Mark's teaching approach is to start with a rich concept from the wider world of science or economics, for example, and then use computers, including programming, to enrich the study of that domain. As well he has background exposure to the philosophical and educational ideas of Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg, which he incorporates systematically in his thinking and writing. Every blog he writes is of a high standard, no waste or diversions from the central theme of educational computing (unlike my blog!). Here are some of the main issues which I feel he covers brilliantly:
- the reasons why computer education including programming is vitally important, ie. a coherent argument about why everyone should learn to program
- recognition of and reasons for the world wide enrollment decline in computer science
- recognition with evidence that many students find programming hard and fear it
- discussion of student understanding of basic computer concepts
- contextualised computer education as part of the solution to these problems
- description and feedback from the courses they run at Georgia Tech.
- critical discussion about getting more girls involved in studying computing
Why Should Everyone Learn to Program? (Or, WHO should learn to program?)
Outline of an argument put to Mark's Associate Dean
What Students Think of Media Computation
Inspirational feedback from students from the Georgia Tech Media Computation course
The Wonderful Opportunities of the Declining Enrollment Crisis
Analyses the reasons for decline in Computer Science enrollments and what could be done about it
Follow-up: Report on Grace Hopper Panel
Discussion of "Female-friendly education: Increasing participation or watering down?"
Summary of projects tackled and some student feedback from the Computational Freakonomics course
What is Computing?
The computer is the most significant invention for augmenting human thought since the invention of writing ...
Description of this course
Contextualised Computing Education
Rationale for a new type of computer education
Students find programming distasteful
"I’ve had a couple of experiences over the last few months that demonstrated to me just how much students dislike programming, at a deeper level than I had expected ..."
Mark is the author of several books about computing, just linking to a couple here:
Introduction to Computing and Programming in Python, A Multimedia Approach
Squeak: Open Personal Computing and Multimedia (with Kim Rose)