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Education Programming Math

K-12 CS Framework Calls For Teaching Kids Responsible Use of Avatars and Emoji 99

theodp writes: If you're wondering what corporate-backed Computer Science for All might look like, check out the new Framework for K-12 CS Education draft, the handiwork of educators, Microsoft, Google, Apple and others, which "identifies the powerful ideas in computer science as core concepts and practices for all K-12 students." Among these is the still-to-be-completed Practice 5 — Fostering an Inclusive Computing Culture — which says that by grade 12, students should be able to: "Identify issues of diversity in depictions of people within computing artifacts. For example, a set of emoji depicts only males playing sports or the avatars in a game present only Caucasian people." In other K-12 CS news, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics suggests CS for All may not be all it's cracked up to be.
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K-12 CS Framework Calls For Teaching Kids Responsible Use of Avatars and Emoji

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  • Responsible use?! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @11:45AM (#51776275)

    Don't use the poo emoji?

    Don't use the dead face and gun emoji next to each other?

    sigh...

    • When I first read the title I thought it was going to be along the lines of how to not overuse emojis. I guess that's just my wishful thinking.
    • Wholly Fuck....

      Is there seriously something people need to learn and worry about?

      How about how to actually USE a fucking computer? How about greater emphasis on Civics classes, so we won't be overrun by boneheads that have NO idea about how the US Federal government works...or at least how it is supposed to work?

      Diversity with fucking emojis? Seriously, this is a solution looking desperately for a fucking problem....

      Ok...enough coffee for me this morning....

  • by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @11:45AM (#51776277)

    Social Justice Warriors, activate! We won't teach anyone computing or logic - be we will indoctrinate them to apply every possible micro-inequity and micro-aggression.

    • This is important. We need to teach society to put a female on the Basketball team so we can get our gangbang on after the game.

    • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @01:09PM (#51776941)
      For a while we've seen attempts like this in the open source world. Want to muscle your way into an OSS project, despite lacking the talent or skill (or willingness) to contribute anything other than drama, identity politics, and an insatiable urge control others (or remove them if they don't fall in line)? Force a Code of Conduct (which is often explicitly racist and/or sexist, dismissive of merit, and vague enough to be selectively enforced) down its throat! It even works on the largest projects, and lets you dictate developers' behavior on unrelated corners of the web!

      Makes sense that they would like even more to impose a Code of Conduct on life, starting when you're a kid.

      https://twitter.com/siloraptor... [twitter.com]
      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CS... [twimg.com]
      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CS... [twimg.com]

      https://www.reddit.com/r/Kotak... [reddit.com]
      https://www.reddit.com/r/Kotak... [reddit.com] http://todogroup.org/opencodeo... [todogroup.org]

      https://www.reddit.com/r/Kotak... [reddit.com]
      http://contributor-covenant.or... [contributor-covenant.org]

      http://developers.slashdot.org... [slashdot.org]
      https://www.reddit.com/r/freeb... [reddit.com]
      • Makes sense that they would like even more to impose a Code of Conduct on life, starting when you're a kid.

        The code of conduct on life is in its barest mimum is called "the law".

        For example, while it might be acceptable on some parts of the internet, it turns out that in many jurisdictions if in person you screech "YOUR A FAGOT" at someone then threaten to kill them, you might find yourself on the wrong side of a prison cell door.

        But wait, there's more!

        Other offences, while not illegal, may well get you f

        • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @02:44PM (#51777659)
          I know Linus has called people idiots and said all kinds of harsh things, but is there an open source project where someone got so pissed at another contributor they called them a faggot and started sending death threats?

          People naturally tend to disassociate themselves with idiots like that. You'd have to be an incredibly skilled coder for people to put up with dickish behavior like that, which makes me think it isn't happening.

