Everybody reading this will likely use a Web browser on a daily basis. It is, after all, an essential tool in this day and age, allowing us to access the wealth of information contained on the Internet. But what Web browser do you use? And why? Welcome to this week’s MakeUseOf Poll.
Coding In Schools
To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “Should Coding Be Taught In Schools?”
Out of a total of 365 votes, 56.4% chose “Yes, but it should be optional,” 34.8% chose “Yes, it should be compulsory,” 5.5% chose “Focus on the core subjects,” 2.2% chose “No, coding isn’t important,” and 1.1% chose “I really don’t care either way.”
This is a strong win for coding to be taught in schools, with over 90 percent of those who voted choosing one of the Yes options. Of those, the majority think coding should be optional rather than compulsory, which is rather sensible given that no two children are alike in either their abilities or interests.
Comment Of The Week
We received a lot of great comments, including those from Koshy George, Ellen, and J.O. Williams. Comment Of The Week goes to Cutler Cox, who earns our admiration and affection for this comment:
I’m in high school right now.I can tell you two things about high schoolers and technology: They know enough about it to get themselves in trouble, and not enough to get out of it.
I know much more than the average student at my school, and because of that, even teachers come to me for help. Other students have not had the natural curiosity for learning what makes computers tick, and so they only know how to download an app and take selfies. Programming itself is useless to these students. My school worked with a few others and a state university to try a programming elective at our school, with sophomores being required to take the class. Despite the disagreements I have with their language of choice, a dead-end language that only teaches things like a turtle (netlogo), the main problem is that these students don’t care about the class and treat it like Spanish: Learn the basics, then forget everything when they don’t need it anymore.
What they need instead is a computer literacy class. Not just “Here is how you click and drag”, but more like “here is how to open a compressed file. Here is how to spot potential viruses before you download them.” and so on. The ones who want to learn computer science can do so in an elective, and to save them time, a test could be taken to see if they need computer literacy or not. If one odes not pass the test. they need to take the class.
Things like troubleshooting a WiFi connection are alien to them. They don’t Google their question correctly, so they don’t get good results. All in all, these students need to be taught a little more than the basics, they need to know how to help themselves. If they still can’t solve it, that is where IT comes in.
Beyond this, I have no idea what to do. Students need to learn how to use a computer effectively, and then some sort of logic class. Programming should be an elective for those who want to take it, but knowing how to use netlogo isn’t going to do much but teach you logic. It needs to be a useful language that isn’t going to die anytime soon. Regardless of the implementation, Computer literacy for all, Computer science for those that care.
We chose this comment because it backs up the results of the poll itself, suggesting that while coding is certainly important enough to be taught in schools, it won’t be for everyone. Hence the need to make computer science optional rather than compulsory.
What Web Browser Do You Use, & Why?
This is a question we have asked several times over the years. The wording has changed slightly, as have the percentages gained by the browsers battling it out for your love. However, the basic question remains the same. You will be using the Web browser you consider to be the best option, so which Web browser are you using?
Google Chrome has won this particular poll for the last two years, but will it make it three in a row? We know Chrome is the most popular desktop browser amongst the whole of the Internet population, but is the same true amongst MakeUseOf readers? After all, you all tend to be slightly more geeky than the average netizen.
Please vote in the poll above, and then explain in the comments why you voted that way.
We would love to discover your specific reasons for choosing one Web browser over the others available. And whether you have tried a number of alternatives before settling on one. Or even for how long you have stuck with your current choice.
The best Comment Of The Week will win our everlasting admiration and affection. Well, at least until we meet back here again this time next week.
Image Credit: Mark Sebastian via Flickr