I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that many of us here today like to see our work as a continuation of say the Tech Model Railroad Club or the Homebrew Computer Club, and certainly the terminology and the values of this conference, like open source for example, have their roots in that era. As a consequence it’s easy to interpret any criticism of the hacker ethic—which is what I’m about to do—as a kind of assault.
Education has remained largely unchanged for millennia. In any classroom, you see a set of students gathered around a teacher who’s writing on the board, or maybe now we’ve added a PowerPoint deck. But, as in many other fields that have been slow to change, the data revolution is coming for education.
I think the part that engages students that are from underrepresented ethnic groups is missing. I think they don’t see themselves reflected, don’t see their interests or their cultures reflected, so they stay outside of it even if it’s free, or even if it’s something that is in their neighborhood.