Reading, Writing, and Code

TECHNOLOGY

Computer coding instruction is growing at Internet speeds. Since December, 20,000 teachers have introduced coding lessons, according to Code.org, a group backed by the tech industry that offers free curriculums. In addition, some 30 school districts, including New York City and Chicago, have agreed to add coding classes. And policy makers in nine states have begun awarding the same credits for computer science classes that they do for basic math and science courses, rather than treating them as electives. (New York Times)

Learn more about Code.org and the new curriculum of code.

Discussion Ideas

 

  • Watch the video above, or read through the NYT article to learn about support for organizations such as Code.org, Scratch, and MV Gate. Why are teachers and other education advocates supporting greater coding curricula?

 

  • What are some criticisms about greater coding curricula?
    • Although supporters say “there is a big demand for these skills in both the tech sector and across all sectors,” the tech sector is dominating the conversation about the value of coding. Companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter are contributing enormous amounts of money and talent to coding curriculums (through organizations such as Code.org and directly through individual schools), but within that advocacy are enormous and uncritical promotions for the companies themselves.
    • As the NYT article says, there is also absolutely no evidence that learning code will result in lucrative jobs or encourage greater critical and logical thinking. According to the Atlantic, “real wages in many—but not all—science and engineering occupations have been flat or slow-growing, and unemployment as high or higher than in many comparably-skilled occupations.”

 

  • Is there a coding or computer programming class in your school? Do you think coding should be taught as an elective, an alternative to traditional math or science classes, or a required subject on its own? Why?

 

One response to “Reading, Writing, and Code

  1. Pingback: Tech Industry Earns Some Cred | Nat Geo Education Blog·

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