Coding to learn continues to grow in popularity and seen as a necessary skill – for everyone, not just “techies.”
Fueled by projected STEM job growth of 9 million between 2012 and 2022 , the call for students to code has been growing over the past few years. Last fall, the non-profit Code.org announced “a nationwide campaign calling on every K-12 student in America to join an ‘Hour of Code.’ The initiative asked schools, teachers, and parents across the country to help introduce more than 10 million students of all ages to computer programming during Computer Science Education Week.”
According to Computer Science Education Week, over 39 million have “tried the Hour of Code.”
The craze for coding to learn is not only a phenomena for the young and old in the U.S., but students worldwide are learning the basics of coding for schools are adding the fun to the curriculum.
The United Kingdom now requires every student learn to code, beginning at age five as demand grows for “’computational thinking’”: the ability to formulate problems in such a way that they can be tackled by computers.
“According to Adam Enbar, founder of New York’s Flatiron School, which offers 12-week, $12,000 programs to turn novices into developers, said, ’Not everyone needs to be Shakespeare, just as not everyone needs to be an amazing developer,’ he says. ‘But…we’re entering a world where every job if not already, will be technical,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
And, if every job will be technical, Harvard Business School has caught the coding bug for plans are underway to add a computer science elective as the “changing nature of the workforce” includes coding for MBAs.
K12 is catching on to the importance of computer science. According to Education Week, “Seventeen states and the District of Columbia now have policies in place that allow computer science to count as a mathematics or science credit, rather than as an elective, in high schools—and that number is on the rise. Wisconsin, Alabama, and Maryland have adopted such policies since December, and Idaho has a legislative measure awaiting final action.”
Some are branching out beyond the traditional computer science course. Keep a keen eye on on the progressive Beaver County Day School. According to Mashable, Beaver County Day School became the first school in the nation to implement computer programming into all of its classes.
“The school isn’t launching mandatory programming courses into the schedule, exactly, but is instead having its teachers introduce coding (ideally, in the most organic ways possible) into their respective subjects. Calculation-heavy courses such as math and science, as well as humanities such as English, Spanish and history — even theater and music — will all be getting a coded upgrade.”
Beaver’s head Peter Hutton believes “‘the current curriculum — which any American who has gone to school in the last century is familiar with — is blatantly outdated…Do schools need to change? Absolutely,” he says. ‘”
“We’re still preparing our kids to go to work in 1988. Certainly not 2020.”
While coding to learn resources grow each day, below is a sampling of how teachers are coding to learn with students, and it isn’t just in STEM courses but casts the net wide across content areas.
Take some time to explore these resources and spark interest at your school to participate in Hour of Code.
- Learning Literature while Programming
Learn how high school freshmen study fiction and non-fiction texts while coding.
- How to Teach Coding Across the Curriculum: Why Not Logo?
- Coding Across the Curriculum with Alice
It isn’t just STEM content found in these teacher-created lessons using the free, coding program developed by Carnegie Mellon University. History, English, art, foreign language, and physical education resources are also listed.
- Edutopia – Coding Across the Curriculum
- STEM teacher Wesley Fryer, uses the iPad coding app HopScotch with his fourth and fifth grade students, and Australian educator John Stillitano (@johnstillitano) uses HopScotch coding to teach angles in math class.
- Coding with Scratch – Brian Foley, associate professor at California State University in Northridge, uses Scratch, a free, coding program developed at MIT’s Media Lab, to teach computational thinking and math and science concepts to middle and high school students and teachers, including motion, slope, and boiling point.
- Wesley Fryer Resources
Coding with iPad Apps
Practical Ideas on using Scratch in STEM classes
How are you coding to learn in your classes? Is coding to learn shifting your learning organization from the traditional model? What are your ideas for participating in Hour of Code?