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Computer Science as a Group 2 option

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Why is Computer Science not a second language?

It seems as though the IB would not like students like myself to become the next Bill gates or Mark Zuckerberg.

Whilst second languages might be important and it makes IB students well rounded, in the inflating world of technology learning a computer based language such as Java or C++ would be more advantageous for IB students. Knowing how to speak spanish or french is not going to help students get a job or create the next facebook. I believe that the Second Language Section (group 2) of the IB should include Computer Science as an option.

There is no argument that computer Science is not a language of its own. It has the structure of a language and it is actually way more complex, so shouldn't is be offered in group 2?

Hello my name is (------------) and I am currently in an IB School in the (------------). Next year I will enter the diploma program. As I was scouring the internet to find out what subjects are offered and to what level I was extremely disappointed to see that Computer Science was not listed under Group 2. Instead IB students have to take a language course (English, French, Etc.) Don't get me wrong I have always been a 7 student in Spanish, however I do not see myself actually utilizing the language in the future. Instead I would like to do computer science.

The IB does offer a computer science course however it is either computer science or math. This option befuddled me because Math and computer science go hand in hand and you omitted one you will be at a strong disadvantage with the other.

Clearly this has been over looked by the IB and as a student I believe this is should be fixed immediately.

In the growing age of technology, parents would you not rather your child create the next Microsoft or find job in computer engineering? Or would you rather for them to be "Culturally Diverse." (which is already covered extensively) I hope they have fun being a second rate translator or foreign tour guide. Is this what you want for your children? This simple change can make all of the difference and we have the power to catalyze change.

The Parents are the customers, and the IB will conform based on what you think. The students have the power to spread, rebel and speak up for our needs.

"The IB is the reason why we are not all geniuses, creating Facebook."

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No it shouldn't. It can't be spoken nor written to be understood by a second party communicating a meaning. All of the 'IB languages' are either literature courses or learning a language course and Computer Science is neither of those. Just take a look at the IB Computer Science syllabus and you'll see that it is a lot more than just learning a computer language such as Java or C++ and that it is very far apart from the other IB Languages.

And no, it is not either Computer Science or Math. Mathematics is mandatory for everyone that is doing the IB. There is something called Group 6 of IB subjects in which you can choose either to do one of the IB subjects of Arts or do another subject from any of the other groups. Thus you can have both Maths (whatever preferred level) and Computer Science (which would be your Group 6 subject).

Edited by dniviE
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Although I do understand what you are saying, i am considering taking computer science, I think you have missed a couple of points against the argument. Firstly, computer science is no longer a maths, it's a natural science. This makes many of your maths/ comp. sci. Points invalid. Although, you could say similar things about chem/physics. However. In the end of the day you can still take 2 science subjects, so it's not a big deal.

This statement is from the IB website:

"The International Baccalaureate (IB) computer science course will be taught as an option in group 4, experimental sciences, from August 2012.

Computer science previously formed an option in group 5 of the Diploma Programme curriculum but now lies within group 4. As such, it is regarded as an experimental science, alongside biology, chemistry, design technology, physics and environmental systems and societies. This group change is significant as it means DP students can now select computer science as their group 4 subject rather than having to select it in addition to mathematics as was previously the case. "

Secondly, for most people, regardless of career, knowledge of a second language does improve career prospects. This has been proven in countless studies. Although computer knowledge does this also, the structure of the computer science course makes lots of this information irrelevant, to most careers. Second languages are also more than just languages, they involve a culture component, which isn't touched upon in other subjects, including comp. sci. Computer coding, is just a derivative of English, meaning it doesn't go into the same depth as other languages, and isn't as useful for communication, with anything that isn't' a computer.

Finally, you say " IB is the reason is the reason we are not all geniuses creating Facebook." This statement is seriously flawed. The suggestion, that a) everybody has the potential to be a genius, b) everyone could come up with an idea like face book, c) that taking computer science alone would allow that to happen, and, d) that simply by moving computer science to group 2 would make everybody a genius capable of creating Facebook is seriouly wrong.

P.s. I don't think that the last statement in the OP was literal, but I decidedntovaddress it as that regardless.

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Why even have languages for group 1 and 2 at all? Why not just study formal language theory and cover them all at once? :P (Actually an IB linguistics course would be amazing!)

Seriously though, I think should be room for both. At least, more schools should push to offer a real computer science course. Not those dumb Microsoft Office courses or even those dumbed-down programming classes that everyone takes as a spare block. I mean a serious course, not just an easy elective or whatever, that could be considered good preparation for a first year university CS course. Yes, there is IB/AP computer science (my school cut both of those several years ago), though even their syllabuses (syllabi?) still seem a bit watered down compared to an actual CS course.

But I don't think I'd suggest substituting this at the expense of language. I think both subjects have their place, but unfortunately schools care more about one than the other. Although, offering Java, or Scheme, etc. as Group 2 subjects would be kind of dumb. However, programming language theory classes would be pretty cool, covering different programming paradigms, parsers, compilers, automata, formal languages, etc.

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I love computers, love programming, and have been a computer nerd for well over eight years. I'd definitely be for this, lol. But don't kid yourself in to thinking "computer science" is a 'language'. All higher level languages are essentially just logic put in to human readable words, which eventually get converted to 1's and 0's. You can't have an oral examination of code (at least, not sensibly), can you? As well as that, the fundamental 'language' you'd be learning is binary, right? Imagine losing a mark for saying "1" instead of "0" in your binary oral examination. LOL. If not binary, what language would you learn? Python? The words are all nice, like "if" and "while". Or C++? Words like "cout" "std" ">>>" "bool", etc, etc. This already has holes in it.

It's also why the subject area is so brilliant. It's a mixture of mathematics, data, design, creativity, art, science, language, logic, and computing.

Computing is becoming an integral part of our lives, yes. Though, "creating Facebook" may not be the best gauge of "genius" (neither entrepreneurship.)

As well as that, computer science is so much more than just programming. It's the study of databases, ecosystems, hardware, computational and algorithmic thinking, functions, a bit of mathematics and physics, the web, networks, protocols, and so much more. How can this all be a language? And you don't test that your English or Spanish... 'compiles' or runs efficiently (though you could)? This is starting to get pretty weird. Haha.

I do wish more people found the subject interesting, but unfortunately, it's perceived to be something that's beyond the reach of an average person, and seen to be a subject for nerds only - though it's really not. As mainstream consumer brands like Microsoft and Apple keep dumbing down their interfaces, more and more people will start to stray away from the fields of programming, unfortunately. "Just works" doesn't usually correlate with "start tinkering". :(

I see your points, they're all valid - but making something as broad as computer science a language just to get more people involved in it, is not going to work. Curiosity is the only thing that'll continue to produce great computer scientists and software engineers. :)

Edited by unicornication
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You learn many things in computer science that aren't really related to programming. A couple examples could be questions about CPU or the purposes and types of utility software or the different network structures. I don't think of computer science as a language. Plus programming languages aren't really like French or Korean. Yes Java is still called a "programming language" but it's a different type of language. I can't really explain it but when was the last time someone wrote a poem in C++ or found it useful to talk to your lady friend in code (can you even do that?).

But I think you are more frustrated that you have to take a foreign language and I understand that. However some of the ab initio languages require little to no studying and it's easy to get a 7 on the exam.

Edited by r1111

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First, it is not either CS or math, math is mandatory and CS can only be taken as a group 6 subject before 2014 exams. For 2014 exams and onwards, CS becomes a group 4 subject.

Second, why is mathematics not a language? Why is visual arts not a language? Why is dance not a language?

Why should IB have 6 groups of subjects but not only "languages"?

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