Inspiring Tech Context | Diverse: Issues In Higher Education

Inspiring Tech Context |  Diverse: Issues In Higher Education

It would likely not make sense for someone to repeatedly run sprints, do agility drills, and hoist their body into another person for no reason. It isn’t until the context of football and the opportunities that participation in the sport entails that it would make sense for those students who choose to play to engage in it.

The context around football has been infused with value. There are clear models of success, scholarship opportunities to major universities, lucrative professional contracts, elevated social status, and the potential to dramatically change the economic conditions for themselves and their families in place. These are all aspects that add to the context around the motivation for participation in the sport.

The context of sports and entertainment stardom can inspire extreme levels of practice, perversion, and production on playing courts and fields. Context addresses the important “for what” question.

The meaning that context provides can make a critical difference in a tech educational curriculum like computer science. Coding programs like Python, JavaScript, or even critical subjects like Algebra are much less likely to have relevance to students if there is not a context-infused value attached to them.

Exposure to people who are operating at high levels of tech, their lifestyles, and their workplaces is critical for providing context to the content that students are learning. This context gives relevance to curriculum and study that might otherwise seem disconnected.

I believe that there is a need to intentionally build context around computer science education specifically. The utility of tech skillsets like competence in computer programming languages ​​is multidimensional as it is used to build websites and software applications that operate cellphones, thermostats, airplanes, elevators, video games, social media, and so much more. These items were all brought to us in large parts by computer scientists and engineers. This is all a part of the tech context. Pretty much everything runs on software nowadays.

Reinforcing the utility and versatility of educational content and where you can take it is a vital part of inspiring tech context. One of the definitions of context is “the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.” The context of why accelerating in tech education is generally and computer science more specifically in South Florida, for example, where I am based is key.

There is an economic imperative here that accompanies the need to inspire tech context. This context includes understanding the industry standards and skillsets that will have an elevated level of marketplace demand and value for current students as they transition into the workforce in a South Florida that leads the nation in the growth of rent and housing prices and is among the perennial leaders in economic inequality.

Employer partners can be critical allies in inspiring tech contexts because they can provide real-time relevance to the curriculum and insight into the different dimensions and ways in which it can be applied. These partners are also critical because all industries, including tech, are constantly evolving and the preparation process for tech career pathways should constantly be retooled and updated to reflect the latest changes in economic conditions and in-demand skillsets.

Inspiring tech context requires going beyond the content and the classroom. It entails building infrastructures of opportunities that complement the curriculum, providing exposure that brings life to the content, and finding ways to dramatize the socioeconomic imperative of bringing individuals and communities into alignment with what is and will be a pivotal part of the economy.

Dr. Marcus Bright is a scholar and social impact facilitator.