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Reading, Writing and Computer Coding--the Basics of the Future


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High school students working on programming problems.

Advocates are pushing for more computer science education earlier in public schools.

Credit: Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison

Celebrities including Bill Gates, Aston Kutcher, and Chris Bosh are touting the importance of learning to program in a new video for Code.org, a nonprofit that stresses the need for more computer education.

By 2020, there will be 1 million more computer jobs than computer science students in the United States, and U.S. society will be dominated by users of computers and programs that they do not understand and have not created, according to Code.org. To get more students in the coding game, advocates want to eliminate the idea that computer science is too hard or math-intensive.

Many students end up taking computer science as an elective in high school, but proponents say it is time to integrate it more heavily into curriculums and start teaching it in earlier grades.

Next fall, New York City will launch a pilot program designed to teach 1,000 middle and high school students how to code.

Code.org also wants more states to allow computer science or coding classes to count toward a high school diploma.

"Not everybody is meant to be a programmer, but more people can do it," says North Crowley High School computer science teacher G. Lynne Ryan.

From Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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