UA-76843172-1

The future of technology: teaching code

Emily Hepner
Features Writer

There are always tons of videos being shared on Facebook; these videos can be anything from a friend’s favorite band to the current craze of the Harlem Shake. Earlier this week on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg shared a video to his followers that was actually worth watching.
The video was entitled “What Most Schools Don’t Teach” and it is about an organization he supports called Code.org. This organization, with a growing support group, wants there to be a larger number of computer programming classes in schools and would like to one day see everyone have the ability to code.
When most people hear the words “computer programming” or “coding,” it can intimidate them when it really shouldn’t. “Coding is easy and when you see your code work for the first time, you feel proud of yourself,” said sophomore Hannah Prelas.

Code.org supports teaching children computer code at a young age to prepare them for future jobs.
Code.org supports teaching children computer code at a young age to prepare them for future jobs.

Bill Gates, another big name supporter for Code.org, says that all you need to know is “addition and subtraction” to be successful in coding. The website itself is dedicated to educating those who want to be educated in computer programming. On the website they have a fun and free classroom, called the Codecademy, on how to learn various forms of code. One of them is to teach people how to build their own website with HTML and CSS.
There are also lessons on programming languages such as JavaScript, Ruby and Python, but there is still more. Khan Academy is also a part of the website and teaches students how to edit code. At the bottom of the Code.org page are multiple links to online universities that will teach you more about computer science, links to websites that will teach you how to hack and how to build your own app, and even links to apps that can teach kids as young as four about various computer puzzles and programs.
But why is this something that should be in more schools? Only one out of ten schools offer computer programming classes. “My high school offered AP classes in computer programming and I have seen it be very successful,” said junior Alex Davis.
It is also one of the fastest growing job fields, and with our world so intertwined with technology, it is not a surprise. About 60 percent of science and math jobs are computer programming jobs, but only two percent of college students are majoring in computer programming. What this equates to is that there are going to be one million more computer jobs than there will be students by the year 2020.
“Kids should be learning how to use the basics of a computer while they are in elementary school. It is so important that students are educated on computer programming because it is the new job that we need so many people for,” said Davis.
In the video previously mentioned, one of the supporters, Bronwen Grimes, makes a point for computers saying, “Computers are everywhere. Do you want to work in agriculture? Do you want to work in entertainment?…It’s just all over.”
If you know of a school that does not have any computer programming classes, go to Code.org to get that school involved, or if you are an educator who would like your students to know about coding or computer programming, you can show the video “What Most Schools Don’t Teach” to your classroom for free. With a future ahead of us that is being coded by the computer world, why not get involved and get educated?