As the official Hashtagologist™ for the #NPRBlacksinTech hashtag being curated by Tell Me More, I’ve been asked to give you a recap of what’s been happening so far on social media. But I also think it’s important to at some of the discussions and comments that have come from readers and commenters like yourself in addition to official participants. #NPRBlacksinTech is an important conversation, not just for twenty days this month, but also for the coming weeks and years — though hopefully not for decades! To start, here’s a quick quiz.
Whether you’ ve got kids going on summer break and you’re worried about whether or not they can keep their skills sharp over the next few months, or you’re an adult who wants to learn more, tackle a new field, or just dip your toes into a subject matter, online educational tools and courses are an amazing asset. There are a ton of cool things about these sites & getting an Education Online. For one, you’ve got a flexible schedule. There are no fixed classes or deadlines, so you can work at your own pace. Another advantage is being able to work from anywhere—home, the library, a coffee shop, whatever! Even for sites that charge, it still costs a fraction to learn online compared to what you’d have to spend to take even a continuing ed course at the local community college, and you further save on gas and time by not having to commute to drive your kid to their classes. Finally, online courses can be updated frequently so there’s no need to worry that you’re getting an expired education.
Today I’m headed back to school in my hometown of Baltimore, MD, to meet the people behind the software 1sqbox (One Square Box). 1sqbox created tablet-centric software that connects teachers, students, and even the school administration together so everyone can see what’s going on inside the school all through a single tablet interface. The software works with students of all ages from K-12, but 1sqbox also created the tablet itself so it’s an all-in-one solution! The founders have done all that, and more—they’re also taking on the responsibility of handling all of the training as well and with the business growing its becoming harder and harder to communicate with everyone they’re working with in an efficient way.
The fact is, anybody can learn how to write computer code. It isn’t like basketball or football. where you either have the talent or don’t—learning to write code is something that can, and SHOULD, be taught to everyone in school. The problem is, not all students have access to computers and the training materials or teachers necessary to actually learn how to do it. That’s why I’m getting behind code.org, an organization dedicated to getting programming curriculum and technology into every single classroom.