New school curriculum: reading, writing, programming?

Credit: flickr/ttarasiuk

A BBC story with over 450 comments outlines the push to make software programming a basic for British schoolchildren, as Latin once was. Can public schools teach coding?

The article, Coding – the new Latin, says Britain could become a major programming center for video games and special effects if the educational system provided better early training. Dropping enrollments in university computer science courses are being blamed, at least partially, on the public schools teaching introductory computer classes for clerical skills rather than technology.

While making coding as a foundation for further technology study is a nice goal, making computer science cool will take more work. Geeky myths are getting worse, as the number of male British computer science applicants has risen from 84 percent to 87 percent over the the past eight years. The percentage of computer science students during that time has dropped from five percent down to three percent of university students. Can earlier exposure to better technology courses reverse that trend?

Slap the schools

My experience with IT education in the UK is genuinely atrocious. During secondary school we made a spreadsheet in Excel and a couple of Word documents.

pseudonimble on news.ycombinator.com

We are teaching kids skills that they don't necessarily need to the detriment of skills that really are needed.

Sue Denim on bbc.co.uk

most IT teacher's can't code themselves so couldn't teach it effectively. Hopefully, that will change!

LosOjos on educgeek.net

When I think about all of the problems with the education system I am not sure that "teaching coding" would top that list.

tpatke on news.ycombinator.com

Slap the government

Let me guess....the government buying hundreds of thousands of PCs at £4,000 each, and buying the required software at double what it would cost from even PC World.

Aidy on bbc.co.uk

"Coding - the new Latin" is a marketing slogan. And if it breeds misunderstanding, or has to be explained, then it's not a good marketing slogan.

delinka on news.ycombinator.com

My advice is …

The simplest way would be to shove computing under the maths curriculum.

lkclarkmichalek on news.ycombinator.com

I'd say language is not overly important, and if anything, teach them two or three similar OO so they learn flexibility...

sonofsanta on edugeek.net

We're living in an exciting time when someone with a hot business idea, Javascript coding skills, and a free Amazon cloud account can get an internet application up and running in a weekend - and put out iOS and Android apps almost as quickly. That kind of freedom should be the kind of thing that appeals to kids looking for their "ticket out of the ghetto".

Paul on bbc.co.uk

I think we might have all missed an important health and safety issue first too - do we really want to be teaching our kids to get hooked on coffee?

localzuk on edugeek.net

The real question is which programming language could get by the controversial Texas schoolbook selection process.

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