A seemingly unlikely match- one teacher is using Hip Hop to help students understand coding.
According to The Economist, Mr. Mims is not only using Hip Hop to introduce students to coding, but other technologies. Different workshops fuse Hip Hop with virtual reality, production, and more. Workshops like “Hustling 101: How To Turn Your Code Into Cash” even cover topics such as patenting ideas and trademarks.
“Schools usually say cell phones are distracting, but the world says cell phones and other technologies are a desirable aspect of youth culture. So we try to leverage that in the classroom whenever we can… Students who are disengaged and turned off by pen and paper tests need to feel reinvigorated.”-Mr. Mims via XXL
One of the first “Hip Hop Hacks” event took place earlier this year in April. Sommer Mccoy organized it and hundreds of students from New York & New Jersey attended. Additionally, Mccoy had apparently felt compelled to organize her own “Hackathon” after attending a workshop where students were encouraged to use terms such as “HTML” and “CSS” in raps. It sparked others to follow suit. Now, engineers from Tumblr, the New York Times, Google, Facebook, and Uber have even helped students to build their own apps. Though, this particular event was hosted solely by Tumblr. The students that attended identify as LGBT, come from schools with high drop out rates, homelessness, or already have a criminal record.
For a few years now, coding careers have been on the rise as far as an Industry in need.
It has previously been recorded as a male dominated career field. The New York Times even called it, “Technology’s Man Problem” in 2014. So, women, especially, and the youth, have been increasingly encouraged to see if a career in coding is right for them. With projects like SCRATCH: Coding For All Project by MIT, Harvard University, and the University of California Irvine staffs, as well as these “social coding” events (which are already being planned for 2018)- exploring a career in coding couldn’t be easier.
That said, you have to love what Hip Hop continues to do in the culture.