment and News Media
"Students are more interested in using {technology} than creating it because they don’t understand the level of creativity and amount of imagination it takes to build a program or to craft a piece of hardware. They just assume they’ll spend their days endlessly typing on a keyboard and staring at a computer screen.”