Technology is taking over the classroom: computer coding as part of education.
On any given day in a busy classroom, you can expect to see a variety of projects at work. Kids work on spelling, grammar, arithmetic, and---coding? It may come as a shock to see children laboring hard to create real working computer programs in a modern classroom. The entire world has recognized the importance of computer programming as an essential skill, and it is becoming a common sight in classrooms everywhere.
The United States is by no means the first or only location to begin including computer programming as a core curriculum. England is currently leading the pack with coding classes that will introduce children as young as five to computer science. Subjects are age appropriate, but include everything from debugging scripts to important algorithms.
All over the world, countries are opting to add computer language to their schools in order to fill an urgent skills gap the world is facing. With the abundance of apps and rapid growth of technology, there are lots of jobs for computer programmers available, but not enough people qualified for the jobs. The solution for most countries has been to add computer programming as a subject in school. These subjects are compulsory, meaning that all students will be trying their hand at making computer programs right alongside reading and writing.
In Japan, schools will be rolling out their compulsory computer programs in 2020, and in Italy, the “Programma il Futuro” project has already begun. Computer programming as education has become an expected part of the educational process, if a rather unusual one.
Many of these programs present parents with an awkward problem. It's normal to help your child with homework, but without knowing how to code yourself, going over the homework can become a nightmare. When you don't know Python from Ruby, or perhaps think of these as the snake and the gem rather than coding languages, it's easy to see why supporting your child can be difficult.
With competition for good schools making good grades a necessity, the pressure can be real. We want our kids to do well in school, and many parents even understand just how lucrative a skill coding can be. With the average coder commanding a salary in excess of $100,000, (1) it only adds to the incentive for parents to try and help their children excel in these new classes.
Luckily, parents can help support their children at home without needing any knowledge of coding themselves. In anticipation of these new programs, courses are available online that introduce children to programming in a fun manner. These courses are age appropriate, and can swiftly help children prepare for the upcoming courses.
From New South Wales in Australia, where the coding programs will begin in 2019, to Singapore where they are striving to make coding a national specialty, these changes are happening. For most parents, the choice is to either to help their kid prepare for a new future, or to let other children sail ahead. For most parents, that's an easy choice to make.
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