How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding Into American Classrooms

From the NY Times post:

“At a White House gathering of tech titans last week, Timothy D. Cook, the chief executive of Apple, delivered a blunt message to President Trump on how public schools could better serve the nation’s needs. To help solve a “huge deficit in the skills that we need today,” Mr. Cook said, the government should do its part to make sure students learn computer programming.

“Coding,” Mr. Cook told the president, “should be a requirement in every public school.”

The Apple chief’s education mandate was just the latest tech company push for coding courses in schools. But even without Mr. Trump’s support, Silicon Valley is already advancing that agenda — thanks largely to the marketing prowess of, an industry-backed nonprofit group.”



A $119 Computer and Coding Kit for All Ages

Computers are fun and coding can be fun, but it’s often not. Then, comes Kano. It’s a simple any-age computer Kit for $99 ($119 includes shipping). It doesn’t come with a monitor, you’ll need to supply your own, but that’s hardly a challenge when you’ve got a simple learning platform to code your own games.


Chicago Schools Offering Coding To Elementary, High School Students

Parents and students alike can have more confidence that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) are preparing kids for the job market as the district makes computer science a compulsory subject in high school. CPS is addressing the need for a more technology-based education by partnering with a nonprofit that promotes education in the tech field in order to provide additional training to teachers.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that every district high school will offer an introductory computer science class within three years under the K-12 computer science education plan. Additionally, half of all high schools will offer an Advanced Placement computer science course within five years.
Under the program, computer science will no longer be an elective course at high schools. Students will have the tools needed to build computer applications and programs in classes in elementary schools as part of the plan, which is also meant to close the digital divide as well as gender and skills gaps.
According to officials of Advanced Placement computer classes, 20% are women and about 10% are African-American or Latino. In addition, they cited that by 2020, there will be 760,000 new jobs in the U.S. requiring computer and information technology skills — but only 40,000 graduates with computer science degrees, according to estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Heavy Hitters Encourage Students to Learn Coding in New Video

Zuckerberg.  Gates.  Will.I.Am.  Do I have your attention yet?  These heavy hitters from Facebook, Microsoft and the Black Eyed Peas appear in a new video encouraging students to learn coding. is a non-profit focused on computer programming education to encourage students to take coding classes.

Best takeaway quote from the video courtesy Mr. I.Am., “Here we are, 2013.  We all depend on technology to communicate, to bank, information, and none of us know how to read and write code.”

Amen, brother.

And as points out at the end of the video, one million jobs in America may go unfilled because 90% of schools don’t teach students how to code.


The Face of the Learn-to-Code Movement

Good piece on GigaOm about Codeacademy’s CEO and co-founder, Zach Sims, who has become the face of the fledgling learn-to-code movement.

My takeaway from the piece:

“Codecademy may not have been the first to ignite an interest in coding, but Sims has played an active role in fanning it.  When he talks about Codecademy, it isn’t just in terms of the Ruby, Python and JavaScript courses that they offer. He puts algorithms right up there with reading, writing and math as measures of basic literacy (even if people don’t learn to write algorithms, he believes they should still understand how they can be used). Codecademy, to hear it from Sims, isn’t just a platform for getting coding lessons — it’s a way to stay relevant in a changing world. And programmers aren’t just another class of skilled workers; they’re the drivers of the future economy.”

Laura Baverman Nails It re: Kids Coding

Great article on the BizJournals website from Laura Baverman about why kids should code and why tech startups should teach them.

Couldn’t agree more, Laura.

Great takeaway from the piece – “There’s no doubt that kids, who understand the function of an iPad by age 3, will respond more quickly and over time, more creatively. Considering this country’s drought of youth in STEM careers, and the role of computers in all four of STEM’s disciplines, understanding and writing computer code could become as important as reading and writing, period.”