Forget Foreign Languages and Music. Teach Our Kids to Code
posted on September 27 2013
Take a regular school night, what is it like at your house, how many screens do you see? Do you ever watch TV without also having your laptop or iPad out? You at least check your phone every once in a while, right? Okay maybe not during Homeland. The point is our kids are growing up with a different understanding of technology.
I often wonder about the effect of Skype or Facetime on kids? My mum over Skype last night asked my three year old if she could have a bite of her dinner. She replied, "You're not here!". But that she can interact with her even when there are 6000 miles separating them is awesome. Does she think it's peculiar? Will she ever wonder about the technology that makes this happen? And should she?
That's why I love this article by Brendan Koerner in Wired Magazine.
It brings up really important questions as to what do future generations need to know about computers, smart phones, tablets-- strip back all the hardware and you've got the magic potion: programming.
Shouldn't kids start learning about programming?
I mean can you imagine what their living rooms will look like when they have kids?
Here is a photo of a sorting game devised by computer scientist J. Paul Gibson to teach the concept of algorithms to children.
I think there is a lot to be said for developing familiarity with the general concepts of logic and algorithms that underpin all programming— like sequencing, conditionals, debugging.
"In a perfect world, kindergartners would receive instruction in both programming and foreign language as part of their day. But if a school has to choose, a strong case can be made for code. The most obvious argument, of course, is economic: Demand for software developers already far outstrips supply, and it’s expected to increase 30 percent by 2020 — more than double the average for all other jobs. (It’s difficult to imagine any scenario in which those opportunities will be outnumbered by jobs requiring fluent Mandarin.)
Read the article here