edtech for IT: What They Teach- Coding

Coding, of course, refers to teaching students how to program. Coding can be it’s own subject in school (such as high schools participating the Advanced Placement Computer Science courses), it can be incorporated into other lessons (such as middle school math students coding with Scratch in mathematics courses), or it can be the focus of special events such as the “Hour of Code).  

IT professionals can be expected to support both web-based coding platforms and integrated development environments and installed IDE’s. In many cases, the exact requests will depend on the preferences of the individuals who are instructing students.  

Coding has a long history of focusing the attention of computer-using students in schools. When computers first arrived in schools, multimedia was not yet possible and even word processors and spreadsheets were not fully developed, so programming was how students created on computers. Beginners all-purpose symbolic code (BASIC) was invented at Dartmouth College in 1964 and was used for the time sharing schemes that allowed multiple users (including students in public schools) to write programs that were executed on mainframes computers. Versions of BASIC were also available for desktop computers, so one of the first uses of computers in schools was to teach BASIC programming.  

While technology integration—the use of technology to teach other lessons—has been the dominant use of technology in education for several decades, there are organizations that have advocated including programming activities in the curriculum. It is reasoned that programming can teach various thinking skills (the evidence for this is not strong) and that programming can demystify technology by giving students experience controlling it. Regardless of the rationale, many students enjoy learning to program.