March 1, 2013
My Take on "What Most Schools Don't Teach"
Posted by John Spencer
Most schools don't teach students to think critically about their technology choices. They rarely think about the social, political or environmental implications of a globalized, technology-driven society. Yes, coding matters, but so does the ability to see the context behind the code. Most kids are missing that in the midst of the technotopia.
Most schools don't teach kids about the "borrowing" of code by Gates and Zuckerberg followed by the rush to extend proprietary laws in a platform that was once open. Students rarely learn that the true innovators in coding often worked collaboratively (not in isolation as the video suggests), democratically and within the open source movement.
Most schools don't teach kids to ask questions about how the Gates Foundation pushes to redefine public policy toward standardized testing and merit pay - the very policies that undermine the creativity required to pursue computer coding in schools. Few students will ever recognize that we can't "make the space as awesome as possible" because of the privatization policies pushed by the plutocrats who have bought their influence in education.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for learning coding. It's a great skill (along with learning how to read, write and think better). But I'm bothered by how quickly bloggers in the educational technology community have embraced the "expertise" of those who are so quick to take the public out of public education.