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Cindy Royal: Are journalism schools teaching their students the right skills?

If you are a journalism educator or media professional, I have news for you: We work in tech.

 

I know: That’s not exactly what you signed up for when you entered the profession 20, 10, or even five years ago. But things have changed. While some of the tenets of the profession we formerly knew as journalism have remained, workflows, business practices, participants, and competitors are all very different. Because we work in tech.

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Computational Tinkering
The impact of computational thinking on our view of the world
Curated by Susan Einhorn
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Why every child should learn to code

Why every child should learn to code | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Will every job involve programming? No. But it is crucial we equip new generations with the ability to think about the world in a new way. 


Software is becoming a critical layer of all our lives. It is the language of our world. In the future, not knowing the language of computers will be as challenging as being illiterate or innumerate are today.


This is not primarily about equipping the next generation to work as software engineers, it is about promoting computational thinking. Computational thinking is how software engineers solve problems. It combines mathematics, logic and algorithms, and teaches you a new way to think about the world.

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Why is computer programming a key scientific skill? | Science in a different light

Computers are only as clever as the person programming them, but they can handle a lot more data, and process it a lot faster, than the human brain. 

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EMBRACING THE NEW TECHNOLOGIES CURRICULUM

EMBRACING THE NEW TECHNOLOGIES CURRICULUM | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Australia’s first digital technology curriculum is on its doorstep, and anyone who has been paying attention in educational circles for the last two years knows the words computational thinkingand coding are all the rage right now. So what are the implications for educators, who are likely to have had little exposure in their training as to how to teach computer science to children, and are therefore somewhere between frightened or excited by what lies ahead?.


Via Paul Herring, Bonnie Bracey Sutton
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Coding Is the New Writing for Developing Self-Expression, Communication, Imagination and Solving Hard Problems

Coding Is the New Writing for Developing Self-Expression, Communication, Imagination and Solving Hard Problems | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Putting coding on a par with the basic 'three Rs' is a trend in education-talk recently. However, we know from years of research that its utility goes well beyond the "schoolish three Rs" or "a great job or even instant riches" some day in the future. In my view kids must become coders and digital media creators rather than just information receivers and videogame players, because computational inventiveness, visualization and modeling, toward which coding is one fundamental first step, is essential for success in a world in which digital communication increasingly dominates civil society, business and commerce, science, entertainment, and human interaction around some of our world's most pressing problems --climate change, water scarcity, terrorism and security, global education and health.


Unfortunately, what's missed by some of the featured debatersis the key epistemological idea that developing a "computational-inventive mindset" allows kids to experience deep learning and thinking that are possible only when they participate in a learning culture where they are left to solve hard problems, imagine new solutions, ask questions, research and build things -- simulations, games, apps, models -- by themselves, about something that matters to them, through self-directed and self-organized collaboration using programmable tools.

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Paul Herring's curator insight, June 16, 8:24 PM

Love this comment:
"Unfortunately, what's missed by some of the featured debaters is the key epistemological idea that developing a "computational-inventive mindset" allows kids to experience deep learning and thinking that are possible only when they participate in a learning culture where they are left to solve hard problems, imagine new solutions, ask questions, research and build things -- simulations, games, apps, models -- by themselves, about something that matters to them, through self-directed and self-organized collaboration using programmable tools." - very wise words!

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What is code? If you don't know, you need to read this:

What is code? If you don't know, you need to read this: | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
The world belongs to people who code. Those who don’t understand will be left behind.


We are here because the editor of this magazine asked me, “Can you tell me what code is?”


“No,” I said. “First of all, I’m not good at the math. I’m a programmer, yes, but I’m an East Coast programmer, not one of these serious platform people from the Bay Area.”


I began to program nearly 20 years ago, learning via oraperl, a special version of the Perl language modified to work with the Oracle database. A month into the work, I damaged the accounts of 30,000 fantasy basketball players. They sent some angry e-mails. After that, I decided to get better.


Which is to say I’m not a natural. I love computers, but they never made any sense to me. And yet, after two decades of jamming information into my code-resistant brain, I’ve amassed enough knowledge that the computer has revealed itself. Its magic has been stripped away. I can talk to someone who used to work at Amazon.com or Microsoft about his or her work without feeling a burning shame. I’d happily talk to people from Google and Apple, too, but they so rarely reenter the general population.

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Integrating Computational Thinking and Modeling with K12 STEM

This video showcases some key results from our multi-year research project on integrating computational thinking in K12 science using agent-based modeling  and programming.


Via Bonnie Bracey Sutton
Susan Einhorn's insight:

This is a must view if you want to better understand the potential of computational thinking in learning, particularly learning in science and math for children in elementary/middle schools. 

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When the heck did learning to code become cool? — Medium

When the heck did learning to code become cool? — Medium | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
And why it sucks to be a beginner today…


 If you — like me — became a software engineer before the Internet was at scale, back in the good-old-days when AOL was spamming our physical mailboxes with CDs — you may not appreciate how drastically becoming a software developer has changed.

Although the Internet has made our lives collectively easier, the dynamic of learning to program is totally different from when I was starting out.

