Code: Debugging the Gender Gap

Robin Hauser Reynolds and Kimberly Bryant

Robin Hauser Reynolds, the Director/Producer of CODE interviews Kimberly Bryant, Founder & CEO Black Girls Code

A film many instructors may want to use in class or tell students to watch is now widely available. The film is the documentary Code: Debugging the Gender Gap. You can find it on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vimeo, and TV on demand. It will be available to stream on Netflix in 2017.

The film explores how cultural mindsets, stereotypes, educational hurdles and sexism all play roles in keeping the number of women and minorities in software engineering jobs low. It has screened in 47 countries and at over 400 companies and organizations, including The White House.

“We are thrilled that CODE continues to have impact on audiences across all industries worldwide, and that we’ll have the chance to reach so many more when it begins streaming on Netflix next year,” said Director and Producer Robin Hauser. “Our hope is that it continues to open up conversations about what we would all gain from having more women and minorities code.”

Robin Hauser Reynolds & Megan Smith

Diretor Robin Hauser Reynolds, interviews Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States during the Obama Admistration

Code: Debugging the Gender Gap includes interviews with employees at Yelp, Facebook, Google, and Pinterest, among others, and explores how cultural mindsets, stereotypes, educational hurdles and sexism all play roles in keeping the number of women and minorities in software engineering jobs low – and what can be done to change this.

Preview of “What Comes Next is the Future” UPDATED

What Comes Next is the Future

What Comes Next is the Future is a documentary film about the future of web design as envisioned by the people who build the web.

Here’s the film description:

What Comes Next Is the Future is a documentary film about the web created by Bearded founder Matt Griffin. It is the story of Tim Berners-Lee’s creation – how it came to be, where it’s been, and where it’s going – as told by the people who build it.

In the film, Griffin knits together a narrative by mining dozens of conversations with important figures from throughout the web’s history including Jeffrey Zeldman, Denise Jacobs, Tim Berners-Lee, Ethan Marcotte, Chris Wilson, Lyza Danger Gardner, Eric Meyer, Irene Au, Alex Russell, Trent Walton, Val Head, Jonathan Snook and many more.

After you watch the preview, go to the futureisnext.com site to see to the list of cities and dates for viewings or to sign up for updates. Update: the film is now available free on Vimeo.

Thanks to Eric Meyer for mentioning this documentary on Facebook, otherwise I might not have heard about it. Hope my mentioning it here helps even more people become aware of the film.

Image ©Bearded

Upcoming changes in Apple iOS 9.3 will Affect Education

images from Apple.com of iOS 9.3

A group of students can be set up as a classroom to use any iPad

Apple announced changes aimed at education that are coming in iOS 9.3. The changes allow a group of students to share iPads. Faculty will be able to set up profiles for each child in a classroom. Those profiles can then be used on any classroom iPad.

Students log in to any iPad and have access to all their apps, books, and documents.

With Apple iOS 9.3, teachers can guide students through a lesson, see individual progress including what’s on the student’s screen at the moment, and keep them on track. Teachers can project a student’s work on a classroom television equipped with Apple TV with AirPlay.

Images from apple.com of shared iPad use

Teachers can show everyone the same thing at the same time during a lesson

Teachers can launch everyone’s apps at the same time, then guide what students are looking at on their devices.

On the administrative side, there are tools for creating accounts, setting passwords, managing enrollment information, making bulk purchases of books, and creating and delivering lessons with iTunes U.

I think these changes will be important to educators from the primary school through college level.

Images via Apple.com

Nat & Lo’s 20% Project

Nat and Lo in front of a Google sign

When you work at Google, you get to spend 20% of your time doing something you think of yourself. Googlers Natalie Hammel and Lorraine Yurshansky decided to spend their time creating a web series about projects at Google. They call it “Nat & Lo’s 20% Project.”

Their videos are on YouTube. Watch the first one and you can subscribe to their YouTube channel and/or select the next video you want to watch. I suggest watching them all. You’ll get an inside view of some of the things that make Google so ubiquitous in your life.

A Talk About Nothing

Lena Reinhard

Lena Reinhard

You may have watched this elsewhere, but I found it impressive enough to add here as well. Its a very fine talk about the tech industry by Lena Reinhard at the first ever .concat() web development conference on March 7th 2015.

Here’s the abstract of the talk.

And, yes, literally nothing. Together we’ll take a look behind the curtains of reality and explore some of the underlying rules that shape our existence. We will dig into ancient philosophy, the history and today’s status physics and maths, look into the origins of computing, programming and analyse the way we develop software today. We’ll see how nothing influences us, how it shapes our behaviour every day and how nothing can help us grow – in our professions and, even more, as humans.

“Nothing really matters,”, Freddie Mercury wrote in a song that was released 40 years ago. I want to show you how right he is.

The talk is nominated for the “Conference Talk of the Year” in the .net awards 2015. Listen to it carefully as she builds her message and listen all the way to the end.

Interactive Video: Think of the Possibilities for Education

Scene from Jack Black's "That Black Bat Licorice" video

Scene from Jack Black’s “That Black Bat Licorice” video

I’ve seen a couple of interactive videos recently. One was an version of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.”

In the Bob Dylan video, you use up and down arrow keys to move between various visuals, all perfected coordinated with the song. I’m unable to embed the video here, but I urge you to check it out and play with the interactive elements.

The second, which is below, is by Jack Black for his song “That Black Bat Licorice.” In Jack Black’s video use the “3″ or the “B” key for 3 different versions of the video. Again, play with the controls as you watch it.

What got me all worked up as I watched these two videos is the educational possibilities. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, apps like Dreamweaver and Photoshop – imagine how something like this could be used to teach those topics.

Tools and Resources for Interactive Video

The folks at PBS’s POV Filmmakers have a great resource list of tools and costs. For each tool in their list, they give examples of work and describe what the tool does. Finding the best tool is also a topic of discussion on Quora. You can do some interactive work with videos on YouTube.

I would certainly be interested in seeing someone experiment with interactive video as a teaching tool. If you’ve seen anything like that on the web, please mention it in the comments.