The year before, Google had piloted a learning curriculum for students called CS First . It was a simple platform that used something called Block-based Programming. More important, it had an easy interface enabling me to be able to track the progress of each of the students.
To prepare the teacher, I explained the plan to move everyone over to this new learning platform and to give the students a little history of block programming – how it was originally developed by the MIT Media Lab as a language called Scratch.
"Oh," she replied. "I wouldn't mention MIT – these kids will have no idea what that is and likely never will."
I was shocked.
The implication was clear. Just because a student grows up in a small rural community, they would never be able to even dream of going to a world-class university like MIT. That was like cold water in my face. It felt so wrong.
I followed my own guidance and shared with them the story not only of MIT Media lab, but MIT itself and its critical role in developing the technology and culture of the computer age.
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