This article originally appeared in Huffington Post.
Knowing how to code is the wave of the future. Being able to code helps you to break down problems procedurally and think of new ideas in terms of processes. If you see something in the world that’s inefficient, a knowledge of code allows you to come up with concrete solutions.
Learning to code is empowering for kids because it gives them a platform to actively take on the challenges they want to solve. More and more innovations across multiple industries are being brought to fruition using code. In medicine, for example, machines are starting to administer doses to patients. Currently, there are over half a million computer science job openings worldwide, and the number computer science jobs is projected to grow at twice the rate of the number of non-computer science jobs.
However, while the demand for computer science is high, the supply is still low. According to code.org, seventy-one percent of all new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) jobs are in computer science, but only 8% of STEM graduates are computer science graduates.
Exposing students to computer science at a younger age could help close this gap. So why are so few schools teaching computer science?
As it turns out, teachers are swamped. It is difficult to bring computer science education to schools because many teachers themselves don’t know how to code, and they don’t have the time or the money to invest in learning to code.
Luckily, there is a fun and innovative solution to address these pain points—Pythonroom.
With Pythonroom, learning computer science couldn’t be any easier. Pythonroom’s free curriculum is ideal for teachers and students alike. The curriculum, which is open to anyone, allows teachers to learn to code along with their students. Pythonroom’s comprehensive curriculum consists of over 130 lessons and problems designed for first-time coders. The program also allows for better retention of concepts compared to other curricula because Pythonroom makes learning the language fun for students. For example, students can do mad libs, create graphics, play rock-paper-scissors, and more with Pythonroom.
Pythonroom allows teachers to provide quality education without too much effort on their part, as the program does most of the work for them. It delivers the curriculum for the teacher, grades and records student work, and debugs code for students through helpful error messages. Pythonroom’s “newsfeed” feature provides real-time information to teachers about every single student. Pythonroom takes much of the administrative burden off of teachers, allowing them more time to teach themselves and make sure that students are making progress in learning the curriculum.
In the three years since Pythonroom was first developed, the curriculum has been revised four times based on feedback from thousands of teachers. It is presently being used across the world by thousands of teachers and students. The response has been extremely positive. As one student says, “This website is beyond awesome!” Teachers share this sentiment as well. Educator Yash Vaishnav says, “Its simple interface and powerful analytics feed make it the ideal way to teach coding.”
Pythonroom’s co-creators, Keshav Saharia and Abhinav Mathur, are both hopeful about the impact that Pythonroom will have on students all over the world. As Mathur says, “Pythonroom is even accessible for kids in poverty. And knowing how to code can help take you out of poverty.”
Coding has become an essential skill for solving many of the problems the world is facing. Unfortunately, there are barriers in place that prevent computer science education from being the norm in schools. Pythonroom helps break down these barriers. In this way, Pythonroom can be seen as a starting point for kids to be able to realize their dreams and create the type of world they want to eventually live in.
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