To be sure, Berkeley is an exception: according to the National Science Foundation, just 18.4% of computer science degrees were given to women (as of 2010), a trend that has been steadily decreasing since 1991, when it was a more impressive 29.6%. In an email, Professor Dan Garcia, who taught the Berkeley course last spring, tells us that he attributes the gender flip to a drastic transformation in the curriculum, including team-based project learning, opened-sourced materials, and opportunities to become teaching assistants. “The course & curriculum really does capture the “Beauty and Joy” of computing; learning can be a lot of fun,” he writes.

Women Outnumber Men For The First Time In Berkeley’s Intro To Computer Science Course | TechCrunch

Diversity in STEM fields is a national problem, but it varies by region:In states like Texas, California, New York, and Maryland, the statistics are not nearly as dismal as in states like Mississippi and New Mexico, where no African-American students took the AP Computer Science exams. In fact, in Mississippi, only one student took that exam, period. No students took it in Wyoming.

“Computer science in some states has just about disappeared, and that’s not good because it’s one of the fastest growing fields,” said Ericson, noting that Mississippi had 40 people take the test in 2001. Computer science “is a foundational skill for any STEM field. Nowadays, you couldn’t map the human genome without computer science skills.”

Programming tends to be an abstract concept,” says Gupta. “The best way to make it concrete for a child is to use tangible products. The very first concept that they learn is that the work they do controls an object in another world in a repeatable and controllable way. Even that is an alien concept for a child. The second one is a sequence of instructions. If I give you an abstract sequence of go straight, go right, go straight, go right, it’s not immediately obvious to a child that you will come back to the same point. With a robot, it’s obvious what’s going on.

Screw Teaching Your Kids—Get This Robot Instead ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code community
Enrollment in Harvard’s Intro to Computer Sci Rose 580% in Last Decade




“Introduction to Computer Science,” better known as CS50, is widely regarded as the most difficult course at Harvard College. That may explain why, just a decade ago, only 112 students took it. (Now, in addition to its popularity on campus, CS50 is taken by thousands of other people for free online through Harvard’s partnership with the education non-profit EdX.)


» via The Atlantic High-res

Enrollment in Harvard’s Intro to Computer Sci Rose 580% in Last Decade

“Introduction to Computer Science,” better known as CS50, is widely regarded as the most difficult course at Harvard College. That may explain why, just a decade ago, only 112 students took it. (Now, in addition to its popularity on campus, CS50 is taken by thousands of other people for free online through Harvard’s partnership with the education non-profit EdX.)

» via The Atlantic

Tools like Scratch aim to address what their developers see as a lack of computer programming instruction in schools today. The general thinking is that children are growing up surrounded by powerful machines they do not understand and teaching needs to be overhauled to prepare today’s youth for a future living and working closely with computers. Unlike typical programming languages, which require users to type in complicated text commands, Scratch uses coloured blocks that are strung together to create lines of code. ScratchJr is similar, only the commands are even simpler. After assembling a rudimentary program, the child clicks a green flag at the beginning of the list of commands to run it. It may sound very simple, says Marina Bers at Tufts, who co-created ScratchJr, “but it teaches sequencing – the idea that order matters”.

Kindergarten coders can program before they can read - 26 July 2013 - New Scientist

The $6,600 master’s degree marks an attempt to realize the tantalizing promise of the MOOC movement: a great education, scaled up to the point where it can be delivered for a rock-bottom price. Until now, the nation’s top universities have adopted a polite but distant approach toward MOOCs. The likes of Yale, Harvard, and Stanford have put many of their classes online for anyone to take, and for free. But there is no degree to be had, even for those who ace the courses. Education writer and consultant Tony Bates recently noted that until top institutions begin putting a diploma behind their MOOCs, “we have to believe that they think that this is a second class form of education suitable only for the unwashed masses.”

Georgia Tech’s Computer Science MOOC: The super-cheap master’s degree that could change American higher education. - Slate Magazine

Computer science teachers offered cash incentive

High-flying graduates are to be given a £20,000 golden handshake to train as computer science teachers.

Ministers have asked Facebook, Microsoft and IBM to help design the training for the new teachers.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said current information and communications technology (ICT) teacher training courses would be axed from next year.

The move “could not be more welcome or more necessary”, said Prof Steve Furber of the Royal Society.

» via BBC

Although women now make up the majority of college graduates, the number of female computer science grads has dropped precipitously over the past 25 years—from nearly 40 percent in the mid-1980s to 18 percent in 2009. As a result, only 2 in 10 programmers are women.

Attracting More Women to Computer Science Requires Shattering the ‘Brogrammer’ Culture - Education - GOOD

This is the time for forward-looking research universities to invest scarce resources in computer science/computing—even at the expense of other engineering disciplines, if necessary—in order to ensure a vibrant, cohesive, and prominent computer science/computing presence and identity. This most certainly is not the time to scale back on computer science research and education.

Zvi Galil, Dean of College of Computing at Georgia Tech, sends the president of University of Florida a letter addressing UF’s decision to eliminate its computer science department in order to save money. (via explore-blog)

(via explore-blog)

“Program or be programmed,” as author Douglas Rushkoff says, noting that we must learn how to be producers not just consumers of computer technology.

Should Computer Science Be Required in K-12? | MindShift