November 17, 2014

Hedy Lamarr – Empowering Girls and Women in STEM

Inventor & Actress Paved Way for Women in Tech Hedy Lamarr is best known as a glamorous and talented actress who captivated audiences during the Golden Age of film. But many don’t know that she was also a tech pioneer who helped pave the way for girls and women in computer science. In 1942, Lamarr and her pianist, George Antheil, wanted to come up with a way to secure torpedo radio signals used in wartime. One problem with military technology during World War II was that radio signals were not secure. They were sent along one frequency band, which could easily be hijacked and controlled by enemies. While analyzing a player piano, Lamarr and Antheil used the 88 keys and the paper player roll for inspiration. They discovered that perforating a paper piano roll could switch the radio signals sent from a control center to a torpedo into a random pattern. Doing so in short, fast bursts among 88 different frequencies would make it difficult for enemies to intercept the signal and take control of torpedos. The method is called spread spectrum frequency hopping, and they dubbed it a Secret Communications System. Lamarr and Antheil received a patent for spread spectrum frequency hopping, and they donated the technology to the U.S. military which didn’t implement it due to apprehension about using paper player piano rolls in torpedos. The patent was rediscovered in the 1950s when private tech companies began developing wireless technologies. Spread spectrum frequency hopping makes it possible for all of us to use broadband technology. Without it, only large corporations could afford to buy and use limited radio space. We’re able to have multiple users share radio frequencies at the same time without interference because of spread spectrum frequency hopping. It enables a lot of the technology all of use on a daily basis to exist, including cell phone networks, WiFi, and Bluetooth technology. The military also now uses it in various capacities for encrypted communications. Lamarr was recognized for her tech contributions with an Electronic Frontier Foundation award in 1997, and she died in 2000. In the 1940s few women were involved in tech advancements, but today Lamarr is not only known as a glamorous actress. She’s a well respected role model for girls and women who are interested in tech and who want to contribute inventive ideas. To honor her 100th birthday, We Can Code IT is giving away free Hedy Lamarr posters. Hang them in your office, classroom, or home to inspire girls to go into tech. Click here to download yours now. Sources:   Hedy Lamarr – Empowering Girls and Women in STEM was originally published on We Can Code IT
November 17, 2014

5 Reasons Educators Should be Teaching Computer Science, not Computer Programs

Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. – Edsger Dijkstra 5 Reasons you should be Teaching Computer Science, Not Programs Computer programs, like Microsoft Word, are subject to change; they come and go. Computational thinking concepts are always relevant and can be applied to all computer programs. Computer science requires analytical thinking for problem solving and creativity in all subject matters. Computer science learnings stick with students long after they leave the classroom, and are carried on throughout their careers. Computer science teaches logic and applied mathematics. Computer applications do not teach this. They typically make a task easier rather than teaching someone how to perform it themselves or create the programming that makes the application function. It’s important for students to not just use software, but to know how that software is made so they can improve upon and use it properly. With standardized interfaces that are simple to learn, students can typically learn apps on their own, however computer science requires more facilitation by an knowledgeable educator. Students can learn about multiple subjects at once in computer science — including math, science, and engineering. They improve their sequential and analytical skills. Educators can work together to create an interdisciplinary approach to get students engaged in tech, an in-demand career field with high paying job opportunities. Computer science knowledge is much broader than a particular program. It can be applied to other subjects, and ultimately many professions. All professionals would fare better with strong analytical and logic skills that are learned in a well constructed computer science class. Computer science is the new literacy. As more information is found through computers, and more computer automation is taking place, it’s important for everyone to know what’s going on “behind the curtain.” Learning computer programs teaches students to be consumers of technology rather than creators of it. Computer science requires students to think critically about how programs are created and used, and it encourages them to come with creative solutions to complex problems both inside and outside of the classroom. Learn Computational Thinking at our FREE Webinar 5 Reasons Educators Should be Teaching Computer Science, not Computer Programs was originally published on We Can Code IT 5 Reasons Educators Should be Teaching Computer Science, not Computer Programs was originally published on We Can Code IT
November 12, 2014
diversity and inclusion in technology

Computer Science Training for Educators!

Our computer science training for educators' classes are online, but in real-time, so you can ask questions and get help immediately! Have to miss a class? No problem. Just review the recorded ...
October 17, 2014

We Can Code IT featured on Emerging Technology Podcast

Learn more about We Can Code IT’s phenomenal program, featured on the Emerging Technology podcast!
October 1, 2014
Coding Bootcamp

Make Your Own Haunted House Game in Scratch!

  Download the 40+ page Workbook for FREE!   Computer Classes in Cleveland Girls, ages 8 through 16, will love learning how to create an interactive haunted house using the simple to use programming language, Scratch! Girls will have a blast designing and creating their scenes and characters,  coding commands to make the haunted house come to life! They are having fun, while expressing their creativity and learning programming! Our end goal is to immerse them in the creation of tech, and provide computational skills that will help them excel in the 21st century. Girls, ages 8 – 16, love it because they are making an interactive game. You’ll love it because they are learning the computational thinking and programming,  an important life-skill that schools aren’t well equipped to teach. Are you interested in hanging out too and learning Scratch too? No problem, adults, just get an extra ticket for yourself, and let us know you’re joining us. Proudly offered by We Can Code It, with support from Bizdom Cleveland and imageNation Web Experts, we’ll provide fun instruction, donuts, and juice for the girls.   Girls Make an interactive haunted house on your computer! Create your own haunted story. Include secret passages! Scare your friends! Will you script ghosts, creaking doors, and witches? You’ll make your adventure and program everything by yourself. It’s your own program, so you get to make it exactly how you want it! You can code it, it’s easy! Adults Your girls will be learning programming using the free and easy to use Scratch  language developed by MIT. Scratch was created for beginners, and feels a bit like online Lego blocks.  We’ll show the girls, and you, if you join us, how to program by making a haunted house. They will learn programming, computational thinking, logic structures and more, in this very engaging process. They’ll see how fun it is to CREATE with a computer, not just USE a computer. Feel free to get a ticket for yourself and learn with your favorite girls! If you do not purchase a ticket, you may hang out in the lobby area, have fun in Tower City, the casino, or hang out downtown, but we ask that you do not crowd the instruction area. Where Bizdom Cleveland at Tower City 250 W. Huron Rd. Suite 203 Cleveland, OH 44113 (We’ll send you exact directions in an email)[/text-with-icon][/vc_column][/vc_row] Who Girls (Ages 8-16). No experience necessary. When Saturday, October 18th, 2014. 10 AM to 12PM. Online event registration for Make your own Haunted House Adventure in Scratch! powered by Eventbrite Follow Us!
September 29, 2014

We Can Code IT Reaches Out at Ingenuity Fest

Over 3,000 people gathered at IngenuityFest in Cleveland, and for the second year in a row, We Can Code IT engaged visitors with our technology outreach program. We delighted guests with our Artificial Intelligence chatbots, Skeletorbot and Zoebot. We enthralled Clevelanders with our Community Glass display. We taught visitors about computational thinking through the programming language, Scratch. The event culminated with Mel speaking as a panelist, explaining the importance of getting girls and women in to tech, at Meet the Makers. Thank you to our amazing volunteers! These wonderful images are provided by Lauren Holloway.