Computational Learning VS Computational Reality


Final thesis for the degree of Master Science in Data Visualization at Parsons School of Design. This was an experiment on visualizing similarities and differences between how children are taught coding and programming and trend-like concepts, like Github topics. Data was retrieved from Github API with Javascript, formatted and then displayed with a custom D3 word-cloud/dashboard. Website


Work still in progress; v2 should be released by the end of Summer.

V1 Repository

Written thesis


Abstract

The relationship between computer-science education and computational trends in Github


Teaching children how to code is a common goal in education in the US. Initiatives by the public and private sectors – such as code.org and CSforAll – are trying to address this with extensive funding and recommendations for courses and syllabi.

But the long-term objectives of such initiatives are not clear. Will they create better citzens and more informed students? Or are they focused on a more productive workforce? These different agendas need to be aligned with concrete paths for the children and also juxtaposed with their professional and lived experience.

Based on CSTA K 12 Computer Science Standards, and Github repositories as proxies for applied computer science, this visualization shows gaps and opportunities on both sides.