PCLIC serves educators and parents who wish to introduce school-age children to computing—not just to using computers for surfing the web, playing games, and sending email, but to learning how to write code that makes computers do new and interesting things. PCLIC believes that all children, given activities they enjoy, can be encouraged to put in the time and effort needed to become good at computing.
What is “computer literacy” and why is it important?
According to the dictionary, being literate means being able to read and write. Hence being computer literate means knowing what code is and how to write it. Knowing how code is written helps one progress from being a mere consumer of technology to being an informed consumer or even a producer of that technology. Furthermore, knowing how to code gives one cognitive skills to understand the world at large and to get things done in that world.
Being computer literate also means having knowledge about computers and computation. Such literacy is vitally important in our increasingly technological society, not just for those who make their careers in computing, but also for citizens who may be called upon to make informed decisions about the role computers and computation play in our lives.
More widespread literacy would also benefit society as a whole. The computer industry currently suffers from an under-representation of women, minorities, and people skilled in many areas to which computing is being applied. With more participation from people with different outlooks and skills, the computer industry would be better able to produce technology that served more of society’s needs.
What PCLIC offers
PCLIC is based in Philadelphia, where it offers
- in-class workshops for school-age children,
- in-service teacher workshops, and
- community workshops for parents or children.
PCLIC also provides information on this website (with links to additional information) about
- ways for children of varying ages to learn how to code,
- activities that can engage children as they learn to code, and
- curricula, organizations, and other resources that support computer education.