Is Computer Science the Future of Education?
Computers are now ubiquitous and their costs are falling due to economies of scale. Apple computers, once a luxury reserved for the wealthy, are now affordable for all. More, computer science is becoming a domestic standard. And this trend is expected to continue. As the cost of computer technology continues to fall, it is essential that we develop a national skill set in computer science. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most important trends in the field.
Inclusion of computer science in K-12 curricula
The debate over whether Computer Science is the future of education in K-12 curriula was spirited, but one thing that seemed to stand out was how diverse the responses were. The researchers found that there were many contextual factors that affected the curricula. Here are some examples of differences in approach. Consider the following:
The current K-12 education system doesn’t have a compelling reason for including computer science in its curricula.
While computer science was once an elective, it has become an essential subject in schools today. As computing jobs increase, K-12 education must adapt to meet these needs. The CS Master Plan is one such tool that is being developed to address this need. In the U.S., nearly every K-12 student will take at least one class in computer science.
New approaches to programming have reduced the learning curve for students and made it easier for teachers to teach it.
Students can progress from simpler to more complex languages. Teachers must understand the concepts and principles of programming in order to be able to teach them. If computer science were more exciting, it could be a new way for children to engage in educational technology. This may be why it is a critical area to include in K-12 curricula.
The K-12 Computer Science Framework is a high-level guide to
the implementation of computer science education in K-12. It is a foundational guide for teachers and students and represents the essential ideas of computer science for all students. Although it is not an exhaustive list of subjects, the Framework is meant to inspire further efforts. In order to make computer science an essential subject, both policy and implementation must go hand in hand.
While few K-12 students will need to develop computer learning algorithms, most will need to understand the critical issues surrounding algorithms. In particular, AI students must consider issues like liability for self-driving cars, and how historical bias affects predictions of future events. Students learning IoT and computer science must also learn about the ecosystem surrounding code, as well as the importance of data privacy and sharing.
Challenges associated with student-centered CS
One of the major challenges in student-centered computer science education is how to integrate CS concepts into PBL. Students can often find it difficult to integrate CS knowledge into open-ended projects, and open-ended projects may not be a good fit for the students. In contrast, students who are taught introductory block-based programming may be willing to spend more time after class collecting information about the systems they are interested in.
One such initiative is the CS4All initiative,
launched by New York City in 2015. It aims to provide high-quality computer science education to every public-school student in the city. As part of this effort, educators and policy makers from the Education Development Center and the New York City Department of Education engaged in a research-practice partnership (RPP) to address curriculum scaling, professional development, diversifying student recruitment for AP CSP, and schoollevel support.
Although fewer studies have examined the impact of student-centered CS on girls’ career choice, recent research suggests that engaging curriculum can help entice females to pursue CS careers. One recent study examined the effects of a culturally relevant CS curriculum on the decisions of girls to pursue a career in CS. While the study did not find a significant difference between boys and girls, the findings suggest that this approach could be a useful approach.
Moreover, the workforce in CS is not representative of the general population.
While women comprise 57% of the US workforce, they represent only 26% of computing jobs. Gender inequity in CS continues at post-secondary levels. In 2016, women earned only 19% of bachelor’s degrees in computer science compared to 37% in A recent NSF survey showed that women in STEM fields are still underrepresented in computer science. While the number of girls in CS is low, the impact of problem-based CS curriculum on girls’ interest is significant. It is important to choose a relevant problem for girls to engage them in CS. A student-centered curriculum that allows girls to choose their own problems is more likely to be embraced by girls. This study looked at the impacts of problem-based CS curriculum on the attitudes and behaviors of girls, and discussed the implications for teachers, policy makers, and society.
Impact of technology on learning
The impact of computer science on learning extends far beyond the coding projects that students create for school competitions. It is not only a leveler in the development of inexpensive solutions, but it is also an equalizer in other areas. In an industry that has historically been under-represented by women and racial minorities, computer science can help level the playing field. The same requirements are required to get into the App Store, so all developers can have equal access to it.
The impact of computer science is evident in every subject area.
Traditional methods of teaching and imparting information are opaque and inaccessible to most people. By using computer technologies, we can now project ideas anywhere in the world, even to those with limited resources. Throughout our everyday lives, we encounter new opportunities and challenges, and computer science helps us leverage these new opportunities. In addition to education, computer technology is an integral part of the globalization of technology entities, including learning processes.
While fostering student engagement in CS is important for developing a generation of programmers,
it does not necessarily translate to developing a skilled workforce. It is not possible to reach all possible demand for CS workers without expanding access to a university education, and it is also counterproductive to force students into certain career paths. Instead, current engagement efforts focus on exposing students to the foundational skills of computer science and technical fields and giving them the opportunity to experiment and explore their interests.
Another example of how computer science is advancing the world is healthcare.
Genomic studies and personalized medicine have become possible thanks to computer science. Previously, genome sequencing cost millions of dollars, but thanks to machine-learning and improved computing power, the cost has been reduced dramatically. Moreover, computer software and the internet are the foundation of modern education. Without computer technology and computer science pros, the world would not be as advanced as it is today.
Although computer use can help students take notes faster and easier,
it also has a negative impact on student concentration. Students who use their laptops to take notes are less attentive and tend to apply the concepts learned in class less thoroughly than those who use a traditional pen and paper. Furthermore, if a student is using a computer to take notes, it is likely that the distraction will distract other students and affect their learning. Thus, it is necessary to avoid such problems as distracting other students in the classroom.
Impact of student engagement
The concept of student engagement encompasses many aspects of learning and teaching. Over the past few decades, the concept of student engagement has been given substantial attention because of changes in instructional methods and mounting pressures to improve learning and teaching. Despite this attention, there are still many questions about what exactly constitutes student engagement. For instance, how do students gauge their own engagement in the computer science classroom? How can faculty increase their students’ engagement?
Several studies have examined the relationship between student engagement in computer science courses and their learning outcomes.
One such study, Concepts Before Coding, examines the role of classroom culture and activity design in improving student engagement in computer science courses. It also provides case studies of how student engagement in online environments is linked to positive student experiences. Among the findings of the study were that more students who were engaged in learning in computer science courses achieved higher grades, compared to students who were not.
Another study on community college students found that their participation in online discussions increased
when students were able to participate in a private Facebook group associated with their university. However, widespread participation in this case was limited because of the difficulty of down**loading the app, and the fact that the app was not tied to specific assignments and courses. However, the instructor who created the Facebook page boosted student engagement the most. Therefore, such a study could prove valuable in improving computer science education.
In addition to engaging students in computer science education,
educators can also engage them in a variety of hands-on learning activities. Various hands-on learning activities cover topics across the curriculum and can be easily integrated into lesson plans. The best part is that these activities can be split over multiple days. National Centre for Computer Science Education (NCCE) offers a variety of flexible facilitator supported tasks and live online sessions that will help teachers engage their students in deep exploration of the subject content.
Studies have also shown that integrating technology into the classroom increases student engagement and academic success.
In addition to promoting collaboration and communication, students who use digital technologies in their classrooms also learn to apply their creative thinking skills. Using social networking sites to connect with peers is another way to improve student engagement in computer science education. The use of social media and mobile apps on a daily basis enhances students’ digital skills. As a result, they engage in higher-order thinking processes, participate in inquiry-based learning, and establish a social presence online.