Retail sales and truck driving are two of the most common jobs in America. They are also jobs that may eventually be automated. That’s why David Delmar, executive director and founder of Resilient Coders, said, “Coding is the new blue-collar job.”
Accepting that reality, though, means that a lot has to change about how we educate kids. Yet, “For most states and school districts, the notion of computer science for every student is a relatively new and unexplored topic,” according to Code.org.
Even though there are currently 530,472 open computing jobs nationwide, only 42,969 computer science students graduated into the workforce last year.
Technology has certainly made its way into schools, and more educators are using various devices to enhance education. Using these devices has helped to shift the way parents and teachers think about public education and the need for computer science courses in schools, but it’s been slow going.
In 2016, a steering committee initially comprised of the Computer Science Teachers Association, the Association for Computing Machinery and Code.org joined forces with educators and administrators to develop a new framework that defines computer science. Despite their joint efforts, “Only 35 states allow students to count computer science courses toward high school graduation.”
That statistic wouldn’t shock the innovative thinkers at ThinkFun who believe, “Students begin their computer science education with significant conceptual hurdles to overcome that our education system does not prepare them for.”
Mark Engelberg, educator, former NASA engineer, game inventor, and consultant for ThinkFun, sees great value in programming education, particularly when it is taught in less traditional ways.
Given the chance to learn through games helps children understand real-world problems and approach them in logical, computational, and mathematical terms.
“Math, science, and the arts, each of these give students a powerful new lens…