          The people pushing these conduct codes aren't adding any technical contributions to the projects. It's just cargo cult social justice by idiot narcissists who have deluded themselves into believing that they're doing good, but are really just alienating people without making any actual progress towards a more equal world. A few days ago someone pointed out that Rust was perhaps one of the most rabid communities in terms of their CoC policies and "progressive" attitudes, but almost all of the contributors were still white males. They might bang on about diversity, but it doesn't result in actual diversity. The charlatans pushing this crap might praise them for it, but they're not actually contributors to the technical aspects of the project. I imagine that a lot of developers who fall into some minority category don't want to be a sacred cow for someone else's ego trip and avoid those places like that plague.

          Linus might be a brash person, but if he calls you a fucking idiot, it's because he thinks your a fucking idiot. Doesn't matter if you're male, female, black, white, disabled, or pronounce GIF as though it had a 'J' in it. He's an equal opportunity shit-flinger. If everyone's walking on egg shells around a person because of some physical attribute that has nothing to do with the quality of their code, they're still treating that person differently.
    • Nothing new. The CS For All has never been about computer science. It's about creating malleable employees that can get started right away on trivial tasks without needing to go to college or a trade school first. I mean how can we compete with third world countries paying $4/day to their workers (or $2/day if they're children) if our workers have college loans to pay off?

      People outside of CS have absolutely no clue what CS is, some probably think it's equivalent to programming, and a depressingly large

  • really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @11:46AM (#51776293)

    Is the proper use of an emoji is now something we want taught in schools? This is ridiculous. Teach Johnny and Lisa to read instead of worrying about a fucking smiley..

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Is the proper use of an emoji is now something we want taught in schools? This is ridiculous. Teach Johnny and Lisa to read instead of worrying about a fucking smiley..

      B-b-but, proper use of emojis is important!!! C'mon, seriously! How many times have you had a resume come across your desk and thought "well, his qualifications looks good, but his cover letter could really use a couple of smileys"?

  • Wow! CS Has Changed (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Searched - quicksort site:k12cs.org
    Sorry, there are no Web results for this search!

    Searched - diversity site:k12cs.org
    Framing K-12 Computer Science Steering Committee Charter – A ...
    www.k12cs.org/2016/01/05/framing-k-12-computer-scienc...
    Jan 5, 2016 ... Oversee the review process to ensure multiple opportunities for diverse community involvement,
    including public/stakeholder feedback and ...

    About – A Framewo

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Come on. Seriously. You might as well say an astrology course counts as astronomy. They're both about stars, after all. Plus, knowing your boss is an Aries has practical application.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by creimer ( 824291 )

      You might as well say an astrology course counts as astronomy.

      You don't know much about constellations then.

      A group of stars forming a recognizable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure. Modern astronomers divide the sky into eighty-eight constellations with defined boundaries.

      http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/constellation [oxforddictionaries.com]

      • Constellations have nothing to do with astrology.
        • by creimer ( 824291 )

          Constellations have nothing to do with astrology.

          Space.com disagrees with you.

          Astrologers use 12 of these constellations as signs of the Zodiac, omitting Ophiuchus, to make predictions. [Unlike astronomy, astrology is not a science.] Signs differ from constellations, bearing only a loose reference to one another. The sign of Pisces, for instance, corresponds to the rise of the constellation of Aquarius. Ironically, if you are born under a particular sign, that constellation it is named for is not visible at night. Instead, the sun is passing through it around that time of year, making it a daytime constellation that can't be seen.

          http://www.space.com/15722-constellations.html [space.com]

          • Sure, constellations are referenced in both astrology and astronomy, but only as a mnemonic for celestial coordinates. Not even a very accurate mnemonic, as astrologers use signs, which, as your references states, are only loosely coupled to constellations.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          According to the astrology section of today's paper "People born under the sign of a random smattering of stars: You will say something today that in retrospect sounds fairly stupid. Recommend seasoning your toes to taste." Would you like me to pass you the salt?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Yup. Constellations are arbitrary groupings, with no scientific basis at all. And Astrology is less relevant to understanding Astronomy than studying human excrement to understand Human Biology.

