One day while I was surfing the web, exploring a link here and clicking another link there, I landed at MentorMob. I pretty much knew right away that this was a platform I could really use and really needed. I am a technology teacher who has been using wikis and blogs to collect resources to share with my students, but I am becoming a technology activist who’s interested in sharing these resources with a wider audience.
I started my career at IBM and over time have become quite passionate about teaching kids how technology can be used to create and share their own ideas with the world. As a woman in CS for 25 years, I have been especially concerned to learn how startlingly underrepresented women and minorities are in the field. In fact, women make up only 20% of the computer science degrees earned—which is a drop from 37% in the 1980s. I was part of that 37%, and I thought I was paving the way for many more women after me. So for me this is personal, and Learning Playlists have helped me spread the word.
The need for computer science education advocacy means there are big issues that must be addressed, like equity, job preparedness and national competitiveness. We need input and buy-in from a wide variety of stakeholders in order to solve these issues, but I believe we are discovering that everyone is not on the same page or even able to translate what the page says when it comes to computer science. How can we communicate across this divide? Is there a common language we can speak? Maybe we need a little magic to break down the barriers.
For me, MentorMob has provided some of the magic. It has given me an outlet to help demystify computer science and share some of my favorite technology tools for learning and creating. I have found that creating playlists has helped me focus on a particular objective, whether it is just raising awareness or encouraging a learner to actually create something of their own. Not only does MentorMob provide this great tool for sharing resources, but it comes with a built-in community of collaborators. Finally, it has been a pleasure to interact with the MentorMob staff, who are clearly committed and passionate about their platform.
Follow Kim at @kimxtom