Ali Partovi, co-founder of Code.org, has an ambitious goal: To get public high schools to offer computer programming classes -- not just as an elective, but as a science requirement. "It's absolutely relevant for public education to embrace computer science," he says. "I can't think of any other science that would better prepare you for life in the 21st century."
It's estimated that only about 10 percent of K-12 schools teach computer science. Some companies are trying to fill a void in American public education by teaching kids computer programming basics. The push comes amid projections that there will be far more tech sector jobs than computer science graduates to fill them.
Thanks to code.org's "Hour of Code," millions of students will get their first taste of computer programming this week, Dec. 9-13, designated as Computer Science Education Week. If schools do decide to go beyond the one hour and take the next step to add coding as a part of school curriculum, what will this look like?
Handwork and technology might seem at first glance to be at odds. But there's a case to be made that handwork and computing -- and the kind of process that links the two -- are more closely related than one might think.
Though computer programming is becoming more important, many K-12 schools don't offer classes. Now commercial products are starting to offer at-home learning, offering sleek new platforms focused on teaching how to think like a computer programmer.
TB By Sheena Vaidyanathan The third grade class is busy working in the computer lab when the teacher reminds everyone to save their files. “Save or Save As?” someone asks. No one has ever explained the difference to these students and no one will have the time to explain it. With a frown on their … Continue reading Save or Save As: Teaching Kids Where Their Work Lives Inside Computers →
By Lillian Mongeau To get a better understanding of how well students can solve complex problems and apply science to real-life scenarios, the National Assessment for Education Progress recently used hands-on experiments as a way to test 4th, 8th, and 12th grade students, and found that this kind of assessment gives a much more accurate … Continue reading Hands-On Science Exams Reveal Students’ Skills →
By Sheena Vaidyanathan Have you ever looked inside a laptop? Have you ever held a CPU or studied the components on a computer motherboard? Though we use computers everyday, many of us know little about the fascinating world inside. RELATED READING: WHY SHOULD FIFTH-GRADERS LEARN TO PROGRAM? INTRODUCING PROGRAMMING TO PRESCHOOLERS 5 TOOLS TO TEACH … Continue reading What’s Inside Your Computer? These 6th-Graders Can Tell you →
Flickr: AngryJulieMonday By Heather Chaplin Since MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten group released Scratch in 2007, kids ages 8 to 13 have built more than 2.2 million animations, games, music, videos and stories using the kid-friendly programming language. Scratch allows kids to snap together graphical blocks of instructions, like Lego bricks, to control sprites—the movable objects that … Continue reading Introducing Programming to Preschoolers →
TB Computer science is not widely taught, even though programming may be one of the most important skills of the 21st century. While most schools do recognize the importance of helping students learn how to use new technologies, you’ll still find scant opportunities in K-12 classes for students to learn how to actually build those … Continue reading Should Computer Science Be Required in K-12? →