  • I tested Unreal Tournament 2004 multiplayer at Atari. I've noticed that all the testers were using male characters, including the female testers. I used the Asian female character as my avatar, picked up the sniper rifle and started camping. My coworkers eventually got tired of the multiple headshots, flushed me out and chased me through the level. Since I was the only female character in the game, everyone knew it was me. They weren't happy that I could snipe — HEADSHOT! — and run at the same t
  • Now there has long been a challenge of Computer *Science* not focusing particularly on the science of computing much, but this is really a whole new low....

  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @12:38PM (#51776679)

    For example, a set of emoji depicts only males playing sports or the avatars in a game present only Caucasian people." In other K-12 CS news, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics suggests CS for All may not be all it's cracked up to be.

    I get why this upsets some people, but they need to be told to get a grip for their own good. You know what kind of woman in CS I respect? The kind of woman who is more interesting in talking about CS issues than talking about women in CS. That rare moment when she actually talks about "women in CS stuff" is more likely to be interesting and relevant to me if she has otherwise proved a greater interest in the subject than in demographics. If you spend more time talking about your group in CS than actually talking about CS, then you aren't really interested in CS. Your actions reveal your real interest which is social activism, not the subject.

    "Inclusive avatars" itself makes sense if the software's purpose supports it. Mass Effect Andromeda has no reason to avoid having a black female option for the new Shepherd. Witcher 3, a game based on Slavic mythology does. You aren't going to find a lot of diversity in that universe except on the distant periphery. Seeing a black person in such a game without a damn good reason for their inclusion would harm suspension of disbelief. It would be like having Asian characters suddenly appear in a "Call of Duty: Africa Campaigns" that otherwise lets you fight as British soldiers or native black warriors resisting colonialism. You'd better have a good reason for presenting that option otherwise you're just screaming "hey, look at my virtue signaling" while people are trying to immerse themselves in an entertainment experience.

    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

      "Inclusive avatars" itself makes sense if the software's purpose supports it. Mass Effect Andromeda has no reason to avoid having a black female option for the new Shepherd. Witcher 3, a game based on Slavic mythology does. You aren't going to find a lot of diversity in that universe except on the distant periphery. Seeing a black person in such a game without a damn good reason for their inclusion would harm suspension of disbelief.

      There was (what I thought) a pretty solid response to precisely your point at the recent GDC. The speaker said to beware the "Authenticity Trap"...

      Recognizing that authenticity and accuracy are not end goals in themselves for videogames. This appertains particularly to the “but it’s based on Medieval Europe!” Trope, used to justify everything from rank sexism to an absence of non-white characters. Put another way, authenticity and accuracy are multifaceted; there are plenty of authentic ways of representing the past that are inclusive. People of color, women, and queer folks did exist in the past, after all. In Jayanth’s efficient phrase, “respectfulness is the opposite of nostalgia.” Nostalgia for an imagined history can often obviate humane characterization and originality alike.

      Don’t squander the opportunity to do something new.

      “Stories are suppressed because they are dangerous,” Jayanth said. “Let’s not fall into the trap of thinking that because diversity is a moral good that it is boring.”

      http://www.gamasutra.com/view/... [gamasutra.com]

  • ...the rest of the world teaches kids relevant skills and look down at the US for its school system becoming more and more irrelevant.

  • One of the core tasks of a K-12 education is teaching kids how to communicate effectively --- through the spoken word, written word, gestures and so on. That is why some schools do care about things like art, music, dance and theater.

    Emoji may seem alien to the geek, but if he truly believes the world is flat, he has little cause for complaint when outside influences begin creeping in and see adoption by the masses. ASCII art and the emoticon was his thing, the emoji belong to everyone else.

