February 27, 2015

Mel McGee Talks Diversity in Tech with The Digital Life’s Kevin Lockett

We Can Code IT CEO and lead instructor, Mel McGee, sat down with The Digital Life podcast host Kevin Lockett to discuss the issue of...
December 13, 2014

IT’s For Girls — Girls in STEM

  We Can Code IT Mentors Northeast Ohio 8th Grade Girls On Tuesday, December 9th, We Can Code It mentored girls at IT’s For Girls, an event in which 8th grade girls from school districts in Northeast Ohio get together to participate in STEM projects and meet professional women in tech fields. The annual day-long event provides middle school girls with information and incentive to pursue their interests in STEM-related subjects and IT careers. The  program is presented by and takes place at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center. It includes six different STEM activities for the girls, including 3D printing and math activities. The kids also learn a lot about the importance of networking. The girls worked with We Can Code IT and 19 other women from Northeast Ohio tech businesses by asking networking questions and learning about career options in technology. The students watched a slideshow featuring women tech company CEOs. Seeing examples of women to role model themselves after, rather than the male-dominated images they typically see, can help girls understand that tech fields are attainable to them. We Can Code IT also mentored during the luncheon portion of the programming. We told the inquisitive girls at our table about computer science as a career choice, told them about making games in Scratch and Blockly, and asked a lot of questions about their interests and possible career paths to help guide them in the right direction. If you’d like to introduce a girl you know to computer science, you may want to show them Scratch, a programming language developed at MIT for kids.  
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
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