Counterpoint, replacing foreign language in high school with computer coding

There’s no sign that computers will ever go away. As such, it’s becoming increasingly important for schools to start offering computer coding as a larger part of education

With the current system, it can be hard to fit new material into the curriculum. However, Florida has found a way around this by proposing a bill which would allow it’s state high schools to offer classes in coding as an alternative to learning a foreign language.

This has caused a lot of controversy as to whether or not such a substitution is a good idea.

From kindergarten to high school, we’re taught subjects that are intended to nurture our minds or are considered important enough for everyone in the country to learn.

In our society, computers are heavily relied on by most people. So why isn’t learning how these machines function as important as learning advanced arithmetic or a second language?

Every day, new breakthroughs are made which allow a deeper integration of computers in our lives. From the phones in our pockets to the Internet of things revolution, this technology powers our modern world.

According to a 2013 U.S. government census, almost 84 percent of U.S. households had a desktop or laptop. Additionally, 63 percent owned handheld computer.

At the heart of all this, is coding. Coding allows every form of our computing world to function and the technology industry is still expanding rapidly. As computers become an ever-increasing part of our daily lives, it’s also becoming necessary for everyone to learn how computers, websites, and programs function.

Learning to code has numerous benefits. One of the more obvious ones, is the ability to create programs, video games, phone applications, or websites. It also allows the programming of home computers, car computers, and engineering robotic systems.

This opens the door for many career opportunities.

“An estimated 135,000 jobs are opening over the next nine years in just the software development field,” according to U.S. News..

In addition, knowing code has advantages for a freelancer or an entrepreneur who wouldn’t otherwise have the resources to get their voice or product discovered.

However, not everyone will go into coding as a career, become a freelancer, or start a business. That doesn’t mean that everyone shouldn’t learn how to code.

Students at the Lewis and Clark Elementary School in Missouri have been using code to create interactive stories.

“Coding teaches students problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, math, and collaboration,” a Lewis and Clark school official said..

Brian Heese, director of the Corporate Work Study Program at Cristo Rey New York High School said that learning computer programming causes students to form good working habits. These include applying logic to problems, persisting at tasks, and checking your own work.

Keith Heggart, a high school teacher and iPhone application developer supports teaching code to kids.

“The computer’s true power as an educational medium lies in the ability to facilitate and extend children’s awesome natural ability,” Heggart said.

With so many benefits, it’s hard to see why coding is meeting so much resistance. Especially if you understand that it’s only being suggested as an alternative to learning a foreign language, not a required part of the high school curriculum.

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