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Computer Science Education: It's Not Shop Class

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The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has a plan to reform U.S. high school computer science education by giving the curriculum a much-needed update. NSF program director Janice Cuny says the goal is not to offer students the digital equivalent of shop classes, but rather to "teach them the magic of computing."

Today's high school students need to be technologically functional and literate, stresses Computer Science Teachers Association executive director Chris Stephenson. "And that will be true for them no matter what they become — artists, geologists, doctors, lawyers and, yes, computer scientists," she says.

A broader and smarter high school computer science curriculum will ideally generate more U.S. computer scientists, but for the most part it will cause the pool of people who comprehend and sample the discipline to swell. "The main goal is to broaden the funnel, to show more kids the extraordinary depth of this field and all you can do with it," says Google's Alfred Spector. Computer science veterans are struck by the mainstreaming of artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language translation, and other things conceived decades ago.

From The New York Times
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