Home > Uncategorized > If you can teach, you can program

If you can teach, you can program

(Obligatory apologies for allowing blog to gather dust)

I often get comments (some flattering, some not)  by other students in the education program. More often than not I am caught working on something techy, especially between classes. Whether it be a simple program to help me understand a programming language a bit more or designing plans to wire up my room in some new and inevitably awesome way, I’m usually met with a blank stare when I answer the question “What’s up?” What’s interesting to me is the response I get from a lot of collegues – “I wish I knew computers that well”

This picks at my brain a bit. I’m proud to say I am still succeeding in my introductory computer science class but the more I tried to reason my grade, the more I realized how similar the field is to education and teaching.

The first step to a computer program is to write out your main algorithm, a step by step sequence of events needed to solve the big problem. Every teacher’s done this in the form of a unit plan. You know what the topic is and determine what steps or lessons you need to understand it. The next thing to do is to break the program up into sub functions that can solve pieces of the puzzle. Lesson plans anyone? Next, determine what variables you need. Teachers: what materials do you need to give your students to solve the problem. Lastly, translate what you want the program to do in a way that the computer will understand you. Sound familiar?

To be clear, I do not wish to compare students to brainless computers but I find it interesting when a teacher, who is able to shape, influence, and impart information on another human being successfully and positively, says he/she “could never understand that [computer science] stuff ever”. If you can teach, you can program.

Computer technology will continue to advance incredibly over time and as teachers, we have two options – watch the marvels of technology and gasp in amazement, or take control and help shape the new landscape that both computers and the internet have provided.

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