Teaching the Homeless to Code

A friend recently shared this video with me and I couldn’t help but think of our class “tool time.”

This 23-year-old programmer is teaching a homeless man to code, a skill the man can hopefully utilize to get a job and improve his situation. One quote from the video that stuck with me was “If Patrick was teaching Leo English few would care, but coding is the language of a new American dream.” Wow. Talk about a loaded sentence! It sums up the idea that traditional writing and communication ability is no longer adequate for success. Instead, we must learn to communicate and utilize the machines and tools that are abundant in our lives. For me, the video also emphasized the importance of the tools all around us. We tend to think of them as functioning to make tasks easier, but in this case they can literally be the difference between sleeping on a park bench and having a place to call home.

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