What are some common misconceptions about CS?
Misconception: Using computers or computer literacy is computer science. Computer literacy focuses on the use of existing technologies. Computer science teaches students design skills, logical reasoning and problem-solving that allows them to create and adapt new technologies.
Misconception: Programming is a solitary activity for nerdy white males. Computing is for everyone. Almost anyone can learn computer science skills given the opportunity and sufficient support. Most problems are solved by people working as part of a team, communicating effectively, and considering the diverse perspectives of others.
Misconception: There is only one way to learn CS. Over the last few years, we have seen an explosion of options for learning computer science at every level including multiple platforms, approaches, and mediums including games, toys, and books. Best of all, many of these resources are free! Identifying and utilizing resources that work best for any given student is key in helping them to learn CS.
Misconception: CS is for high school students. No! There are computer science learning opportunities for everyone from pre-k students through high school, platforms and curricula that are designed for students in every stage of development. At all levels, pre-k through 12, most of these resources utilize a “low floor, high ceiling” approach that makes it easy for students to get started and still allow them considerable opportunities for advancement (Grover & Pea, 2013).
Computer science teaches students how to be innovative and solve problems—essential skills for students to be college- and career-ready. All students need a basic level of knowledge about how to use computers safely and securely. Communicate the need for our nation to improve computer science education in our schools.
Know Your Information
– 9 in 10 parents want their child to learn computer science
– 67% of parents believe computer science should be considered one of the core requirements
– 1.3 million jobs in computer and mathematical occupations will be created by 2022
– We are not currently producing enough computer science graduates to meet the needs of today’s industry or to compete in an increasingly global economy.
We need to raise awareness about the crucial need for computer science education, and promote policies and programs to influence change. The influence you have as a school leader enables you to spread the word about the importance of computer science education, not only for those who will pursue careers in the field, but also for all students who are living in today’s technology driven society.