The Ticket to Tomorrow: Educating a New Generation in Computer Science
STEM Regardless of a student's ultimate field of study or occupation, no other subject will open as many doors in the 21st century as computer science.
Why do I teach? Because I love computer science (CS)—not in the cheesy sense but for the childlike wonderment of what I can do with it: I can make things; I can alter things; I can command a machine; I can figure out things my brain couldn't normally do; and I can make tasks easier and quicker.
Choose your path
I love computer science because it has no one, right answer, and it is much more than just code. My students can all create a working program and every single one will be different. By different I don't just mean different order; it can be the constructs, the pattern, the choice of methods, etc.
“This is why computer science is awesome: You can solve problems however your brain works and however you want to do it. There is a multitude of paths to take to solve a problem.”
Just this week, I told students: “This is why CS is awesome: You can solve problems however your brain works and however you want to do it. There is a multitude of paths to take to solve a problem.”
I want the students to see freedom of thought and the opportunities it affords them. I want them to be passionate about CS and then use something they have learned in one of my classes for another class, for personal use or just for the sake of trying something because it broadens their experiences. I want my students to understand that CS can change the way they look at the world, and it can be their ticket to a brighter future.
Over the past few decades, computers have transformed both the world and the workforce in many profound ways. As a result, CS and the technologies it enables now lie at the heart of our economy and the way we live our lives.
To be well-educated citizens in a computing-intensive world, and to be prepared for careers in the 21st century, our students must have a clear understanding of the principles and practices of CS. We need more CS teachers and must support them so that our students will be prepared to lead us in the 21st century.