Lately I’ve been struggling with the STEM/STEAM approach to teaching computational technology. It assumes you’re either an artist, scientist, or engineer. What about the rest of us? I meet plenty of people who don’t fit any of these categories, yet who use programming and electronic devices in their work. I’m looking to understand their perceptions of how these technologies work, and how they fit into their practices. In this talk, I tried to explain some of what I’ve noticed by observing and working with people from different backgrounds, and to review some of the current tools for teaching a general audience.
Ultimately, I want us to get to a point where we use programming tools in the same way as we use language. We all use language, but we’re not all language-using professionals. We use it casually, expressively, sometimes professionally, in a thousand different ways. We don’t follow all the rules, yet we work together to share a common understanding through language. We’re starting to do the same with media like video, audio, and images as well. Maybe we can get there with programming and computational thought, too.
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