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Coding as Graduation Requirement: One School is Making it Happen

10 PRINT "Great idea!"

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Schools need to stop ignoring coding. We use computers every day. We carry tiny computers around in our pockets everywhere we go, and most people can’t even make one of them say “Hello World!” Beaver Country Day School outside of Boston is trying to change that by making coding a graduation requirement, and other schools should too.

According to Code.org, by the year 2020 there will be one million more computing jobs than computer science students. That’s a $500 billion opportunity being wasted. One solution? Just teach everyone computer science the way we teach everyone math, English, and science.

Beaver Country Day School doesn’t want its students missing out on their chunk of that $500 billion so they’re teaching them all to code. All of them. Every student. Every. Single. One.

Coding has been worked into the Beaver curriculum across a number of subjects. It’s in everything from art to math, because that’s the thing about computers — they’re everywhere. Still, 9 out of 10 schools don’t teach coding, and 36 out of 50 states don’t count computer science towards math or science requirements for graduation. (Again, Code.org’s statistics.) That needs to stop.

Beaver produced a gorgeous video titled “The Coded Curriculum” to show off their new strategy and to emphasize the importance of coding in the classroom. Take a look:

They’re even lobbying to do a panel at next year’s SXSWedu festival. You can vote for the panel or see what they’re up against here. They hope to answer three questions with the panel:

How can schools ensure that every student, regardless of what classes he or she elects to take, learns to write code?

How can teachers incorporate coding concepts into their everyday classes?

What impact does coding as a core aspect of the educational curriculum have on students as they prepare for their futures?

They seem like questions worth answering.

Seriously. Other schools. Get on board.

(via The Coded Curriculum, image via Beaver Country Day School)

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