Apple CEO: More computer science and coding education needed

13 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple CEO: Extra pc science and coding schooling wanted.

It could be just another day at the Apple Store at the Stanford Shopping Center — young and old huddled over the latest MacBook Airs, iPhones and iPads. Maggie Hassan is visiting a New Hampshire school to take part in “Hour of Code,” a worldwide education event that involves learning basic computer skills. Coding — writing the instructions that tell computers what to do — is a skill that is more important as students enter the competitive job market in this era of digital everything. In an interview afterward, he said that schools aren’t putting enough emphasis on computer-science education, but he has “great hope” that will change and coding will ultimately become a required class for all kids.

And if the concepts are introduced at a young age, in a fun way, it’s more likely that kids will find them cool and stay interested as they grow older, hopefully resulting in a larger and more diverse tech workforce down the road, he said. Cook added that even if kids don’t grow up to get a lucrative job in the tech industry, they’ll discover a new way to be creative and pick up important problem-solving skills along the way. AP Computer Science courses are offered at schools with more white and Asian kids at a rate 12 times higher than schools with more African-American and Latino students, according to the Level Playing Field Institute. They played coding-related games and completed exercises aimed to generate interest that organizers hope will inspire more children to pursue the field as they progress through their education. seeks to improve not only the total interest in programming, but also the diversity in the field, specifically among women and black and Hispanic students. Their teacher, Joann Khan, said Wednesday’s introduction to coding was probably a first for most of her students, noting that her school, located in Manhattan’s East Harlem neighborhood, no longer has a computer lab. She said the lessons taught through the game bring to life some of the math skills the kids are learning in her classroom, something she planned to point out to them when they returned to school. The “Hour of Code” workshop was one of many held by Apple Inc. and a slew of other technology companies around the world this week as part of a push to introduce as many kids as possible to computer science through a one-hour class. It also sends a signal about the value being placed on science and technology, said ‘s chief operating officer Cameron Wilson. “This move at the federal level is a big step towards our long-term vision: that every student in every school deserves the opportunity to learn computer science,” he wrote in a blog post.

For its event this year, offered teachers short tutorials for teaching students how to write code for the game Minecraft, to create their own Star Wars game or code with the characters Elsa and Anna from the box office hit movie, Frozen.

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