Teaching kids to code isn’t just about tech jobsit’s about preparing for the future

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At a current Guardian op-ed, Ben Tarnoff claims to expose a nefarious reason behind schools’ push to add computer science requirements for their core program.  

About providing the next generation a shot at earning the wages of a Facebook engineer, & rdquo & ldquo; The campaign for code schooling isn & rsquo; t. By creating a supply of cheap labor for the market & ldquo; It & rsquo; s about ensuring these wages no longer exist. ”

However, this logic is flawed. We teach science. We teach world history. We keep standards of fluency in these subjects because they’re part and parcel of thinking, and hallmarks of a well-rounded schooling.  

Learning to code teaches kids the discipline for breaking down problems then solving them and logically–a skillset which everyone can utilize. “We don’t expect all students to become computer scientists,” states Troy Williams, computer science integration director at Chicago Public Schools. “However all students, no matter what their career [goals], can benefit from believing. ”

Computer science classes also teach young people that they can be   producers instead of just   customers–a crucial step toward a healthy comprehension of their place in the world. Kids who get a flavor of computer science grasp what it means to solve problems in their community, and on behalf of others.

By teaching students we also open up their minds to the possibilities of solving problems. Ll know the myriad ways that computers interact with other types of solutions — even if they grow up to be doctors, or bankers, or CEOs — they & rsquo; if these kids never pursue technical careers. They’ll be equipped to create whole new ways of solving the issues our world faces and later on.

However, most importantly, we will need to face up to how criteria change over time. Flawless penmanship and a strict grasp of Latin were once considered de riguer for any well-educated person. These now-quaint notions of disabilities have been replaced in time by physics and French, subsequently keyboarding and Cantonese. As we approach the 21st century’s next decade, we will need to add coding to this list of skills for living. The fact that this is even up for discussion is.

Of course, resistance to teaching the masses in skills which were once the exclusive domain of a few–is as old as history. Before the American Civil War, it had been prohibited to instruct enslaved employees to write or read. Apartheid-era educational policies prevented South African Muslims from communication with one another, and organizing against the Afrikaner elite. The Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai for adventurous to market girls’ schooling. If you prevent others from accessing the tools which help you keep at the peak of the 31, it & rsquo; s easier to maintain a grip.

Butt dread change. Even leaders of old-school industries like automobile manufacturing concur that America desperately wants more programmers and engineers in order to regain our global advantage. We will need to quit fretting about plots to flooding the marketplace and adopt reality: Technical fluency is essential to our humanity as well as our success.

Elizabeth Ames is the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Alliances, and Apps at the Anita Borg Institute. She previously held senior management positions at RETHINK Partners, and Apple Netcentives, in which she was co and CEO.  

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