Advertisement Editor’s Picks Why Russia is Building Its Own Internet For Texas Instruments, Calculator Hackers Don’t Add Up The Golden Age of Basic Despite the ubiquity of computers in modern society, the vast majority of today’s students never study computer science or computer programming. Those who are exposed to these subjects typically learn low-level skills rather than undertaking any deeper exploration of computational concepts or theory. In earlier decades, a few countries did promote computer education at the national level. In the 1980s, for example, the British government launched a popular and quite successful initiative that brought thousands of BBC Micros into classrooms. But the most ambitious computer literacy program ever conceived is one you’ve probably never heard of, and it originated in a very unlikely place: the Soviet Union. Perhaps you’re smiling to yourself, recalling the old trope about how the USSR invented Tetris and yet lost the Cold War. Implicit in this dismissal is the failure of the Soviets to fully appreciate the awesome power of the digital age. It’s true that the Soviet government never embraced a national computer network or provided its citizens with affordable personal computers. But if you subscribe to this narrative of technological… Read full this story
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