TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Jan 96 Crabbs Apple
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:1
Column Tag:Crabb’s Apple

Tomorrow’s Developers

By Don Crabb

I just spent a surprisingly enjoyable two days as a presenter and keynoter at the 10th Annual Illinois Computing Educators conference in Addison, Illinois, outside Chicago. At this conference, today’s K-12 educators met to discuss the latest computer software and hardware, the lastest trends in computing pedagogy, the latest methods in computer laboratory management, and the lastest methods for moving their kids onto the Internet and the World Wide Web.

I say “surprisingly enjoyable,” because I found myself learning just as much about the state of Illinois K-12 computer education as I taught about the state of current computing technology and programming environments.

I learned that many of today’s kids, especially those in grades 7-12, are chomping at the bit to learn the guts of computing, how and why it works, and not just how much fun it can be. These expectations cut across racial and socioeconomic groups. This information counters the widely-reported stereotype that only nerdy white boys from wealthy suburban families are really interested in learning computer programming, computer architecture, computer networking, and software engineering.

What the thousand or so assembled teachers taught me was to forget that perception as they told me one story after another about inner city African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and other poor minority kids (girls and boys) who stayed after school just to have a bit more time to use meager computer resources. And just how many of these kids were not just computer-doodling, or banging the Internet and WWW for the hell of it. These kids are demanding to be taught how to put computer technology to use for themselves and their families and how to buy into the digital revolution.

And damnit, we’re the folks who ought to be stepping up to the task to make it happen.

Despite the best intentions, programs, and efforts of the teachers I talked with, the minority kids just aren’t getting the programming training they want and need. Despite the best intentions, programs, and efforts of the school administrators I talked with, the inner city kids just aren’t getting the programming training they want and need. Despite the best intentions, programs, and efforts of the corporate donors I talked with, the poor schools just aren’t getting the computer and networking resources they want and need. And despite the best intentions, programs, and efforts of the governmental educational chiefs I talked with, the poor, minority, inner city kids are being overtly and covertly locked out of the digital revolution that is reshaping America.

And damnit, we’re the folks who ought to be stepping up to the task to help fix these problems.

This is no longer just an educational problem. It’s a problem of the future of this country. Computing and digital information processing are the wave of the present and the wave of the future. For as long as any prognosticators can see. And if we don’t start digitally enfranchising all of our kids now, regardless of their race, or how much money their families make, or what school they go to, we’re going to create a caste system worse than any imagined in colonial India under the Raj. We’re going to create a country where the haves and the havenots are not defined so much by bucks as by bytes. The digital literati versus the digitally disadvantaged.

And damnit, we’re the folks who ought to be stepping up to the task of providing the guidance, the resources, and the peoplepower to give our educators the tools and software they need to extend the digital domain to all K-12 students, not just those with the fancy multimedia PowerMac setup in the media room at home.

What I am suggesting here is simple, but executing it will require a real committment on the part of individuals and their companies. Here we go:

1. Mac developers as a group are among the best programmers on the planet. That’s not a boast, it’s a fact. Mac hardware and software companies as a group are among the most innovative corporations you can find. That’s also not a boast, it’s a reality forced on them by a MacOS market that often defies description, and by their primary partner (Apple) that frequently defies logic.

2. Mac developers need a cause to rally around beside defeating Microsoft or learning to be codependent with them.

3. The U.S. is at a crossroads in its ability to provide a proper computing education for all of its schoolage kids.

4. Mac developers and their companies need to get involved supporting K-12 computer education efforts in the U.S., by offering their expertise, pro bono, on how to improve and extend programming and computer engineering curricula; by offering their services, pro bono, at teaching the teachers; by offering their spare time, pro bono, towards creating killer computer pedagocial apps to help the havenots catch up with the haves; and by offering donations of equipment, networking resources, and software to make all of these initiatives work together.

In short, what I am suggesting here is the private equivalent of a Vista or Peace Corps for all American kids revolving around digital technology, with a strong emphasis on programming and software development as keys to understanding how the digital world is working and will work and how to make the most of it. Software and hardware companies would grant paid release time to their developers to work in this program and release time to their managers to establish it, staff it, and get it under way.

