Computer science is for everyone | Hadi Partovi | TEDxRainier

Computer science is for everyone | Hadi Partovi | TEDxRainier

I grew up in Tehran Iran this is me with my twin brother that's me on the left when I was six years old a brutal monarchy was replaced by a brutal Islamic Revolution in a totalitarian regime and then quickly thereafter a war broke out with our neighboring country of Iraq we lived in a neighborhood right next to the television station so every single evening Saddam Hussein's air raids would bombard a BIR hood trying to hit the TV station and I spent my evenings with my whole family in the basement holding our ears hoping that our house wouldn't get hit when we were 10 years old the arc of my life completely changed my dad brought us home a computer a Commodore 64 and he said this doesn't have any games on it but here's a book about computer programming and you can learn to write your own games there wasn't much else to do in Iran at the time so you know my brother and I spent a whole lot of time learning how to use that computer and by the time our family immigrated to the United States I was good enough to pay my own way through college as a computer programmer and then I had a great job coming right out of college and then a fantastic career in the tech industry and I basically have been living the American dream the American Dream is no longer about going out west and building a log cabin and it's much more a worldwide ideal America is the land of opportunity and the American Dream is a worldwide ideal about opportunity and these days there's no greater opportunity than to change the world through technology and these days technology affects every field it's not just about computers anymore and it's not just about smartphones or tablets technology is about medicine about energy about space research about entertainment about transportation or even far out things like contact lenses you put in your eyes that have computers in them if this day and age you know I look back to my own life and then fast forward 30 years 30 years later let's look at a young kid named Armand he's in Washington Heights just north of Harlem going to school at a school that does not computer science this Israel held just a few miles from here in South Seattle her entire neighborhood none of the schools teach computer science it makes you think what will the careers look like for a student graduating in 2030 a kid entering kindergarten today will be graduating from college in 16 years I used to say that you know you should learn about this stuff unless you want to be getting a job flipping a burger or driving a truck but in that timeframe robots will be flipping burgers there's already research into trucks that drive themselves what does school look like for kids that are going to be graduating that time frame you know school has evolved as technology progresses to teach in different ways and and we need to figure out how that change needs to happen now as well when I went to school every student would learn how to dissect a frog every student would learn how electricity works every student would learn how to prove a basic theorem and this isn't because we want to become biologists or electricians or mathematicians not every kid goes into those careers it's to learn how the world around us works and in today's days and age is just as important for a kid to learn what is an algorithm or how does the internet work computers are changing everything yet most schools don't teach computer science now I work for an organization called Co org and so of course you may think I'm here to say our kids should be learning to code right but I'm actually here to say that our kids should be learning computer science which is a much broader field about learning how technology works learning how software is changing our world on how to participate in that world now of course computer science education is on the rise because technology is growing right that also is not true computer science education is on the recovery after a ten year decline here's a chart of computer science graduates over the last 10 or 15 years you can see we're almost where we were 10 years ago but on the lower bars which are the women in this field there's half as many women in this field as there were 10 years ago this is not a good situation to be in in one of the fastest growing industries in the world now I'm from the tech industry so people assume I'm here because the tech industry is desperate to hire more computer programmers that also isn't true every industry is desperately trying to hire computer programmers and this is not just in this data in California it's in every state of this country and in every country in the world now computer science of course is about technology but the reason we should be teaching it to our students is because actually computer science is broader than that it's about logic problem solving and creativity this is a picture of the first computer made in 1943 now consider if computer science is about technology well no this is the first computer program written in 1843 computer science is not just about building technology it's about coming up with algorithms and solutions to problems this this lady here Ada Lovelace a girl was the first computer programmer who came up with the idea of how algorithms can can manage machines and solve problems and so in this day and age computer science is no longer just vocational for getting a job in this day and age computer science is completely foundational for any job you may want to have in the next 20-30 years and so the real question is can our public education system evolve in a day and age where we have the software and the internet causing the greatest transformation in our society changing the fabric of every single job in every single industry what can our schools do to keep up we have on the one hand a job growth that is outpacing student growth 3 to 1 in this industry or in this field a chance to strengthen the middle class at a time of record inequality and yet an education system that is stuck in the past now most people don't believe that public education can evolve or change and I'm here to say that not only it can evolve and change that it is evolving and changing at a record pace never seen before sooner than you think every school will be teaching computer science sooner than you think there will be as many girls entering this field as there are boys sooner than you think access to education this space won't be determined by where you live or the color of your skin a lot of people think this is something that you know my 10 year old child can't learn or it's it's not for my daughter but there's a lot of people who now think that that's different and that's because of a movement that started about a year ago called hour of code the hour of code was an idea and a grassroots movement that was fueled by over 200 partners it started with a speech by the President of the United States on the home page of Google and in every single Apple Store in Microsoft in the country but most importantly it was fueled by 50,000 teachers who believe that their classroom and their students should have access to this new field 11 months later 48 million students have tried one hour of computer science and these are girls boys of all ages from 6 years old to 80 years old in every single country of the world the most of them are in middle school in high school this thing started with a bang in one week we had more girls try computer science in school than in the entire history of the field and now people ask me well what can you learn in one hour in one hour you're not going to become a software engineer you're not going to build an app that becomes you know a multi-million dollar success but in one hour you learn that computers are fun you learn that you can write code to manage an angry bird or Elsa even and the code that you write isn't about typing parentheses or semicolons it's about dragging and dropping basic commands to make things happen and to make cool art and while you're making cool art you also learn about mathematical concepts like the angles most than anything else you learned that computer science is easier than you think it's more fun than you think and that your eight-year-old daughter can do it and so then there's a question of what happens after the hour of code because one hour doesn't teach that much the hour of code really is a seed that is planted in classrooms and in schools I want to go back to the students I showed you earlier this is Rahel her school now has a computer science class an entire school district in the Highline School District is rolling out computer science classes in an intro class in high school this is Armond his teacher tried the hour of code and she was so inspired by the children's reaction that she picked up an online course and now every single student in 3rd grade fourth grade and 5th grade in her school is learning computer science in just 11 months 50,000 new classrooms now teach computer science reaching two and a half million students as a course 40% of which are girls this is a huge huge transformation thank you computer science is now the fastest spreading course in the history of public education in the schools that offer it students absolutely flock to it this is something that kids get engaged in it relates to their everyday life they realize this isn't just about memorizing the capitals of other countries it's not about taking tests it's about creating things every one of these kids sees technology changing the world around them they play with tablets or phones and games and this is a chance for them to actually participate in the world they live in not just learning how to answer multiple choice questions at the same time as it's growing very very fast we have a long long way to go we have two million kids enrolled in this field there's 1 billion students in the world the hour of code has so far reached 50,000 schools and almost 50 million students our goal is to get it to a hundred thousand schools and a hundred million students we're two weeks away from Computer Science Education Week in the one year anniversary of the hour of code and we have about 50,000 classrooms signed up to do this exercise again to plant the seed that's going to bring computer science courses to their neighborhoods to their schools please help in growing this movement if you're a parent if you're a teacher if your students get it into a classroom get a child to try the hour of code at code org thank you very much