When I was teaching myself to program in high school, the attitude people had was “that’s just because Ken sucks at football”, not that I was some kind of glamorous rock star.

The prevalence of social media and the epic rise of companies like Instagram and “tech celebrities” like Zuckerburg it has never been cooler to be a software developer.

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Making Computer Science More Inviting: A Look at What Works

Making Computer Science More Inviting: A Look at What Works | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
A new prize aims to recognize colleges that succeed in attracting women into information technology, a field where they remain underrepresented.


According to Lucy Sanders, chief executive of the National Council for Women & Information Technology, the American computer science curriculum is in need of a complete overhaul, not just for women.


"I don't particularly think that the existing coputer science curriculum has been effective for anybody," she said. "It needs to be situated in a real-world or meaningful context so people understand why they're doing it."

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Coding Skills Empower Us All |The Maker Issue

Coding Skills Empower Us All |The Maker Issue | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
We’re not coding in schools so that every kid can get a tech job; we’re doing so to give all kids the chance to understand and interact with the technologies in their lives.

Via Bookmarking Librarian, Bonnie Bracey Sutton, Paul Herring
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Will classics or computer science close the skills gap? - Financial Times

Since Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt warned Britain in 2011 that it was “just throwing away its great computing heritage” by focusing on humanities rather than computer science, the chorus of technical leaders warning of the widening skills gap has continued to grow.


Jonathan Evans, now Lord Evans, studied classics at Bristol University. Director-general of MI5 from 2007-13, just as cyber terrorism became one of the country’s biggest threats, he argues that a classics education provides the best foundation for whatever challenges lie ahead. Kathryn Parsons, despite having studied classics at Cambridge before co-founding Decoded, one of Britain’s fastest-growing technology training companies, argues Britain more urgently needs computer scientists than classics scholars.

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Making hard programming easier for novice makers | eSchool News

Making hard programming easier for novice makers | eSchool News | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
The problem is that microcontroller programming is complicated in several ways. Also, unlike the video game controllers or battery powered cars that students were building earlier in the course, the concept of what an Arduino board is, what it does, and why they should care, is completely foreign to most students.


New tools can make it accessible to all.

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Girls Who Code Takes On Gender Gap in Computer Science - U.S. News & World Report

The nonprofit aims to empower women and girls in technology and engineering fields.


Saint Jean Baptiste High School senior Laura Willson, 17, is putting together a petition in support of adding a computer science class to the course offerings at the New York City school.


After attending a 2013 summer immersion program run by the nonprofit organization Girls Who Code at the Manhattan headquarters of IAC, a media and Internet company, Willson co-founded a Girls Who Code club at her school.


“I’m trying to come together with a petition so I can bring it to the principal and see what she thinks about it because I think eventually my school should have a computer science class,” Willson says. “Since they have a club, why not have a class too?”


“You don’t have to rely on anyone else to take what’s in your head and try to translate it into something in real life. It’s so nice to have all of that power and all of those skills in your own hands to really build your own dream,” Leah Busque says. “I think that along with that as an entrepreneur comes enough confidence, tenacity and sort of sheer will and ambition to move an idea forward and to not just build it, but also get it out there.”

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Computational thinking an essential skill for next-generation — Jessica Tan

 Over the past few decades, technology has radically transformed how we work and play. Automation has changed entire industries and the Internet has revolutionised the way we access information and make decisions. The imminent reality is that our world will only come to depend more and more on technology — jobs will become increasingly skills-biased, and as a result, the workforce of tomorrow not only has to work productively with technology, they will also have to have a firm grasp on how technology works.


This is especially true for Singapore — where we have embarked on a mission to become the first Smart Nation in the world. More so than other nations, we have an urgent and critical need to develop computational thinking as a national capability to lay the foundational building blocks to realise this goal. After all, a large part of being a Smart Nation is about leveraging new technologies to solve problems and improve the lives of our people. 



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Initiative to teach coding, computational thinking to students launched - Channel News Asia

Initiative to teach coding, computational thinking to students launched - Channel News Asia | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Called Code for Change, the three-year initiative aims to reach out to 1.2 million Singaporeans through on- and off-campus programmes, helping them develop coding and computational thinking skills.


Said Ms Jessica Tan, managing director of Microsoft Singapore: "When we talk about computational thinking, what we're trying to equip our young with, is to be able to take the ideas that they have, to break them down, and solve problems, bring the ideas together, and be able to have the confidence, most importantly have the confidence to make things happen. To make things, to bring the ideas to life, and we believe that that would drive that change to enable them the possibilities."

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Can an Algorithm Hire Better Than a Human?

Can an Algorithm Hire Better Than a Human? | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Start-ups say they can eliminate biases and create more skilled and diverse workplaces, but data science will probably need human supervision.
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So You Want Kids to Code! Why?

So You Want Kids to Code! Why? | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Here are MY Reasons! The title of this post might lead you to think that I question the benefit of kids coding or programming.  No. That’s not it. I am just hoping that you have developed your own 

good reasons why you want kids to code. Then, in support of those reasons, you set the wheels in motion for your students to achieve those goals.

