I believe that learning to code is just a way of thinking. Once you learn one language the thought process in coding is the same for any other language. Back in the days of Assembly you'd groan each time you had to learn a new micro's language, but after a week or two you'd be fluent. From visual languages, C, and down to Assembly, it's the same thought process, just a different language.
A few months ago, I joined an education group on LinkedIn (ITSE I believe it was) and posted an article favoring the teaching of coding in all public schools. I can't remember the author's name but I remembr he was addressing Congress with his opinion on the necessity for teaching coding skills to all kids, beginning at an early age.
One of the members of ITSE (who was president of a science curriculum supply company) was against teaching coding to school children. He seemed to be hung up on the strict definition of the term "coding", especially after I mentioned that junior high students could branch into C++ programming. He thought teaching C++ (and all other attempts at coding training) would be worthless and that kids should only be taught science and math (and maybe logic) and could learn to program in college. He also seemed to be hung up on the more advanced capabilities in C++ (i.e. object-oriented programming) and how it would be too difficult for kids to learn.
Now I read about Boy Scouts' programming merit badge and I know our Dinosaur Public Education System could eventually get there. In the short trrm, they're more likely to keep throwing money at kids to buy them iPads, etc. to teach kids how to use things their parents can't afford instead of teaching them basic skills that lead to higher level skills that will help them create wealth.
There are detractors; many of them will appear among teachers and their union. The online training option for kids to learn coding "in spite of the public schools" could become the norm for a while.
Cabe--excellent post. I definitely applaud efforts for introducing how to code at an early age and I mean the basic principles during grammar school years. Coding is simply a method of writing to produce desired results. A "new" language. As an adult, I learned Pascal, C++, and Visual Basic and it was agony--real agony. Forty-five is not the time to start. I have five grandchildren and they are learning Spanish and German as second and third languages so computer code could definitely be introduced as a language useful to them just as these two others will be. Funding will always be an issue but maybe private sources can be used for this important effort. Great post.
Great idea to accelerate coding skills to the next generation. I am also for creating knowledge-based American workers who can drive new technology by creating innovative, high-in-demand software programs that will help us maintain an edge over our international competitors.
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