    Which means tha

  • Read the unscientific "study" on Second Life. Seriously-- read it. It has nothing to do with how Second Life is programmed. They set up a biased scenario by presenting a fake article to the subjects and were surprised when the results were biased. Then they cite one anecdote from a player who said he was the token black in the game. No one suggests that Second Life doesn't have diverse avatars, or that people are penalized for being non-white. Garbage.
  • by vvaduva ( 859950 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @02:36PM (#51777593)

    Another reason to homeschool..my kids are learning about the Bitcoin blockchain and why taxation is theft while kids in government schools are learning about emojis. Bwahahaha.

  • by johanw ( 1001493 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @03:02PM (#51777787)

    With the new species-selectable emojies in WhatsApp I can now show a white cop shooting a nigger and a white smiley after the deed. Just what they were intended for. :-)

  • It's worse than I thought.
  • by Hasaf ( 3744357 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @03:40PM (#51778027)

    I am a Middle School computer teacher. My cirriculum has been rewritten for me, starting next year; I had no input in the process. As a Computer Science (Computer Science is now a STEM subject) teacher at a middle school I am forbidden to teach any programming. I am also being told to stop teaching computer fundamentals ( . . . whats in the box, why is more RAM [up to a point] going to make the computer work better and how does the internet work. . . material like that)The focus, and the test, is entirely on computer applications.

    All the time that was going into a core understanding of computers is to be switched to more presentations. I am not against presentations; I just feel that there is a limit to how much time we spend on it. We will also take time from spreadsheet fundamentals (understanding what they are doing, instead of just putting stuff in cells . . . for that matter, what is a cell?). The reasoning is that, "kids like making pictures," and, "that other stuff is just too hard."

    The trouble is that my students have measurable understanding and skill in the topics called for by the district that exceeds that of the other district teachers; so what to do with this? Full stop. Return to a consistent curriculum. That is the district decision, not mine. Part of the problem is that several of the teachers do not have the background to understand what I am teaching, let alone teach it.

    However, the real problem is this; my students are entering the High School with significantly more knowledge than the students from the other district middle schools. I do understand the districts problem, there is a real problem when the student’s get to the High School and get mixed into a class when they “already know this stuff,” and the other students have not been exposed to it. Further, the students from my classes expect to learn, not to review what I already taught them.

    As far as the programming, there is a fear that knowledge of programming could lead to, “Hacking.” As such, it is to completely stop, even in the “after school” extracurricular classes. The same with the computer fundamentals, the district decision is that “kids don’t need to know that anymore.” Fear of knowledge and the need for a consistent curriculum outweigh small, hard to scale, class improvements.

    I was just, as in this week, told that what the teachers before me were doing was sufficient. Okay, of three teachers before me, one handed the kids a typing book and told them they needed to do one typing lesson a day and then they could play games. The second had so many personal problems that she didn't try to teach anything, she just let them play games. The most recent required them to produce something (yes, something was loosely defined), then they could . . . you guessed it, play games.

    As such, I am told "the children don't like lectures and the parents think your class is hard." Here is the reality, the . . . I will say it . . . upper income, education driven, parents are in my corner; but the ones that don't come to meetings, they just cal the district to complain, parents are unhappy because, and I quote "expect him [the student] to study."

    The result is that I have been given, and mandated, a curriculum for next year, as far as daily lesson plans (that don't even fit my class schedule; but that is a different issue). Guess what, work is out, make it fun, make it easy is back in. I was told that my class needs to be a place where students can take a bread from their important classes. As a closing statement, when the district consultant finished telling me what I was going to do next year, he said "it is true, we will have less content; but I feel we will have greater engagement."

    What we need is a standard test so the districts that treat the computer class as a recess period (because the schools don't receive funding during recess periods) will be held accountable. It would also make it clear what content needs to be covered. What we have now provides the districts with no guidance or accountability.

    • So basically, the slowest kids in the district determine the pace and content of your curriculum? Good luck. You have my sympathies.

    • by Potor ( 658520 )
      This is happening even at universities. We are supposed to teach competencies, and not really worry about the details of our specific subject area.

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