WEEK 6: Reading Reflection

February 13 | Coding Literacies: Critical Literacies for an Algorithmic Culture

  • Rushkoff (2012) – Code Literacy: A 21st Century requirement
  • Jenson & Druoumeva (2016) – Exploring media literacy and Computational Thinking: A Gamer Maker Curriculum Study

From my educational experiences in Ontario elementary and high schools, I was never exposed to coding. It seems that the need for coding has developed recently, yet it is still not reflected in the education system. Learning to code is an important 21st century skill, but it is not taught within the education system. Jenson & Droumeva (2016) state, “Ontario does not currently have any mandatory computer science-related curricula at the grade 6 level” (p. 114). This is leading to a digital illiteracy in crucial skills. When students remain coding illiterate, they are at a huge disadvantage. Rushkoff (2012) states, “now that we have computers, we are learning to use them but not how to program them. When we are not code literate, we must accept the devices and software we use with whatever limitations and agendas their creators have built into them” (p. 1). By simply accepting what is given to us, we are not taught to think critically. Rushkoff (2012) highlights, “code literate kids stop accepting the applications and websites they use at face value, and begin to engage critically and purposefully with them instead” (p. 2).

In examining computational literacies and game making, Jenson & Droumeva (2016) highlight the absence of these 21st century skills in school curriculums. Jenson & Droumeva (2016) state, “Digital games are increasingly at the forefront of conversations about ways to address student disengagement and ways to foster 21st century learning and skills” (p. 111). In attempts to decrease the attention and engagement gaps between students and teachers, games are brought into the classroom. However, games are not brought into the classroom to simply be played, but to also be produced. Jenson & Droumeva (2016) highlight the importance of game-making and how it can address “the systemic problem of girls’ impoverished representation in computing science and technical fields” (p. 112). They also note the importance of providing a balance between providing an open-design experience and assigning a vague task.

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