Learning computational thinking and its language, various forms of computer code, needs to be elevated to the same level of importance as reading as writing, lest we risk perpetuating inequality in public education, argues Tasneem Raja in her Mother Jones article.Raja writes:

“In other words, computational thinking opens doors. For while it may seem premature to claim that today every kid needs to code, it’s clear that they’re increasingly surrounded by opportunities to code—opportunities that the children of the privileged are already seizing. The parents of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg got him a private computer tutor when he was in middle school. Last year, 13,000 people chipped in more than $600,000 via Kickstarter for their own limited-edition copy of Robot Turtles, a board game that teaches programming basics to kids as young as three. There are plenty of free, kid-oriented code-learning sites—like Scratch, a programming language for children developed at MIT—but parents and kids in places like San Francisco or Austin are more likely to know they exist.”

Is coding the new literacy?

In the winter of 2011, a handful of software engineers landed in Boston just ahead of a crippling snowstorm. They were there as part of Code for America, a program that places idealistic young coders and designers in city halls across the country for a year.

  • David

    Digital Literacy is MORE than learning to code. It involves ALL aspects of computing which includes learning about devices themselves; applications to complete sophisticated documents, movies, presentations; world wide web and its capabilities; networking and TCP/IP; morality and internet citizenship; legal issues; and, many other issues that should be covered. Does a child or teen no good to study coding and they don’t know the difference between RAM and CPU and that these items exist in ALL devices whether a computer or smart phone or tablet… please consider renaming the title of this post.

  • Pingback: OTR Links 06/19/2014 | doug --- off the record()

  • Karen North

    For kids to use computational thinking resources, administrators and
    teachers must be trained and required to integrate this into the
    classroom. I have been blogging about this for years, and hope we are
    on the verge a change that allocates time for computer science, not just
    literacy. The title does need to be changed as too many decision makers in education don’t understand the difference.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor