Red Rocket's George Deeb has recently been working with his local school administrators to emphasize the importance of learning to code technology, which he feels is a major void in the current core K-12 curriculum, one which is designed for a different era of students and eventual workers. As part of that, he was invited in to present this concept to the fourth graders in the school, which is shown in this video. So, although the message was delivered in a student friendly way, the message should equally resonate with parents, teachers and school administrators.
We share this video with you, because we feel every student in our country needs to learn the basics of coding technology by the time they graduate high school, the reasons of which are shared in this video. If you feel this message resonates with you and you want to make a difference in your own schools, please share this video with your local school administrators. Hopefully, our collective efforts in our respective school districts, will make a collective difference in our schools at the national level, and help lay the foundation for a strong economy of well-employed workers for generations to come.
George Deeb Evangelizes Adding Tech Coding to Core K-12 Curriculum from Red Rocket Ventures.
If you prefer to have something in writing to share with your schools, below is a synopsis of what was covered in the video:
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF GETTING AN EDUCATION
- To increase your intelligence, and gain skills that will enable you to get a good job when you graduate?
KEY TRENDS—HIGH LEVEL JOB MARKET
- The rising cost of living, is making it harder for people to retire. (define cost of living)
- When people don’t retire, it makes it harder for many college graduates to find good jobs
- And, with the rising cost of college education, many college graduates build up big college loans without finding a job that can help them pay back those loans (define loan).
KEY TRENDS—TECHNOLOGY & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
- But, the technology industry is exploding with lots of open jobs
- Over 100,000 open tech jobs in Chicago alone, up 2x in the last year alone
- And, these tech jobs are in such short supply, not enough trained technologists, the ones that are trained quickly have companies competiting for them, and paying them big salaries in the $100-$200K range
- This is fueled by technology companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and 1000’s of others you have never heard of
- Technologies are even taking over non-technical industries like manufacturing via IoT, further accelerating the amount of companies that need technology coders
- The technology coding demand is highest around studying large amounts of data and driving insights that can help make better business decisions
- And, the U.S. are competing in a global ecosystem of businesses—up against companies in China, India and beyond, where others a growing technology skills a lot faster than the U.S.
- In fact, the United Kingdom just required every student to learn how to code by the time they graduate from high school, in their core curriculum
- Even the Chicago Public School system has followed suit, rolling out coding into its curriculum this last year. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to ensure all kids learn to code, as vital to their success.
WHAT IS CODING?
- It is not playing with your iPad or the apps therein.
- It is coding the apps therein, writing the scripts that make the apps do what they do—the layouts, the colors, the movements, the content, etc.
- And, although Kodable and Code.org teaches you how to think like a coder, through games. It really isn’t teaching you to write the code itself.
- We are talking about learning new technology languages with crazy names like HTML, Java, Python and Ruby on Rails. There are literally hundreds of technology languages one could learn, based on the need of the technology.
SO, WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
- Learning to code by the time you graduate from high school, ensures that you will easily be able to find a job, especially for the many families that can’t afford to send their kids to college, or don’t want to take on the big college debts without the certainty of finding a job.
WHAT ARE MY PERSONAL CONCERNS?
- Most schools are not required to teach coding in the core curriculum, and many local parents in our district are trying to change that
- The fear is kids today are going to graduate from high school without the skills they really need for this next generation of jobs. And, if they can’t find jobs, that will ultimately hurt the U.S. economy and our country’s competitive position with the global economy.
- And, there are hurdles when adding new stuff to curriculum, like what other subjects are you going to cut?
- Where I think we can be creative—for art give the choice of pottery or digital design, for language give a choice of Spanish or HTML
- Or, we can even be creative and offer extended class days, weekend programs or summer camps if it is important enough to you kids and your parents
WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?
- We are trying to get technology coding formally added to the core curriculum in our district as part of the school’s STEM programs. So, hopefully, exciting news to come in the future.
- In the meantime, there are plenty of other resources you can take advantage of outside of school, where you can learn how to code: online websites, summer camps, etc.
- The school and the parents are going to really work hard to get you more coding experience for all the reasons discussed today
- But, if we are can’t get it fast enough, take control of your own destiny, and ask your parents to find you coding classes after school or on the weekends, or coding camps in the summer
- And, make sure your parents tell the school how much you are interested in learning stuff like this, so we can help accelerate our efforts, not only in our district, but for the whole state, if a successful pilot program can be done in our district.
- Coding is no longer a nice to know, it is a NEED to know. This is really important to your future, and I want to see you all succeed—not only today, but 8 years from now when you graduate from high school. And, it all starts now!!
Be sure to read my companion piece that I wrote for Entrepreneur Magazine: K-12 Curriculum Needs Major Overhaul to Develop Entrepreurship Skills.
For future posts, please follow George on Twitter at: @georgedeeb.