Kindergarten Computer Science

Well actually Karen North, an energetic elementary school computer science teacher and a friend of mine, has twice testified before the Texas State Board of Education about the need for more real computer science in grades K-5 (Links to her testimony from her blog at Programming in Elementary School) I think she makes some good arguments

Interestingly enough I found out about Karen’s work the same week that yet another “Does Everyone Need to Learn How to Program?” post shows up on the CSTA blog. Well of course not everyone needs to learn how to program anymore than everyone needs more math than basic algebra. Right? And you can get into an Ivy League college with no more  math than that right? Ah, well, maybe not. There is a higher level of math that is concerned required for a good college. Even if you don’t take any more math in college. What’s wrong with this picture?

Let’s separate programming from computer science for a minute. (Yeah I know that is hard for some of you) But really aren’t some computer science concepts really a part of being a totally educated person? And can’t we teach some really interesting things (like sequencing, planning, story telling, and more) using programming tools like Kodu, Alice and Scratch at pretty young ages? This seems like a good thing. And if they happen to discover that they like being in control and making a computer do interesting things and decide to go into computer science so much the better.

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