In brief, my reasons revolve around ‘students being in charge of their own learning’. These include:

  • student agency (locus of control)
  • scaffolding a cognitive partnership where students come to deeply understand learning through the development and application of metacognitive skills
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Algorithms of the Mind — Deep Learning 101 — Medium

Algorithms of the Mind - Deep Learning 101 - Medium
What Machine Learning Teaches Us About Ourselves


Much like steam engines, machine learning is a technology intended to solve specific classes of problems. Yet results from the field are indicating intriguing—possibly profound—scientific clues about how our own brains might operate, perceive, and learn. The technology of machine learning is giving us new ways to think about the science of human thought … and imagination.

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Artificial intelligence discovers planarian regeneration model

Artificial intelligence discovers planarian regeneration model | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
An artificial intelligence system has for the first time reverse-engineered the regeneration mechanism of planaria -- the small worms whose extraordinary power to regrow body parts has made them a research model in human regenerative medicine.
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Discovering pieces for connecting and developing the Internet of Things — Medium

Discovering pieces for connecting and developing the Internet of Things — Medium | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Last year I started to explore the possibilities of connecting devices to the Internet (Internet of things, makers, …) and I have been amazed by the number of technologies available that change the traditional game of Web based Development. I will try to share some of the pieces of SW + HW + Services that I have found interesting.

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Don't Blame Algorithms for the Cruelties of Bureaucracy - Slate Magazine

Don't Blame Algorithms for the Cruelties of Bureaucracy - Slate Magazine | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Critics of “algorithms” are everywhere. Algorithms tell you how to vote. Algorithms can revoke your driver’s license and terminate your disability benefits. Algorithms predict crimes. Algorithms ensured you didn’t hear about #FreddieGray on Twitter.


It’s problematic to examine algorithms as anything except the formalization and realization of procedures and stratagems that predate Python or R analytics code. “Algorithmic accountability” crusaders are talking about entrenched sociopolitical problems without really talking about them; computers become scapegoats for undesired features of capitalism, bureaucracy, and politics.


Perhaps the humans who refuse to act for what they believe in while raising fear about computers are the real ones responsible for the decline of our agency, choice, and control—not the machines. They just can’t handle the (algorithmic) truth.

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We Need an Economic Study on Lost Productivity from Poor Computing Education

We Need an Economic Study on Lost Productivity from Poor Computing Education | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

How much does it cost the American economy that most American workers are not computer literate?  How much would be saved if all students were taught computer science? These questions occurred to me when I tried to explain why we need ubiquitous computing education.

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, May 22, 1:28 PM

Good points here.

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Learning to Code Becomes Learning to Learn

Learning to Code Becomes Learning to Learn | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Through learning to code, a teacher embraces the growth mindset by asking for help, accepting and exploring failure, and keeping it fun and authentic.

Via Becky Roehrs
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Becky Roehrs's curator insight, May 14, 8:35 PM

The teacher also points out coding and learning resources she found while learning how to code.

Betty Skeet's curator insight, May 15, 11:20 AM

Learning to code as playing ...

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How One Bad-Ass Woman Is Securing Her Future at an All-Female Coding Bootcamp

Let's make tech literacy more accessible to everyone. #ProjectLiteracy


Though many believe there’s currently a STEM crisis in America, many of the world’s problems are managing to be solved through tech: Healthcare.gov; apps connecting people to resources like Homeless REACH; sites that make life more efficient, like Trip Advisor. So perhaps what STEM fields ought to focus on is thediversity of its talent pool, rather than the size of it. A mere 26 percent of workers in the computing workforce are women—and only 16 perecent Latino; 12 percent black. But Acosta believes that people are starting to see a shift from the mystique of the loner white dude programmer to a more team-oriented space, featuring people who weren’t given the privilege to be exposed to programming early on.

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No God In The Machine - InformationWeek

No God In The Machine - InformationWeek | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Artificial intelligence cannot replicate human consciousness, say Irish researchers in new study.


In a recently published paper, "Is Consciousness Computable? Quantifying Integrated Information Using Algorithmic Information Theory," Phil Maguire, co-director of the BSc degree in computational thinking at National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and his co-authors demonstrate that, within the model of consciousness proposed by Giulio Tononi, the integrated information in our brains cannot be modeled by computers.

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Computational Thinking Breaks a Logjam | BU Today | Boston University

Marty Walsh had a problem. Boston’s mayor wanted to address pay disparities between men and women, publicizing, as a first step, the average gap in different Boston industries. Normally, calculating that gap would require taking the actual pay gap at each company in an industry, adding them up, and then dividing by the number of companies to reach an average. But companies’ payrolls are proprietary, because their disclosure could be a boon to competitors, a black eye for the firms, and ammo for disgruntled employees who could sue over pay inequities.


Enter Bestavros, a College of Arts and Sciences computer science professor, who proposed an ingeniously simple algorithm from computer science that will allow the city to calculate those industry pay averages, by gender, from a total of 60 participating employers, without any daylight shining on an individual company’s proprietary information.

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