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“60 Minutes” Features Starting Kids on Screens in Kindergarten within Months of Segment on $300M Federal Study on Kids’ Brains At Risk From Screens

SNLS | March 6, 2019

By B.N. Frank

Activist Post is one of many media outlets who have reported about Silicon Valley (aka tech parents) sending their kids to “low-tech” schools and taking extreme measures to limit their kids’ use and exposure to screens (including spying on their nannies).

On Sunday, CBS 60 Minutes aired a segment, “Closing the gender gap in the tech industry,” with no reference to other recent segments about the $300M federal study on kids’ brains being compromised by screens or that “toddlers “need laps more than apps.” 

Excerpts from Sunday’s segment include:

The gender gap is widening in computer science jobs, but Code.org hopes to change that by getting girls interested in the field long before high school and college.

Bonnie Ross is a corporate vice president at Microsoft, and runs its videogame studio that produces the blockbuster game “Halo.” As a rare woman in a tech-sector leadership position, she’s determined to recruit more women for her team.

Hadi Partovi was born in Iran, where he taught himself to code as a kid. After immigrating to the U.S., he began his career at Microsoft, then founded two tech startups and made a fortune in Silicon Valley. His biggest mark may be with his current project, a non-profit called Code.org, which may finally help close the tech-skills gender gap.

Hadi Partovi: We now have over ten million girls coding on Code.org.

Its audacious goal is to teach computer science to every student in America from kindergarten through the 12th grade, with online lessons that begin with the simplest concepts of computer science.

Code.org gets girls interested when they’re even younger, starting in kindergarten. And because its goal is to teach computer science to every kid, it has the potential to change the face of the tech workforce.

Hadi Partovi: The majority of our students are girls or underrepresented minorities. In the code.org classrooms, whites and Asian males are the minority. There are only about 30 percent white and Asian males. Seventy percent are girls or black or Hispanic or Native American students.

Sharyn Alfonsi: Is that by design —

Hadi Partovi: That’s totally by design. We– we started this to, basically, equalize things. And we’re almost at perfect– population balance in our classrooms.

Whoa!  How can this be equalizing things when many tech inventor parents don’t send their kids to schools like this?

Hadi Partovi: The re– reality is you don’t need to be a computer science expert to be a computer science teacher. If you think about it, your biology teacher isn’t a surgeon. They’re a teacher.

Code.org believes it can train just about anyone to teach computer science.

If Code.org believes it can train just about anyone to teach computer science then why is it necessary to start teaching kids computer science in kindergarten????

Hundreds of middle and high school teachers come to its free week-long sessions during the summer. The biggest companies in tech provide Code.org with the bulk of its funding, and their founders help teach the online lessons.

The biggest companies in tech provide Code.org with the bulk of its funding while many of their own employees send their kids to low-tech schools?

Elementary school teachers like Alexis Dixon can start teaching after just one day-long workshop.

One day??????  So why again is it necessary to start teaching kids computer science in kindergarten????

Sharyn Alfonsi: So where are we now? What percentage of kids in the United States are learning computer science?

Hadi Partovi: This is what’s amazing: Five years in, 25% of all students in America have an account on Code.org. And what’s even more incredible is among the 11-year-olds, the ten and 11-year-olds, that’s the age I started, two-thirds of all American students have an account on Code.org.

Wow!  Is Code.org also collecting data on all these kids too?  Other companies are already in trouble for that?

At Marymount Girls School in New York, they’re making that connection to creativity using electronic building blocks called littleBits, think Legos with built in circuits, to play and experiment.

I wonder if students are also taught how to use fire extinguishers too.

The rest of the segment shows girls enjoying and talking about these classes.  One girl shows off the robot that she made.  It can give you a hug when you get lonely.  Apparently Code.org doesn’t share 82% of other Americans concerns about Artificial Intelligence (AI).  60 Minutes covered this recently also

Most would agree that girls getting interested and staying interested in STEM subjects is a good thing.  However, there is also a shortage of American doctors as well as skilled trade professionals (electricians, etc.).  Why can’t we encourage more girls to be interested in the those fields instead of computer coding?  There is so much research that has already proven that using and being exposed to digital, electronic, and wireless devices and infrastructure isn’t good for our health in a multitude of ways.  Yet more of it keeps being forced on Americans from cradle to grave.  We’re definitely going to need more health professionals in the future if this continues…

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Written by SNLS


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