a post by Dean Shareski, where he mentions Douglas Rushkoff's advocacy for all people to learn code. It sounds like a great idea. If we're going to know a medium, we should know how it works inside and out. We should move past the consumer mentality and become creators.
And yet . . .
I really disagree with this mindset. The power of computing isn't simply in the coding process. (And I'm someone who knows code) It is also in the changing social context, in the meaningful dialogue, in the reorganization of information. If someone wants to advocate that "everyone" should do anything, I am skeptical.
If I don't film my own movies, does that make me someone who cannot understand film and the way it is conveyed? If I do not write my own books, can I not appreciate good literature? If I don't sculpt, can I still enjoy a nice statue? Do I have to brew my own beer to enjoy the flavor of an IPA?
And where does one draw the line? Do I need make my own pencils if I want to become better at sketching? I love to paint, but do I need to create that medium as well? I haven't a clue how to make oil paint. Does that ruin the quality of my canvas? I have a garden, but do I need to grow all of my own vegetables if I'm going to cook?
Time is finite. Teachers learning code is great. However, I also think teachers should paint, write, read, learn new practices, engage in dialogue, tutor students - and the thing is no one can do all of those. What if the answer isn't to learn how to do everything, but to be humble enough to recognize when I cannot do something and ask the right questions to those who do?
photo credit: *n3wjack's world in pixels via photo pin cc