Won’t someone please think of the children? Oh, great, someone is. This week, Computer Science Education Week and the non-profit group Code.org successfully encouraged teachers in the U.S. and around the world to participate in an “Hour of Code.” The initiative, started by philanthropic computer science-loving brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi, provides teachers and students with the materials — online lessons and tutorials — needed to spend an hour learning about computer programming. (An additional 20 tutorials are also available online.) As of Thursday evening, more than 12 million kids participated. By the looks of media reports students and teachers alike embraced and enjoyed the opportunity. Great! But, as Harvard economist Edward L. Glaeser points out in this week’s lead Searchlight item, it’s not nearly enough. If the end goal is to ignite a passion for computer programming in kids K-12 and lead them toward a strong career path (with some long-term viability), one hour of one week doesn’t cut it. “A” for effort, but still needs improvement.
Also in this week’s Searchlight: how not to get potential customers to use your app, the NSA levels up on its spying efforts, the message behind Instagram’s new chat feature and more.