« Creating a Professional Learning Network | Main | Grant Proposal Time and the Unexpected Benefits of CSTA Chapters »

What Isaac Asimov Said About Computer Science Education in 2014

After attending the World's Fair in 1964, Isaac Asimov wrote about the world 50 years in the future, 2014. Fun to read, but I was especially interested in what he wrote about the state of computer science education in 2014. According to Asimov, by 2014

All the high-school students will be taught the fundamentals of computer technology, will become proficient in binary arithmetic and will be trained to perfection in the use of the computer languages that will have developed out of those like the contemporary Fortran (from "formula translation").

Right from the first word, we can see that Isaac Asimov would have been likely to support the ongoing efforts of CSTA. But in this one phrase: All the high-school students his prediction both fell short, because we have excellent computer science education in K-8, and overreached, because not all high-school students have access to computer science education.

Many high school students have had the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of computer technology, it is true. However, Asimov realized that being a user would not be sufficient. He finishes up with a sweepingly optimistic vision of every high-school student being able to write code in a high level language.

We may not be there yet, but it isn't for lack of trying!

In the 10 years since CSTA was founded, we have worked hard to make this prediction come true. If you were a teacher 10 years ago, or a student 10 years ago, take a moment to recall what the computer science education landscape looked like before CSTA got to work. No standards, no regional chapters, no national conference, no advocacy, very little research. We've come along way in 10 years but there is much more that needs to be done to achieve the future Asimov predicted for us.

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard for so long so we could come so far!

Tammy Pirmann
School District Representative


The technology is developing each day and every second and there is no wonder that there will be more dynamic changes in the future.

When I read of Dr Isaac Asimov's cornucopia of weird inventions many years ago it was like a fair tale. Am happy his predictions have come true.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)