Title – The Lines of Code That Changed Everything
Source – Slate Magazine
Summary & Reflection
This was a fascinating article that showed how code has quite literally changed the world, often in ways that were not anticipated by the code’s creators.
The article is compelling, easy to read and intriguing. It includes a number of examples with strong links to Computer Science and these can be used in Digital Technology / Social Science classes to inspire students and also serve as a warning about careful testing and unforeseen consequences.
One of the most promising aspects of the article is the link between coding and ethics. There are several examples of where computer code has had a world-changing effect and there are also instances where programmers have not been ethical when developing code (often this is unintentional).
The content can be used to discuss wider issues such as the weaponisation of code, the right to free speech and the benefits of making technology available to all via open source licensing.
For me this was a powerful reminder of the need to teach students about being ethical, testing their outcomes and thinking through what could happen with the material they create. Ultimately ‘Digital Technology’ is a subject with huge potential and students should be made aware that what we do is more than *just* creating code / designing pretty outcomes.