A quick but thought-provoking post from Fred Wilson about CS education in our K12 system.
As many of you know, I have spent a fair bit of my time over the last ten years on increasing the amount of CS Education in our K12 system in NYC and around the US.
My friend Rob sent me this short (2 1/2 min) clip of John von Neumann in the early 50s talking about how important CS Education and in particular K12 CS Education would be.
We largely ignored his advice for the last sixty years but I am optimistic that we are finally heeding it.
This video from the 1950’s shows John von Neumann talking with a young man about his future. This young man is considering being an attorney. Computer Science in those early days was virtually non-existent except in very small circles.
Fast forward to 1983 when I was in High School and was one of about a dozen students who had access to the only TRS-80 (with a cassette drive) in our school system. We were our own CS education. There were no classes to learn to program at that time. It was only a couple years later that the first BASIC programming courses appeared.
Continuing forward to 2018 where my daughter was a senior at the same High School I attended. The computer science program was certainly expanded but I don’t think it had a large focus. I can’t explain why, maybe the administration couldn’t find adequate teachers or probably more accurately, the administration felt there were other priorities.
This High School even has gotten into eSports, where students get credits for playing video games.
I agree that CS education has gotten better, but it needs to get a lot better. K-12 today is the incubation channels for our kids and their future. I think it starts with early education to stimulate the minds of kinds to be creators. Creators with technology and the capabilities of the tech but what is possible for the future. The future they can build, with their minds.