Speaker: Hal Abelson
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Title: From Computational Thinking to Computational Values
Computer educators are increasingly emphasizing the importance of computational thinking in working with young people. Support for computational thinking entails respect for the computational values that empower people in the digital world. For academics, those values have been central to the flowering of computing as an intellectual endeavor. Today, those values are increasingly threatened by stresses from both within and outside academia: squabbles over who owns academic work, increasingly stringent and overreaching intellectual property laws, and the replacement of open, generative computing platforms by closed applications and walled-garden application markets.
In this talk I'll describe some things we've done at MIT to support computational values, like open publication of all our course materials, our faculty policy on open publication of academic research, and our recently announced initiative for open online instruction based on non-proprietary software platforms. I'll discuss Creative Commons licensing and Free Software, and the importance of tinkerability for empowering citizens in an information society. And I'll describe App Inventor for Android, a programming tool motivated by the vision that all of us, even kids, can experience mobile computing as creators using tools that we can control and reshape, rather than only as consumers of packaged applications.
Professor Harold Abelson has played key roles in creating several of MIT’s institutional educational technology initiatives, including MIT OpenCourseWare and DSpace. He is currently director of the MIT App Inventor project. Abelson is a leader in the worldwide movement towards openness and democratization of culture and intellectual resources. He is a founding director of Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the Free Software Foundation. In 1995 he received the Booth Education Award by IEEE Computer Society, winner of the 2011 ACM Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, and the 2012 ACM SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education.
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This lecture is open to the public. Space is limited and there is no registration; coming early is strongly recommended.