During my first year at University, I began to start thinking about if and why we should teach kids how to code.
Having studied Foreign Languages and Literature with a focus on pedagogy, I had the opportunity to develop my passion for both linguistics and teaching; moreover, a couple of years ago I started working as Recruiter in the IT and E-commerce field and I’ve seen the high demand for coding skills in our society and the lack of professionals in this field. I started wondering how we could best solve this gap in the coming years.
My conclusion is that we should teach kids from Primary school how to code.
I agree that not everyone has the “gift” of being good with technology and we were not all born as engineers,(and it’s not my case for sure) but I think that with all the advances in technology, everyone should have the opportunity of being able to know- even if just from the basics- how a computer/mobile/tablet etc. works and be able to customise it according to personal needs.
I remember how angry I used to get in front of a Word document trying to make it look good enough but, after having discovered Latex, I wrote all my thesis with it (with some frustration at the beginning because I had never worked at customising a document like that) but in the end it was MY product. MY THESIS. And that was true satisfaction!
Now that I think back on it, I would have really loved to have had someone teaching me that since an early age and be very independent even in writing documents. I’m not saying that we should get rid of books and of the Art class but that we should make technology more and more accessible to kids (of course, adapting it to their age).
If we want to see numbers on the market, studies predict that in 2020 we are going to be short of 1,000,000,000 coders.
How are we going to deal with this gap? I believe by educating children from an early age; this would enable everyone to get in touch with this specific field and cultivate a potential passion.
Also, it would make them able to UNDERSTAND the products they are using and be able to “forge them according to their needs”.
I myself wasn’t really interested in Computer Science some years ago, but after having studied Computational Linguistics and having seen how much technology is changing our society, I can’t but see the necessity of educating everyone on this topic.
What do you think: should we or should we not teach technology to kids at an early age?
Photo by Lucélia Ribeiro (Creative Commons)