Thursday, April 30, 2015

Why Coding Is Your Child's Key to Unlocking the Future

The Wall Street Journal (04/26/15) Christopher Mims

An increasing number of educators and activists are pushing to make programming a part of all children's basic education. Most argue programming should be viewed as a foundational element of a modern education, the same as math or reading. Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Mitchel Resnick, who is leading the effort to develop the child-friendly Scratch programming language, says in addition to granting them an important and marketable skill, coding helps children learn to think about processes in the world. Hadi Partovi, co-founder of Code.org, says computer science helps promote analytical skills, problem solving, and creativity. Many activists point to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projection that there will be 1 million unfilled programming jobs by 2020 as evidence of the growing market for such skills. Partovi thinks this could be a significant underestimate. However, programming is still not taught in the vast majority of U.S. schools, so many are looking to find ways of teaching children to code outside of the classroom. Some, such as Bryson Payne, author of "Teach Your Kids to Code," are seeking to teach children to code as early as possible. Many say the most effective way of teaching children how to code is to have them design games or to treat coding as simply another form of play.
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