A nationwide push is underway, says the New York Times to have coding become a basic skill among school children and have them learn it alongside the three R’s.
A nonprofit organization, Code.org is redefining coding and has already been adopted by 20,000 kindergarten and 12th grade teachers. Research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, Natalie Rusk, helped develop an open-source program known as Scratch. New York Times says it is a programming platform where kids can learn to code their own video games and animation. The kids can communicate with one another and share their own how-to tips.
“One of the key reasons to broaden participation is to get more diversity of who is designing these technologies,” said Rusk. She went on to say it is being presented as ‘Learn how to program’ rather than ‘What do you want to program?’
For a while, most parents have been concerned about their kids playing too much video games and the influence it has on the child’s mind. However, educators today are now thinking that gaming could get girls interested in coding and possible increase the number of girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
Founder of the nonprofit organization Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani said to New York Times, “We have to meet them where they are.”
One game appealing to everyone, especially young girls is Minecraft, developed by Mojang from Sweden. In the game, players can build mods of their own using Java. To read more, go to NYTimes.com