Should all students learn to code?

comments Commentstotal4
There has been a great deal of discussion over the last year about whether all students should learn to code.

No doubt you've seen this video, which was released early last year...

Inevitably we're now seeing a push back against this advice. This piece is fairly typical of argument against coding "Don't Learn to Code, Learn to Program - But Come Back in 10 Years" where the author argues that programming is hard (he's right) and messy (he's right again.) The coding landscape, particularly in web programming, seems to be constantly changing and to "keep up" requires continuous learning.

Of course, it is not like our students don't already learn "difficult things." Language learning is hard. Algebra is hard. Many other things our students currently learn are both extremely difficult to master, and also unlikely to be used later in life. When was the last time you spoke the language you learnt a school? Or solved a quadratic equation. We see value in learning these subjects as part of a rounded education, why can't we also see the value in learning to code.

A further problem with these arguments is that we are assuming that our students and children won't need to program in order to solve the problems that they want to solve. Modern technology and the Internet provides an extremely powerful communication medium for our students. In connects them to the world. Being able to program, that is to create, in this new medium, further enhances the opportunities afforded by modern technology and the Internet.

In our new world where we're all, always connected, I believe, it is brave person that suggests that our students won't want or won't need to design, create and shape their own tools..... and for that they'll most likely need to learn to code. Whether they learn in school or not.

What do you think?

Are you teaching your students to code?

Should all students learn to code?

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