As discussions about the importance of both STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) education and career and technical education (CTE) continue to increase, a greater emphasis is being placed on the role of coding in classroom instruction. So much so that earlier this year, President Barack Obama called for all children to learn coding while in school.
To many, coding is simply a task that can be quickly taught, similar to long division. And to others, it is a head-scratcher as to how it is to be taught in a k-12 classroom and how best to prepare the many teachers that will be needed to teach it.
Those inspiring educators that are already providing students instruction in coding know that the subject is far more complex than it seems. They also know that, when done correctly, coding is more than just a task. It is a gateway to critical thinking and to teamwork. And it serves as an important linkage between a student’s interest in a topic such as video games to an appreciation for how that interest can be turned into a meaningful career.
Recently, National Public Radio examined what the focus on coding in the classroom truly means. NPR found that there is much more to the topic than many see.
As educators across the country explore new and dynamic ways to add coding instruction to their STEM and CTE instruction, it is important we see all the benefits that it can provide, to the student, to the educator, and to the nation as a whole. The demand for coding literacy will only continue to grow in our digital, information economy. It’s important our schools and our educators are prepared to meet such a demand.
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