Why should coding be implemented into the curriculum?

Manya Kidambi ‘18
EE  Co-Managing Editor

img_9808Technology. It’s simply a necessity in life that many of us cannot live without. Technology makes our lives simple and more orderly, and assists us immensely in our day to day activities.

People all over the world have access to a multitude of technology, including smartphones, computers, and even virtual reality devices, which can certainly help to augment the world around us. Because technology is such a vital part to our everyday success, it is essential for people to use it and express their creativity in the devices that they use.

In one sense, computers are just like people. Users input information into the computer using a variety of programming languages, such as Java, C++. and Python, to name a few. These programming languages, if learned at a young age, can help students to express their creativity and even design their own programs, which is excellent.

In recent years, the goal is to involve more girls in computer science, because many of them lose interest at an early age and want to go into other professions.

Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls who Code, an organization to get girls more involved in coding, said that “if girls can’t see themselves in these professions, they’re not going to choose to pursue them. And that also extends to inside classrooms, where coding is rarely offered to students in general, much less focusing on girls…”

Essentially, it is imperative that school systems across America implement coding into their curriculum, because it is most definitely an asset that students will learn to cherish in the future. Simply starting at an AP Computer Science class in high school is not enough.

In an article by Edudemic, it was mentioned that “first, students should learn basic coding in middle school. Then, high school students would build off of this early education and learn more advanced coding. This would allow students to develop the skills that would make them better prepared for a modern technology job and allow them to develop their computational thinking.”

Previous exposure to the subject is what stimulates a student’s mind and gives them the inspiration to keep working at it.

This computational thinking is what is truly gained from the coding experience. The article also mentioned that “this type of thought is used in fields ranging from engineering to music, and the combination of computational thinking and code controls many basic aspects of modern life, such as phone calls, health records, and network‐connected home heating.” Clearly, the benefits of coding are linked to other fields as well.

Although it may seem as if implementing this could be a huge challenge, there really isn’t much to it. There are a plethora of free websites available where students can practice their coding, and many of these include fun projects that can be both rewarding and educational.

Codeacademy.com is one of these websites. It offers mini-courses in many programming languages with a step by step guide on how to perfect each step without error. Although there may be a few bugs in the program someone designs, the website makes debugging easy and fun.

The instruction of coding in the classroom is also relatively easy, because the instructor simply has to get the students started with one of these websites if he or she has no experience. Because students might be tempted to skip doing the work during class, the teacher can check individual projects to ensure that students did their work.

Personally, I know that coding has impacted my life in many ways. It is such a vital asset in making one’s life more creative and exciting, and with programming languages such as Python, coding really isn’t that hard. The satisfaction of watching your program run successfully without error is truly a wonderful feeling, and it would be very admirable to give this feeling to other students.

What can we do as a school system? Well, there are many steps we can take. First, coding should be introduced at a younger age. In middle school, there is a course called Information Processing that essentially teaches word processing and other skills to students. Without a doubt, the addition of a unit on coding would be extremely helpful, and allow students to do something creative instead of following a script.

Furthermore, coding should not simply be simple – it should build on skills that are already learned. For example, in 6th grade, students can learn how to print basic sentences, and by 8th grade, they will be adequately prepared to take the AP course in high school, as well as have a sufficient knowledge of coding.

If our school system implements coding projects into the curriculum, there is no doubt that students will be technologically adroit as well as prepared to function in the real world. It is a relatively easy addition to the curriculum that could help incur interest in a multitude of students from different backgrounds, which only helps to make our world a better place. And truly, it is more fun than anything. For more information, please see www.codeacademy.com to view the types of projects that available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hit Counter provided by Los Angeles SEO