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Time to Get Clever?

Many dedicated and resourceful individuals have been working on inspiring the public school system to adopt a computer science friendly curriculum in grades k-12. While Google's efforts in California have begun to see some glimmer of promise, we're still left with a large portion of the country that's ill-prepared to make such an unprecedented commitment to the future of education.

With all of the budget-cuts, protocol and red-tape, how could computational thinking ever stand a chance in that ever-growing pile of educational paperwork? Instead of putting the whole cause on pause while we wait to get through the endless layers of formality, I suggest that we try resorting to some guerrilla tactics! It's time to go straight to the students to help them be prepared and eager for the changes coming their way. We can begin planting the seed for the importance and fascination of computer science before students are ever able to sign up for a CS class. But how is such a lofty and magical goal obtained? The Internet!

If we want students to seek out computers, first computers have to seek them out. We're attempting to do exactly that with Picture Me in Computing, a worldwide digital flashmob that will be taking over the most popular social networking sites on November 10th, 2010 (111010.) Picmecomp is a campaign that was started as a way of bringing computer science to girls by simultaneously overwhelming every facet of social media. Our goal is to have every technical professional and supporter of women in computer science join in by tagging all of their tweets, blogs, Picasa, Flickr and Youtube uploads with #picmecomp. If enough people participate and get their friends to participate, we should be able to reach a significant portion of today's teens, as the majority of them belong to at least one online social networking channel. The key word "picmecomp" will link the pieces of social media to picturemeincomputing.org where students can browse around and find out more about a life enhanced by computer science.

If you have a resource to contribute or if you'd like to find out more about how you can be a part of the digital flashmob this Wednesday, please visit:

www.picturemeincomputing.org

Kiki Prottsman
Women in Computer Science
UO CIS Graduate Teaching Fellow
(541) 701-WICS

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