Why Computer Science and WordPress are Critical Skills

Reading Miguel Guhlin’s recent post on Around the Corner-MGuhlin I came across a quote he referenced that resonated with my concern over curriculum, that the answer to the question why not might simply be the same as the movie The Matrix: “What is the Matrix?” Control.  While this may be a less relevant tie in, I admit to watching part of the Matrix recently.

In addressing the need for Computer Science, whether as an AP Computer Science or IB ITGS curriculum add, can current curriculum be understood in a perception that disadvantaged students are not capable of more, or that we should not provide more? 

"Economically disadvantaged students, who often use the computer for remediation and basic skills, learn to do what the computer tells them, while more affluent students, who use it to learn programming and tool applications, learn to tell the computer what to do. Those who cannot claim computers as their own tool for exploring the world never grasp the power of technology…They are controlled by technology as adults–just as drill-and-practice routines controlled them as students."Source: Toward Digital Equity: Bridging the Divide in Education

In a current Advanced class on Web Design and Development, I am attempting to work combining technology and writing as “tools of empowerment and learning” (M. Guhlin) having students blog what they are learning to share with a global audience.  My intent is to develop not only improved ability for students to claim their right to grasp the power of technology, but also to work on developing a powerful mechanism for literacy embedded in the structure of the program.

"Powerful literacy involves creativity and reason — the ability to evaluate, analyze and synthesize what is read…it is also the ability to write one’s ideas so that another person can understand them."
(Source: Patrick Finn, Literacy with an Attitude)

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