Learn all about Joshua

April 19th, 2018

“No matter where you are in life, Computer Science applies to you. Upper 10% or lower 10%, black, white, male or female, EVERYONE, can learn Computer Science and have a skill that can change the world.”

Teacher: Joshua Law

School: Walker Career Center

Subject: AP Computer Science Principles

How would you explain computer science to someone is completely unaware of the subject? 

Computer Science is about using technology and information to solve problems. It’s about creativity and interactions. It’s about collaboration and opportunity. It’s about advancing and improving the lives of everyone around us. There is no subject which is more useful to society than Computer Science.

Why do you think it is important for students to take Computer Science courses?

Every student should be required to take a Computer Science course for the same reason they take English or Math. The canvas in which students will interact with their world is changing and becoming more technological. If you can’t do math, it will be difficult to acquire high level employment. If you don’t understand how to interact with technology or understand it, it will be difficult to obtain any job as the use of technology is everywhere.

What motivated you to become a teacher?

All my life, the only thing I have ever wanted to do is be a teacher. I’m not sure really what drew me in, but I knew I had two options: teaching music or math. Both were passions. I decided to teach Math because of the problem solving aspect. Teaching students to think is an area we need to focus on more as educators. I have always had a tech passion. So when I started teaching computer science and realized the overlap between tech and problem solving, there was no turning back.

What is your favorite movie and why?

A Knight’s Tale. A movie about honor, perseverance, love, respect and determination set in the medieval times with modern music. Such great one liners. “How would you beat him?” [commenting on the jousting tournament] “At night, while he slept. But on a horse, with a lance. That man is unstoppable.”

Tell us about a favorite teacher you had.

My favorite teacher really didn’t happen until college. He sparked my drive to dig deeper into issues and to recognize patterns in problems. He challenged me by providing insightful problems but limited my solutions. He stretched my way of thinking and got me to systematically tackle massive problems.

If you could correct one misconception about Computer Science, what would it be? 

I would love to change the idea that it’s a solo job behind a computer for hours on end. I have seen open workplaces and true workplace collaboration in my experiences and we need to convey what’s it really like to students.

 

What does CS for All mean to you?

CS for All means that no matter where you are in life, Computer Science applies to you. Upper 10% or lower 10%, black, white, male or female, EVERYONE, can learn Computer Science and have a skill that can change the world.

Please tell us about a hobby or interest you have?

I perform music, paint miniatures and run a Minecraft server.

What is your favorite holiday and why? 

Spring Break!! By this time in the year, I have the rest of the year planned and prepared, and I can actually relax. The weather is awesome!

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I’m a closet neat freak, but lazy.

What makes Nextech special? 

Nextech doesn’t specialize in one product. Most professional development providers are focused on their own product. Nextech is special in that it tries to find the best resources for the teachers it serves. And if those resources don’t exist, they aren’t afraid to start up a program to fill a need.

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