IBM’s Department of Education I Next City (Aug 2013)

By Greg Lindsay On the third floor of Paul Robeson High School, a weathered pile of bricks in Crown Heights, Brooklyn that’s closing next spring due to failing graduation rates, an IBM consultant named Ann McDermott is lecturing to a 10th-grade class of mostly poor, mostly black, mostly boys about the history of the Web.

“Does anyone here know what Tim Berners-Lee did?” she asks, referring to the British computer scientist who invented it.

“World. Wide. Web,” one student murmurs, seemingly bored by the question’s ease.

McDermott nods and continues. “He created it so scientists could communicate. Now we use it to watch cat videos.” The class cracks up. “Who knows how a webpage works?”

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