Technology is one of the most important factors in shaping modern society and culture. Software and web based information permeate all aspects of our lives. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for software related jobs is expected to rise 22% by 2022. That is twice the average growth of any other work field. Currently the job market is doing its best to catch up to this high demand, but talent is still hard to find.
And there’s the irony of it all. Our lives are saturated with technology, and yet most people are completely in the dark about how any of it works. People are intimidated by the idea of programming and assume it is a field they could never enter, and this ignorance has been detrimental to the pool of technology talent. We need to break down this misconception and make programming more accessible.
The question, however, is what needs to be done to correct this situation? And who is going to do it? There are numerous websites that offer free coding lessons, but unfortunately these sites will never be able to solve the problem. Quality of learning is directly related to the quality of the instruction and therefore hands-on, personal guidance and mentorship is key to producing students who are capable of succeeding in the technology field. In fact, the best way to close the gap between the supply and demand for technology, is to start early: provide kids with the opportunity to learn to code.
Programs such as CodeHS in San Antonio are making a difference, and the response is amazing! I spoke with Chelsey Cook, the STEM Magnet Coordinator last semester from Highlands HS in San Antonio, and she could not believe the change in the students that came from teaching programming.
“CodeHS has given our students unlimited opportunities. Our students have started doing homework without being asked. They can’t wait to work ahead and get to the next level. In addition, they started collaborating more during class and helping their peers. Our highest students passionately teach students with lower scores. We’ve noticed their math skills and processing skills increase dramatically. We’re excited for them to start building apps and websites. They are taking creativity to a whole new level. We couldn’t be more proud - they’re owning their own learning!”
Programs such as these are necessary to provide the next generation with opportunities to join the technology industry. As our economy moves forward, computer programming allows for virtually limitless possibilities. We need kids to become involved at an early age, to harness their imaginations, to hone their skills, and to come up with the next big technological breakthroughs that will make a difference in our world.
At Turner Logic, we want to make programming more accessible to kids. On August 9, 2014 we are hosting an event called CodeKids, where we will teach 30 middle schoolers how to make a simple web based game. Through personal instruction, we hope to inspire many kids to consider the endless possibilities in the technology field. #TLCodeKids
To RSVP for CodeKids, visit: http://codekids.eventbrite.com.