will.i.am wants you to learn how to program

Code.org has been running a campaign to increase the amount students who take computer programming courses in the United States.  Their logic is simple.  “Computer Science is a top paying degree, and computer programming jobs are growing at twice the national average.”  No matter what field a student plans to negotiate in his or her career a substantial knowledge of computer programming can enhance the solving of future needs, create new opportunities, and spawn new business growth.

will.i.am who is famous for using computer programming techniques and methods in his music states that “Here we are, 2013, we ALL depend on technology to communicate, to bank, and none of us know how to read and write code. It’s important for these kids, right now, starting at 8 years old, to read and write code.“ He will credit his knowledge of computer science as a vital tool for creating new music as will others such as Kaskade, a world-famous DJ.

But we do not have to travel far into complex art to see great potential in America.  Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg are all known for being dissatisfied with the traditional route of education and yet they made huge successes by departing the college track and getting projects done.  There must be something we can learn from how they learn, design, develop, test, and publish.  There must be a success formula in there than can help students achieve life long goals and increase potential.

Yet, we still don’t teach or require computer programming in most of our schools.  Let me ask you, did your school participate in the “Hour of Coding”, a nation wide recognition of computer science learning?  I saw a lot about it on the news, but I did not hear or read anything from my teacher friends.  In fact, I heard many answers such as “no, we did not” or “What is that?”.

I am also curious if you are listening to our politicians’ concerns about our future.  Here is Senator Marco Rubio‘s quote.  “Computer programmers are in great demand by American businesses, across the tech sector, banking, entertainment, you name it. These are some of the highest-paying jobs, but there are not enough graduates to fill these opportunities.“  The current potential of American opportunity and stability depends upon sufficient and competent in-house programmers.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can help your school teach computer science please go to code.org, watch their promotional video, use their materials, and point students to tutorials they could explore tomorrow.  You might find that some of them can get good paying jobs while they are in college.  That is what Chris Bosh, a famous basketball player from Georgia Tech, explains to others when he is interviewed about computer programming.  Computer programming teaches students how to design, develop, analyze, learn from failure, and overcome complex issues that will create job opportunities tomorrow.



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Math Suggestion for Parents

Does your child need extra practice with math facts?  Are you in search of tools that will help children increase their arithmetic confidence?  Then you should consider using this app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.  It runs on iOS7 and you can download it from iTunes today. Zoombla 1.1 is a great way to practice math in a gaming atmosphere, and you can learn more about it by watching this YouTube video or going to iTunes and searching for Zoombla by Matt Moore

With a deep understanding of programming concepts and theory, Matt Moore has designed and developed apps for the iOS platform.  Currently Zoombla a math game for students, classroom environments, and home learning is available on the iTunes App store.  Absolutely Learning is currently working upon a game about state facts by using Core Data Programming concepts and skills.

Zoombla for Teachers

AppIcon120Zoombla a math game for students and adults, was designed with upper elementary students in mind; however, after the release at the iTunes App Store Absolutely Learning is discovering that older students and adults are finding it enjoyable for increasing math facts speed, sharpening the mind, and competing with others and other generations.  While there has been no official study that this game increases memory and attention, it would be interesting to get feedback from an independent study on various age groups to see if it has the same added effect as the games from organizations such as lumosity.

For teachers and parents, it is suggested that Zoombla be implemented as a stand alone game station or as a game of two or more players. For the stand alone game station, teachers could record the games completed during the class time allotted or simply let the students play a math game.  In the competitive mode of two or more players playing head to head on separate devices, students could keep score in a variety of ways.  One goal is to score all different types operands used, and another is to use as few cards as possible.  A third goal could be the number of games completed for a specific set of time such as five or ten minutes.  As the game has been known to get a little competitive it is also suggested that students of like math abilities compete as there is not timer only a beep upon completing a match.

Zoombla Solve 2 Screen shot Nov 17, 2013, 10.23.45 PMAbsolutely Learning also wants to let its readers know that the current version was specifically created for the iPhone and iPod running iOS7, but it does run on the iPad too.  AL is currently developing a different version for the iPad to take full advantage of its unique dimensions and capabilities but currently the program runs on all devices.  There will also be updates as user feedback and suggestions are analyzed and implemented.

Absolutely Learning designs, develops, and maintains creative educational technology solutions for digital, blended, and traditional learning environments. Among many projects for various clients, AL has created SMARTBOARD lessons, designed creative materials for Spanish teachers, developed computer science lessons, produced educational technology projects, trained Moodle users, hosted on-line learning systems, and tailored multimedia projects for schools and other clients.