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Renton students learning the language of computer coding

December 7, 2016—Right now, billions of people around the world are doing their holiday shopping online; looking through hundreds of thousands of websites for the best offers and hoping to make their gift-giving easier and less stressful. Ever stop to think how that process works? Why is so easy to navigate the world from a comfy chair? How are these websites built, and by whom? It’s all thanks to computer programmers, engineers and coders.


In an era of increasingly fast technological innovation and change, there is a growing necessity for people not only to know how to use the connected world, but also to understand how to utilize all of these things in new, innovative, and unusual ways. With this in mind, our schools are helping provide students with the right tools, thought processes and education to thrive in an entrepreneurial and innovation-led environment through computer coding classes, taught as early as elementary school. Recently, at elementary and middle schools throughout the district, students are joining others around the nation in an ‘Hour of Code.’


Code is quickly becoming one of the world's most widely used languages

Computer science is the new language of the world, and it’s also one of the fastest growing occupations. Almost every field of human endeavor relies more and more on software and software development for success. Learning code is like learning another language, which is much easier when students are young because kids have an easier time learning skills than adults do – their minds are flexible and open. Given the sheer pace of innovation and the growing connectedness of our devices, houses and workplaces, it’s important to take advantage of the natural inclination that children have to learn faster and better when they are younger. Learning this language also provides students a chance to both be well paid in the future and also to do some of the more interesting and challenging jobs. It has been predicted that be 2020 there are likely to be over 1 million unfilled jobs in the U.S. that will be dependent on coding.


Connected devices are already reshaping our world

Students also learn how to code because computers and connected devices are what will shape their world as they grow up, just as physics, Math, Chemistry and Biology shape our world right now. In about twenty years, an inability to code or at least to understand logic-based thinking to some level will be just as crippling as illiteracy and innumeracy is today. Just like art is a way to express creativity, coding can be a highly engaging, fun and empowering skill for students.


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