Introducing Elementary Students to Coding and Computer Science
When elementary-aged students engage in coding and other programming activities, they become familiar with problem-solving, computational thinking and sequencing — core critical-thinking skills that will support not only computer science learning but learning across all school subjects. This early engagement provides the tools kids need to interact with the digital world.
“To understand what’s going on in the world around them, students need foundational knowledge about computer science,” says Jake Baskin, executive director of the Computer Science Teachers Association. “It’s everything from understanding the apps running on their phones to how colleges use AI to screen applicants.”
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It also prepares children for a job market that is only growing more digital. “Computer science now touches most career paths,” says Chaturvedi. “With technology, the intimidation factor for people can be high, so being able to get students comfortable and confident with it from an early age is a great benefit.”
K–12 Schools Need Early-Grade Standards and Staff for Computer Science Classes
There is little government guidance or policy on comprehensive K–12 standards for computer science. Many states are moving forward and adopting policies such as the Code.org Advocacy Coalition’s nine computer science policy recommendations. Elementary schools seeking guidance can start by looking beyond introductory coding apps.