Tag Archives: preschool

Coding for the Future

“All of today’s kids will need – along with reading, writing, and arithmetic – a basic understanding of computation and the role that it plays across a wide range of disciplines.”

Jan Cuny, Program Officer of the National Science Foundation

There are a lot of things worth learning in the world we live in: how to walk, read, type, write, or drive a car. These last couple years there has been a big push to add a new skill to the “worth learning” list: coding. You may be asking yourself, why would I want to learn how to code? Isn’t that only for computer science nerds? Not anymore.

Code.org is a company on a mission: the concept that anybody can learn how to code. If you’re unfamiliar with what coding is, in basic terms, it’s the language (lines of ‘code’) that makes programs on computers work. Code.org says that everyone should be given the opportunity to learn how to code – because it the future. And coding is making it’s way to becoming cool – take a look at this video starring Mark Zuckerburg and Bill Gates that Code.org has been sharing recently.

Code.org hosts a variety of learning levels – pre-school through college – and gives you the opportunity to find a place near you where you can learn to code with an instructor. Coding seems like like it can be difficult to learn, but Code.org makes it simple. They provide a plethora of online links, apps, and easy-to-use tutorials on their website.

Another great resource to use is CodeCademy.com. This website also provides exercises to learn programs like Python or JavaScript or the basic web fundamentals like html and how to build a website. Last year New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg even joined CodeCademy.com, vowing to learn coding by the end of the year.

In an article on What’s Trending, the co-founder of CodeCademy.com, Zach Sims, simply explains the relevance of coding: “Coding’s important to everyone – it’s the literacy of the 21st century.”

Credit: Mashable.com

So coding is important – but how important is it to students? In the currently dismal U.S. job market, there are about 1.4 million computer jobs but only about 400,000 computer science students. This leaves a great need for professionals with coding and computer skills.

A CNN article titled “Learn to code, get a job” explains that “so few Americans know how to program that firms like Google and Facebook are actually buying whole companies just for their code-literate employees.” America has a shortage of computer coders, not just in people that know how to use in-depth programs, but also people that know html or other basic software.

According to the article, the U.S. currently imports students from China and India through temporary visas to put into computer progamming positions because in those two countries, coding is taught in schools. To solve this problem, both Code.org and CodeCademy.com believe that coding should be part of regular curriculums in the U.S. – from pre-school through high school and even as general requirements in college.

Do you think coding is important today?

After researching this topic, we’ve given it a second thought. Learning to code today is made easy by these online, free programs, so we really don’t have an excuse not to learn this valuable skill.
“One hundred years ago, people were faced with the choice of learning to read or remaining illiterate laborers who would be left behind as have-nots in a rapidly modernizing world.  In the coming century, being able to command a world that will be thoroughly computerized will set apart those who can live successfully in the future from those who will be utterly left behind.“
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