ArticleDownload Worksheet March 20th, 2013
Techies Urge Kids to Learn Code
Published March 18, 2013
Schools across America teach all sorts of languages: French, Latin, Spanish, even Chinese. However, there’s one language that 9 out of 10 schools don’t teach: coding, or the language of computers.
Writing in code instructs a computer to do certain tasks and functions. Computer programming commands are the basis for how websites are built, video games are created, software is developed and more.
Now, pioneers of technology have come together with celebrities to stress the importance of learning to code. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and other tech innovators have collaborated to create Code.org, which provides programming classes for students.
Code.org encourages students to take free online coding classes and to push their schools to offer lessons to help students learn skills they’ll need for the modern, technology-driven workforce.
Cool to be a nerd
Code.org also hopes to combat the old “computer nerd” stereotype. It argues that almost every career field has already been changed by technology, and people with all sorts of interests can benefit from learning code.
Music, news, entertainment, health and medicine, banking, graphic design, fashion, science and race car driving are just a few of the industries that rely heavily on computer programming.
Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and basketball star Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat have taken classes in coding. Bosh was a member of the “Wiz Kids” club at school and faced teasing from his peers because of it. His response to bullies? “Man, I don’t care – I think it’s cool, and you know, I’m learning a lot.” Bosh went on to study computer programming in college before leaving for the NBA.
Will.i.am is learning code now, and can’t believe he waited so long. “Here we are, 2013. We all depend on technology – to communicate, to bank, for information – and none of us know how to read and write code.”
An artist for Valve, the company behind video games like “Half-Life” and “Portal”, thinks learning to code is just like learning to read, and argues that “you don’t have to be a genius to code!”
“Addition. Subtraction. That’s about it,” says Bill Gates.
In a tough job market, coders find employment
The founders of Code.org also have a selfish motive: they have lots of jobs to fill, and not enough job applicants who know how to code. Computer programmers are highly sought after, so finding a job that pays well is no problem for those who know programming languages.
Companies often try to lure and keep coders with perks like top-notch chefs in the dining halls and game rooms with video games and ping-pong tables. Code.org hopes that students will see that learning to code can help them achieve their career goals and master the skills needed to work in a fast-paced technological world, and maybe even skateboard down the hallways at work.
— Compiled by Elise Garofalo for NewsHour Extra
Submit Your Student Voice
Tooltip of RSS content 3
Women’s March protesters march on Washington, around world
Hundreds of thousands of protesters converged on Washington, D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.protestWomen's March on Washingtonwomen's rights
Tweets from classes on Inauguration Day
High school students traveled from across the U.S. to attend President Donald Trump’s inauguration on…Donald TrumpGovernment & CivicsinaugurationSocial Studies
Donald Trump sworn in as 45th president
At noon on Friday, Donald Trump was sworn into office by Chief Justice John Roberts on the steps of the United States Capitol Building.Donald TrumpGovernment & CivicsInauguration DayU.S. presidency
How to watch Inauguration Day 2017 with your students
On Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Find out where to watch the events with your class. Continue readingGovernment & CivicsinaugurationPresidency
Education nominee Betsy DeVos faces questions on school choice
The confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, saw many questions about her support of school choice and charters. Continue readingBetsy DeVosDonald Trumpeducation