Increasingly the economy, and people’s lives, are becoming reliant on, and shaped by, computer science. Coding used to be viewed as an activity to be pursued only by specialists. But the enormous developments in technology over the last twenty years have changed that perspective. Websites, mobile applications, social media platforms and software are now mainstream and used by the public every day.
Coding on the Curriculum
Technology companies, education heads and governments in the USA are now joining together to call for computer programming to be included across the board in education programs at school and college. Coding is now seen as a basic skill, just like the ability to read, write and do arithmetic. One challenge is how to integrate computer science into schools where most teachers have no coding experience.
In 2016, President Obama, concerned about future skill shortages in the tech arena, told the US congress in his State of The Union speech that America needs to cultivate more homegrown tech talent to avoid future digital skills shortages. Students must acquire computer science skills to be able to handle the increasing amount of tech work that the industry needs to have done in the workplace.
Coding Languages and Platforms
There are many excellent sources of information and advice about coding online. These are often aimed at older people who may have left formal education programs and be looking to enhance their abilities, perhaps as a second career. The drive to have coding taught in schools is based on the need to shape young minds at the right age. The skills that are being called for in schools include the ability to handle the types of software which are used for online and mobile applications.
Boosting Computer Studies in Schools
The tech giant Google has been participating in the debate by driving initiatives, editorials and Gallup opinion polls that call for more coding education for youngsters. Three quarters of school principals in the US admit that there are no computer studies programs in their school, so there is a lot of room for improvement, which is acknowledged by the search ending leader.
Since 2013, Google’s initiatives have been exposing school students to coding, to help facilitate a future supply of tech-savvy workers in America. Google reports that a majority of parents and educational establishment heads feel that computer science is a more important subject for students to learn compared to traditional subjects like science and history.
Challenges and Opportunities
The purpose of these public and private sector initiatives is to better prepare children for the future. The aim is not to require every child to study computer programming, but to expose children to it and enable those who wish to study coding to do so. If this happens, society will benefit and the future will be bright in this technological age.
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