Categories
Computer Science

Ladies Learning Code

From this article at ReadWriteWeb on the Ladies Learning Code team come the story of them starting HackerYou and pursing other opportunities for women to learn to code and not in a University setting.  Read the article, it is an interesting team of women tackling a difficult problem.

A university alternative

As to the need of a private alternative to the university system, Payne points to a survey finding high demand for software developers from startups. A paper presented at the European Conference on Information Systems in 2009 confirms the need for information technology workers, even in a down economy.

Still, a 2008 study found that enrollment in university computer science programs in all but one Canadian region was actually down between 36% and 64% from its peak in 2002.

Computer science education has its issues in the U.S., as well. The University of Florida planned to cut its computer science department, and though the most drastic version of that plan has since been withdrawn, students and faculty are still fight to save the department.

Regardless of what you think of the merits of universal code literacy, HackerYou and similar programs in other cities – such as Code Academy in Chicago, General Assembly in New York City and Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco – have an opportunity to help close the talent gap.

Categories
OpenEducationResources

Education at SparkFun Electronics!

About the SparkFun Education Department

SparkFun Electronics thrives by sharing ingenuity and developing a more approachable environment for everyone, regardless of their technical experience level. The Department of Education is dedicated to improving the interest and diversification in the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics fields by encouraging kinesthetic and tangible learning with affordable, accessible and relevant technologies. By collaborating with educators and industry partners we hope to create products and curricula that provide students with the necessary skill sets to succeed in these industries. Our nascent project shows great promise in the formal learning centers of K-12 and higher education as well as nontraditional settings like museums, hackerspaces, and community events. Ultimately, we strive to create materials and tools that inspire people of all ages to play, create and invent.

SparkFun’s Department of Education and our pal Ludus are proud to welcome you to the SparkFun Education Website. Here you’ll find all sorts of goodies relating to education and electronics. The DoE (that’s Department of Education) started in February of 2011 working towards making electronics and technology a more integrated part of the education curriculum all over the world. We provide resources for educators to teach 21st century hardware and software skills. Every day we’re dedicated to rounding up people from all different walks of life and getting them interested in the world of electronics. Our goal is to create fun and hands-on ways of helping people learn skills that will last a lifetime. We love to watch people come up with innovative projects and hope our site will offer some help along the way. Welcome to learn.sparkfun.com and enjoy your journey!

Categories
Hacks

Is It Time to Rebuild & Retool Public Libraries?

A hackerspace or hackspace (also referred to as a hacklab, makerspace or creative space) is a location where people with common interests, usually in computers, technology, science or digital or electronic art can meet, socialize and/or collaborate. A hackerspace can be viewed as an open community labs incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops and/or studios where hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things. Many hackerspaces participate in the use and development of free software and alternative media and can be found in infoshops or social centers.

TechShop is a membership-based workshop that provides members with access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a community of creative and supportive people so they can build the things they have always wanted to make. You can think of TechShop like a fitness club, but with tools and equipment instead of exercise equipment. It is sort of like a Kinko’s for makers, or a Xerox PARC for the rest of us. TechShop is designed for everyone, regardless of their skill level. TechShop is perfect for inventors, makers, hackers, tinkerers, artists, roboteers, families, entrepreneurs, youth groups, FIRST robotic teams, arts and crafts enthusiasts, and anyone else who wants to be able to make things that they dream up but don’t have the tools, space or skills.

Click the image to read an interesting article on what a library should become!