Making Computer Science Available To All Students Terri Wattawa

A piece of news likely to astound taxpayers in America is the fact most states have no standard computer curriculum in their public schools. It becomes even more dire when disabled students are taken into consideration. Despite the gains in technology access for the disabled provided by software and hardware manufacturers, the educational opportunities for students are still far behind where they should be.

Computer knowledge is as crucial today as knowing how to ride a horse was 150 years ago, or knowing how to fuel a motor vehicle was 60 years ago. There is no excuse for an economy dependent on computers to be populated by citizens who do not understand them.

 

Disability Advancement

Monitoring the progress of access to technology for the disabled is a clever way to follow the progress of computer education overall. Companies, schools and governments that fail to recognize the divide that forms when captions are not added to videos, easily understandable interfaces are absent from devices, and documentation of complex systems are either incomplete or outdated are those likeliest to overlook how far behind their schools are in the march towards digital literacy.

 

Lack of Standards

One of the persistent inside jokes in the technology industry is the argument over standards. On the one hand, there are publicly promoted standards like those used by web developers, and on the other hand there are proprietary standards designed to lock developers and users into lucrative ecosystems built to feed revenue to large corporations.

Without well-established standards, there is no way to establish a curriculum, nor is there any way to measure its progress. This is one of the major steps that must be taken at once to address the shortfall in education on these important subjects.

 

Why a Computer Works

The message of all this education for both disabled students and the general education establishment is to make certain that students know why a computer works the way it does. Not only will this help form a crucial foundation for math education, it will also help students with critical thinking skills, a willingness to experiment and a sense of curiosity about the world around them. Without those basic skills, many of those students will never reach their full potential.

Computer education is like music education. Its benefits are not just to help produce professionals in their native fields of study. It is far more often to prepare students to understand topics that are fundamental in all their educational experiences.