The Computer and Turing: Crash Course History of Science #36

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Computers have changed the world but how have computers themselves changed? A Crash Course History of Science episode focuses on the the history of the computer. It opens with defining what a computer is and continues by introducing the great thinkers, engineers, and scientists who worked to develop what we now know as a computer. The video includes both positive and negative aspects in addition to multiple social and political issues surrounding computers.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Discuss the controversy surrounding Turing's death
  • Highlight the original meaning of computer—someone who computes, usually a woman
  • Share the movie Hidden Figures
Classroom Considerations

  • Relies on prior knowledge of computers, the Internet, sexism, racism, and homophobia
Pros

  • Connects history, science, technology, sociology, politics, and more
  • Provides subtitles for visual learners
Cons

  • None