ED 656 Week 12

Coding should in fact be introduced into schools along with other literacies. As educators we want to ensure that we are adequately preparing our students for the working world and that the material we teach is relevant in and out of our classrooms. Unfortunately for many schools in lower income areas access to technology is extremely limited. Even with the exponential growth of technological advancements in our society, many schools in poorer neighborhoods do not receive adequate access to technology, which ultimately leads students to become technologically illiterate especially compared to their peers who attend schools with better resources in affluent neighborhoods.Although I admit I am not as familiar with coding as I would like to be I do understand that software developers can have very lucrative careers and I want to make sure that my students at the very least are introduced to coding and will hopefully pursue a career in tech as they get older. I do not do any coding in my classroom, however I do have students who are interested in pursuing careers in this field. I co-teach with another amazing teacher who runs the Guppy Tank program at my school. This is a program where students work on developing/creating an app that will improve the lives of New Yorkers. Students work all year and compete in a contest with other New York City public schools to receive a three-week immersion coding camp course at a college. I always encourage my students who express interest in coding and software development to join the Guppy Tank Club.

 

In the article Computational Participation: Understanding Coding as an Extension of Literacy Instruction, authors Burke, O’Byrne, and Kafai discuss an educator whose biggest challenge in teaching his students how to code is the lack of computers that he has access to (371). Teaching students to be technologically literate is hard to do when you are limited in your access to technology. This sentiment speaks to all forms of literacy. Resources need to be provided so that students can be literate in reading writing, digital media, and technology. The article also states “just as reading and writing were once the demarcation line between the literate and illiterate, so now is the capacity to code (Burke et al., 372).There will inevitably be a shift towards technology and individuals will be assessed on their ability to utilize technological skills. I don’t necessarily agree with this ideology until access to technology is equitable across public schools regardless of the neighborhood. If we as a nation are moving towards a path where we will begin to determine if an individual is literate based on their ability to code, we need to make sure that students are given the adequate resources needed to be successful.

 

Multiple literacies like multiple intelligences have been garnering a lot of attention in academic circles. However, when it comes to coding being presented as a new literacy I worry about how equitable its implementation will be. There is clearly an achievement gap between races, which is also amplified by socioeconomic status, and a history of institutionalized racism. I worry that if not implemented correctly, coding will only increase the achievement gap. While we’re having discussions about coding in our academic circles we need to make sure that we are also discussing how its implementation can negatively and disproportionately affect students of color. I wonder if we will we eventually have standardized exams that will measures a student’s ability to code? If so, will ALL students being tested be provided with the same access to the technology used for coding to take place? Will coding become a core subject as we continue to become a technologically advanced society?

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Milani,

      You raise some really important points in your response. I especially resonated with this:

      While we’re having discussions about coding in our academic circles we need to make sure that we are also discussing how its implementation can negatively and disproportionately affect students of color.

      It would be tragic if this becomes another area of inequity in our schools.

    Group D

    Here is the online home for Group D.
    Sub-Group of ED 656 - Fall 2018

    Latest comments