21 thoughts on “Computer science is for everyone | Hadi Partovi | TEDxRainier”

  1. The Hour of Code sounds incredible! I am not familiar with it but will be looking into it for my children and future students. I can see the necessity for students to learn computer science, especially for future job markets. Thank you for sharing your expertise.

  2. CS should be teached alongside everything as it has a link with every possible subject you could ever study.

  3. It was because I took two computer science classes in high school that I was able to build my own desktop PC

  4. Im an indian in grade 11 with main subjects: physics, bio and chemistry. I wanna get into Computer Science in a canadian or US uni but alnost everyone of them require high school maths. Is my dream dead or can i still realise it?? Please help if you can.

  5. What a brilliant speaker. I appreciate that he stood and didn't move. The effect was I listened instead of being distracted by him moving and gesturing. As a result of his presentation I intend to take his advice to learn more about computer science. Thank you Hadi Partovi for being a person who has changed the world with your passion and knowledge.

  6. I'm also a computer science graduate from Iran and i'm completely agree with the transformation of this field which is happening to the world.

  7. Lol my school has so many computer science classes including cyber security and some other stuff. So many pathways and I LOVE IT

  8. Its how it is taught that is frustrating. The curriculum for computer science and coding is full of holes, and then they want you to fill the gap. Math and science is not taught like this. When we change the way we teach it a lot more people will be able to get it.

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