Coding, computer programming, programming, and software engineering are all used to describe the process of creating a set of instructions for a computer to follow in order to accomplish a task. Given the fact that almost every American encounters numerous computers in many forms throughout a day, coding is very important. So why aren't most schools teaching coding to kids? A Push to Boost Computer Science Learning, Even At An Earlier Age states "that the new Common Core state standards promote no significant computer science content in either math or science." Without a true location in curriculum, should teachers be including coding? My answer is emphatically…YES!
Coding is problem-solving at its finest. Coding is taking a problem, writing a set of computer instructions to solve the problem, and ensuring that they are executed properly. Do we need to teach problem-solving in schools? Isn’t that what future employers want our students to be able to do? Critical thinking and problem solving is part of 21st Century Skills which most schools are recognizing as imperative to teach. England is mandating computer programming in primary and secondary schools according to Teaching our children to code: a quiet revolution. Take a moment to watch the video below on What Most Schools Don't Teach.
So, how does a teacher incorporate coding into their class? There are many ways that are both educational and fun, some without a computer. There is a fantastic article that shares 15+ Ways of Teaching Every Student to Code (Even Without a Computer). This article shares many different experiences that cover every grade level and varying technology resources that are available within schools (check out the video below on My Robotic Friends - unplugged activity for one "unplugged" activity).
I suggest every teacher take 1 hour to code with their students, even once in the school year, because it will empower the next generation with problem-solving skills that go beyond the curriculum.