Deep into the digital age, the need for everyone to understand and learn programming is becoming more and more apparent. Codecademy, Coursera and other education start-ups are stepping in to fill the much-needed gap to teach adults to code. For kids, non-profits like CodeNow are raising funds to run summer programming camps for minority high school students, while other organizations like Girls Who Code are working on getting middle and high school girls interested in computer science.
While these are all worthwhile endeavors, each is working to fix what's broken – teaching an essential skill that's not taught in most schools. Learning to program has been relegated to summer camps and through programs that exist because of fundraising. But there's a case to be made about using school time, school computers, and school funding to teach programming to every student. And to start early: Programming is just writing in the language of computers, so why not teach kids to code like we teach them to write?
Sheena Vaidyanathan teaches 3D design and computer programming to students in the Los Altos School District in California.