Technology and Project Based Learning

I really liked Zadie Smith’s essay on Facebook and its perils. Two lines stuck out for me:

Then again, the more time I spend with the tail end of Generation Facebook (in the shape of my students) the more convinced I become that some of the software currently shaping their generation is unworthy of them. They are more interesting than it is. They deserve better.

Finally, it’s the idea of Facebook that disappoints. If it were a genuinely interesting interface, built for these genuinely different 2.0 kids to live in, well, that would be something. It’s not that. It’s the wild west of the Internet tamed to fit the suburban fantasies of a suburban soul.

On the same plane ride, I also read two pieces in Wired, one that described a coding competition and the other that urged a shift in curriculum such that students could begin to learn how to code. It can’t be that hard, can it? And thinking about the three pieces together — shouldn’t everyone who uses a computer understand how the interface was made, why certain choices occurred, why you can only do certain things in certain ways? Shouldn’t you have at least a basic understanding of how the technology you use each day operates?