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Many CEOs, entrepreneurs, and educators believe that coding for kids should be mandatory in all K-12 schools. Here are some of their thoughts on the topic:

 

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Facebook

“When I was growing up, a lot of people thought coding was something only nerds like me did. But today it’s clear that coding is a basic skill and is something everyone should be able to do, like reading. It’s something every school should teach.”

 

Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group

“Whether we’re fighting climate change or going to space, everything is moved forward by computers, and we don’t have enough people who can code. Teaching young people to code early on can help build skills and confidence and energize the classroom with learning-by-doing opportunities. I learned how to fly a hot air balloon when I was 30,000 feet up and my life was in the balance: you can learn skills at any age but why wait when we can teach everyone to code now!”

 

Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube

“Learning to code makes kids feel empowered, creative, and confident. If we want our young women to retain these traits into adulthood, a great option is to expose them to computer programming in their youth.”

 

will.i.am, Musician/The Black Eyed Peas and Entrepreneur

“Here we are, 2013, we ALL depend on technology to communicate, to bank, and none of us know how to read and write code. It’s important for these kids, right now, starting at 8 years old, to read and write code.”

 

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook

“An understanding of computer science is becoming increasingly essential in today’s world. Our national competitiveness depends upon our ability to educate our children—and that includes our girls—in this critical field.”

 

Mitch Resnick, Educator/Inventor, Scratch

“Our society expects that everyone should learn to write, even though very few become professional writers. Similarly, I think that everyone should learn how to program, even though very few will become professional programmers.”

 

Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce

“Learning to code at a young age opened my eyes to the incredibly exciting world of technology and entrepreneurship. Our youth deserve the opportunity to learn the skills that will enable them to succeed in our connected world.”

 

Wendy Kopp, CEO, Teach for America

“Ensuring that our nation’s urban and rural children have the chance to become proficient in computer science is a sure way to set them on a trajectory to great career options. We need to do this to close the digital divide and level the playing field.”

 

Sal Khan, Founder, Khan Academy

To prepare humanity for the next 100 years, we need more of our children to learn computer programming skills, regardless of their future profession. Along with reading and writing, the ability to program is going to define what an educated person is.”

 

Stephen Hawking, Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, and Author

“Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn.”

 

Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple 

“Everyone should know how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think!”

 

Max Levchin, CEO and Co-founder, PayPal

“Learning to code will be a huge booster for your future, no matter what your professional plans may be. Learning to code will also make you extremely cool”

 

Hilary Mason, Founder, Fast Forward Labs

“I believe technology should give us superpowers. Everyone should have the opportunity to learn to think, analyze, and create with technology.”

 

Bill Mitchell, Director of Education, BCS

When you learn physics, you think about physics. But when you learn computing, you’re thinking about thinking. About how thinking works. You have to try to imagine how this computer is going to do something for you. There are lots of transferable skills.”


 

Convinced yet?

Coding for kids is starting to gain steam around the world. Estonia was the first country to jump on board. The birthplace of Skype, Estonia began teaching coding for kids in 2012. In September 2014, the UK replaced its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) with computing, making it mandatory to teach coding for kids ages of 5 to 16. Finland introduced kids coding in fall of 2016, and now other countries including Italy, Holland and Australia are planning overhauls as well.

Meanwhile, the US has fallen behind. While the Obama Administration has made statements in support of kids computer programming, there has been no significant progress outside of the Hour of Code Initiative. Only 26 US states recognize high school computer science courses as credits toward graduation requirements, and in most US schools coding for kids is not offered at all.

 

1 Comment

  1. AvatarMADELINE COCCAGNA on November 27, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    How can I possibly respond to the obvious benefits of coding? Most people in positions to affect change know nothing about real education. It took years before politicians recognized the need for reading instruction, special education and science and yes, computer education! Unless and until policy makers learn the true value of coding, we will remain behind other countries who put education in the forefront .

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