Coding for everyone? - Sensible idea or not?

Coding is becoming more and more relevant. Whether or not all should learn how to code is something we're discussing here.

The question is available in a hundred versions and in many places in education and training there is a passionate discussion about whether programming is the most important skill to learn?

Also with me the question arises about sense and nonsense of statements like "Is coding the most important world language? So I put my thoughts on paper (is that what it means on the web? ;).

Please let me start with children. Always in terms of programming, of course. When Seymour Papert formulated the thesis in the 60's that children should learn with computers with the aim of "...enhancing creativity, innovation, and "concretizing" computational thinking." he was definitely ridiculed as a crazy exotic.

Then about 20 years ago Steve Jobs said, "Everyone should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think." And you're tempted to stop at that statement. Coding is simply another important competence.

But for me it is more and I recommend the fascinating work of Linda Liukas with children to all of you: Hello Ruby. The very worth seeing TED video about it: A delightful way to teach kids about computers.

Video zum Thema: A delightful way to teach kids about computers.

There is much more to it than "another language" or that it is just a skill. Our children's book project "Coding with Cody" showed that.

Sense or nonsense?

From the children's point of view, there is no reason not to learn how to code. With programs everything is possible and only the imagination sets the limits. Or as the developers of Cubetto put it: "Coding for kids is a fundamentally creative process; starting with nothing and finishing with something".

Programming also learns how a problem-solving process works. For children playfully and in small steps. They learn programming exploratively. This makes the excursion into coding the school of thought of the 21st century: "In teaching the computer how to think, children embark on an exploration about how they think themselves," said Papert in 1981.

And increasingly there are programs everywhere, so I want to know what is possible and what is not. I want to know how machines work!

Only the grown-ups make it complicated. They want to explain the combustion engine in detail, but they stretch their feelers, dismiss code as magic and declare computers too complicated.

This attitude can only be wrong. Therefore my clear vote is not to slam the door, but to put myself on black ice and to understand "computational thinking" as the production of fine bread.

Coding is fantasy, school of thought and the ability to understand the future!

By the way, Namics is currently working on a "coding course" for children 4-6 and their parents as part of Smartfeld, which we will be running in autumn 2018. Without screen with a very charming programmable robot called Cubetto.

Thanks for your opinions!

PS: And finally, please answer the following question for me: "How to make a toast". The "right" answer is structured in such a way that a computer could execute it. Pseudo code that shows how the respondent structures his instructions. And this is what it looks like when a teacher plays it through with his class: Program your teacher to make a jam sandwich.