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Coding is cool (& crucial to businesses, economies)

You’ve heard about it, right? Code.org‘s “Hour of Code” that’s going on right now (Dec. 9-13)? People may not have to know how to write it to create an app, but learning how to write code benefits economies as well as learners. Code.org, which is a nonprofit organization that aims to get computer science into more US schools, is sending that message in a big way this week, as, “all across the United States, kids are discovering the joy of coding,” reports teacher Jo-Ann Fox at HuffingtonPost.com. [As of this writing, Code.org says 8.7 million people “have learned an hour of code,” and students have written 260.9 million lines of code.]

There will be jobs for coders. In fact, businesspeople are saying that there aren’t enough coders for all the jobs. “According to the Code.org [started by businesspeople because of this problem], there is a widening gap in the number of students in college earning a computer science degree and an ever-growing need for jobs relating to computing. Code.org predicts that by 2020 there will be 1 million more jobs than students in the computer science field.”

But what about all the other things schools have to teach? In her article, Fox has that covered. Because schools all over the US have adopted the Common Core academic standards, they have to fold the “4 Cs” into instruction: “creating, thinking critically, communicating and collaborating.” Coding doesn’t even have to be a 5th “C.” “Teaching your students how to code embodies the 4 Cs,” Fox writes. “In addition, learning to code requires higher level thinking skills such as evaluating, predicting, inferring, and analyzing, which are skills that weave through all content areas.” She doesn’t know how to write code, so she’s learning how alongside her students this week. And there are apps for that! In her article, she shares what they are, along with some other resources helpful to learners of any age.

Here’s the amazing “Hour of Code” video, featuring lots of supporters (and coders) of all ages and professions, including President Obama!

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