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EdTech: Chicago Goes All-In For Computer Coding

image from farm8.staticflickr.comThere's a big national push to get US kids to learn how to code computer programs going on, as you may have noticed (see Google News roundup here).  

You know, there are lots of programming jobs out there, and we need more American kids to program the drones and teachbots of the future.

Apparently Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel thinks that CPS should join in -- by making computer coding a core academic offering.  Or at least so sayeth the Tribune and Sun Times.  

What do you think?  Excited? Fearful? A little of both?  Me, too.

I don't know of any other big city school district making this kind of announcement.

Image via Flickr HackNY 

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Good idea.

Not only will this require the districts to own the reaponsibilty for technology (rather than parents) but also computer programming is a mix of many concepts that transcend 'just technology' per se. Programs are communication with a machine that requires language skills, semantics, syntax, grammar, and all with precision. It also requires thinking in terms of solutions and of architecture. At some level, building a program is not unlike building something physical. The tools and the result are different but the process and the concepts are quite similar. Finally, understanding even a bit of the underlying technology will demystify a whole lot for many people and that will likely open up many opportunities that may never have manifested otherwise.

I think this is a smart move by the Mayor. I've started to learn basic html & css and it's already helped me a ton in my various jobs and side projects.

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