Naturally, we’d buttonhole Apple to be the corporate bandwagon upon which we could hitch our pedagocial wagons.

Let’s call this new initiative the Digital Corps of America (the idea makes sense in many other countries, too). If you are interested in discussing this concept and want to help organize it, drop me a line at decc@cs.uchicago.edu. I will try to organize some electronic meeting forum or list to kick things off.

In the long run, with the Digital Corps of America we end up helping to “re-melt the pot” Americans are so fond of thinking represents the American Way, but in a way that makes sense in the Digital Age. And we help firmly establish the very computer markets we are now trying to niche out in our daily struggles by creating a whole new class of computer literate customers. Sounds like a win-win to me.

 
AAPL
$111.78
Apple Inc.
-0.87
MSFT
$47.66
Microsoft Corpora
+0.14
GOOG
$516.35
Google Inc.
+5.25

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

calibre 2.13 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Mellel 3.3.7 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
ScreenFlow 5.0.1 - Create screen recordi...
Save 10% with the exclusive MacUpdate coupon code: AFMacUpdate10 Buy now! ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your... Read more
Simon 4.0 - Monitor changes and crashes...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
BBEdit 11.0.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
ExpanDrive 4.2.1 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
Adobe After Effects CC 2014 13.2 - Creat...
After Effects CC 2014 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous After Effects customer). After Effects CS6 is still available... Read more
Evernote 6.0.5 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
Command-C 1.1.7 - Clipboard sharing tool...
Command-C is a revolutionary app which makes easy to share your clipboard between iOS and OS X using your local WiFi network, even if the app is not currently opened. Copy anything (text, pictures,... Read more
Tidy Up 4.0.2 - Find duplicate files and...
Tidy Up is a complete duplicate finder and disk-tidiness utility. With Tidy Up you can search for duplicate files and packages by the owner application, content, type, creator, extension, time... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Make your own Tribez Figures (and More)...
Make your own Tribez Figures (and More) with Toyze Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
So Many Holiday iOS Sales Oh My Goodness...
The holiday season is in full-swing, which means a whole lot of iOS apps and games are going on sale. A bunch already have, in fact. Naturally this means we’re putting together a hand-picked list of the best discounts and sales we can find in order... | Read more »
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode f...
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode for Angry Birds Epic Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minec...
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minecraft: Story Mode – A Telltale Games Series Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their...
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their New Game: Tempo Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] WarChest Ltd and Splash Damage Ltd are teaming up again to work | Read more »
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary...
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary with a Bunch of Free Games Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] BulkyPix has | Read more »
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking F...
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking Fever’s new sushi-themed update Posted by Simon Reed on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent has yet again updated its restaurant simulat | Read more »
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to C...
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to Celebrate 20 Million Downloads Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Desti...
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny, and Beyond – AppSpy Takes a Look at AAA Companion Apps Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] These day | Read more »
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Fre...
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Free for the Holidays Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

The Apple Store offering free next-day shippi...
The Apple Store is now offering free next-day shipping on all in stock items if ordered before 12/23/14 at 10:00am PT. Local store pickup is also available within an hour of ordering for any in stock... Read more
It’s 1992 Again At Sony Pictures, Except For...
Techcrunch’s John Biggs interviewed a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) employee, who quite understandably wished to remain anonymous, regarding post-hack conditions in SPE’s L.A office, explaining “... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Pros for...
 B&H Photo has new MacBook Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP as part of their Holiday pricing. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1699... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Airs for...
B&H Photo has 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, for a limited time, for the Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday shopping season. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: iMacs for up to $...
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software: - 21″ 1.4GHz... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac minis availab...
B&H Photo has new 2014 Mac minis on sale for up to $80 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $459 $40 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $629 $70 off MSRP... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac Pros for up t...
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $500 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2599, $400 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3499, $... Read more
Save up to $400 on MacBooks with Apple Certif...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Save up to $300 on Macs, $30 on iPads with Ap...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
iOS and Android OS Targeted by Man-in-the-Mid...
Cloud services security provider Akamai Technologies, Inc. has released, through the company’s Prolexic Security Engineering & Research Team (PLXsert), a new cybersecurity threat advisory. The... Read more

Jobs Board

Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.