With Online Resources, Do We Still Need Computer Science Teachers?

Many online resources help people learn parts of computer science. Code.org is one example. Universities have MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) aplenty. Just put MOOC into your favorite search engine, like DuckDuckGo, to find examples. More resources keep coming. This prompts some to wonder whether we still need computer science teachers.

Alfred Thompson, wrote this CSTA Blog post titled “Do We Still Need Computer Science Teachers?” (CSTA is the Computer Science Teachers Association.) He points out that online resources work for people who can learn for themselves. But,

“For every person who can learn on their own there are thousands who cannot. They need that personal touch.”

Thompson points out that teachers can explain in many different ways and give personalized hints without giving away answers. Further,

“We adapt the curriculum around our students. Is one class more interested in story telling than games? Fine, change the projects. More interested in graphics than console applications? Change the projects. Is everyone in the class doing the same project boring for students and teacher? Fine. Let’s all do something different.”

Automated computing systems are still not good at doing these things. We still need computer science teachers. We need them more than ever with the increase in computing’s importance in our society. His blog post has more. I suggest you read it here.

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