“A manifesto for teaching computer science in the 21st century”

John Naughton wrote a public set of proposals to Michael Gove, Britain’s MP, Secretary of State for Education, for rebooting its ICT curriculum and published it in The Guardian. It’s a good read.

Even better, check out The Guardian’s profile of 7 teenagers who code.


Metafilter: Guardian feature on the future of computing education in UK

Programming, along with Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic – start NOW

Matt Ruzicka wonders what could have happened if his school was visited by someone who shared how programming has less to do with something he could learn in college, and more to do with what he was actually doing in class in his post “School, Math, and Code”. (via “Life and Code”)

More than a few of us from CIM are active in our communities, including my former manager Aaron Held, who received this note from a thankful student who needs more support from others.

Knowledge of programming, not the use of specific kinds of software (word processors for example), is a necessary part of literacy today.


MIT Scratch

Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python

Google: Exploring Computational Thinking

Program or Be Programmed

Computer Programming for Everybody

Knowing and Doing: “Programming for Everyone — Really?”

MediaShift: Aran Levasseur: “Learning in a Digital Age: Teaching a Different Kind of Literacy”

Programming, Math, and Computational Thinking: on education

Actually, this post will feature a few reads and resources for you that are part of a theme – the need to change K-12 education to face the realities of today and tomorrow, instead of preparing them for a world that has already turned. To do so will require children to gain a working understanding of the use of, and creation of, software. This is as important today as reading, writing and mathematics and it helps provide invaluable tools to build on, and strengthen, those foundational parts of children’s education.

Google Edu serves a terrific resource for educators and students that brings together many of these concepts – “Exploring Computational Thinking”. The lesson plan includes Python exercises that help illustrate computational thinking while strengthening math skills.

Why this is important

Over 10 years ago Lawrence Lessig exclaimed, “The Code Is the Law”, and in a series of articles, presentations, and an influential book spread the idea among the digerati, but interestingly enough, those outside of technology didn’t adopt the idea as a truism.

Douglas Rushkoff recently released his most recent book, “Programed or be Programmed” that took the concept further and declared a course of action for future educators.

Kevin Slavin: Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world:

YouTube: “TED: Conrad Wolfram: Teaching kids real math with computers”:

America’s homeless generation

60 Minutes recently ran a segment revealing the stories of children in America who are fighting to survive homelessness. It is a must watch. A painful watch.

60 Minutes: Homeless children: the hard times generation

Be sure to check out the followup on how the report was produced: The hidden America

Ronnie James Dio – Rest In Peace

Ronnie James Dio, one of the greatest songwriters and singers in heavy metal, passed away this weekend.

I put together a Ronnie James Dio Playlist on YouTube to try and share some great moments, but no one song, or article, will be able to capture his influence on the genre, and the positive uplift it gives thousands of kids who look for a place to belong, a music that sings of fighting for something against incredible odds, all wrapped in a cloak of fantasy, sorcery and lightning.

The following three threads have great discussion:

Blabbermouth: “Metal Legend Ronnie James Dio Dies At 67”

Metafilter: “Shiny diamonds.”

reddit.com: DIO R.I.P.

NPR did the best job I’ve seen so far in a mainstream news source of covering his passing:

NPR.org: “Metal Legend Ronnie James Dio Dies At 67”

NPR.org: “Ronnie James Dio: Remembering A Vocal Cannon”

Friends and family links:

Rock Nightmare: R.I.P Ronnie James Dio”.

Thoughts on Religion (and other things): On Ronnie James Dio.

You can pay your respects at Ronnie James Dio.


Michael Jackson’s reach was across generations, across the seas

YouTube: (Michael Jackson) Billie Jean – Sungha Jung:


I had posted the following to Twitter, but it belongs here:

“11 years old, standing on chestnut st. near 11th, outside store, watching tvs play Thriller thru a window. that was me.”

Michael Jackson’s death triggered moments of reflection for many. So many that services across the Web struggled to stay functional as people either reached out for news, or to share their memories with one another.

He stands as a kind of Rorschach test. What you think of him and his contributions to music and entertainment are dependent on you – the information published about him you cared to absorb, rationalize, relate to, or reject.

He was a force. He left an imprint.

YouTube: Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” cover by Amanda Palmer (live):

Some links:

WNEW.com: The Epic of Michael Jackson

Metafilter: Ongoing thread

Attytood: The Love You Save: Michael Jackson and the rear-guard Baby Boomers

NPR.org: Michael Jackson: Life Of A Pop Icon

Susie Madrak: The Life and Death of Michael Jackson

Jeneane Sessum: Have You Seen My Childhood

Comcaster Scott Westerman: Michael Jackson’s place in the pantheon of our lives

Lisa Marie Presley: He Knew.

CSMonitor: Outpouring over Michael Jackson unlike anything since Princess Di

Koax! Koax! Koax! (via boing boing): Some thoughts on Michael Jackson

YouTube: I’ll Be There Acapella:

And lastly, a very deep thought by co-worker John: “The Michael Jackson we knew died a long time ago”