TED Conversations

Nawaf Alnaji

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Should we teach kids how to make programs instead of how to use them?

For the last two decades, most developed countries have implemented computer literacy education in schools. For students born in the 80s or even the early 90s, this was really important. However, students now no longer need this. They are already computer fluent. They are, as some people say, digital natives. Give them any program and they'll be able to teach themselves to do simple--to-moderate tasks without anyone teaching them in a short while.

Most schools teach students how to first use word processors, presentation programs, and spreadsheets. This is no longer needed for two reasons: 1) students are computer fluent, and 2) programs are getting more user friendly every day. Students don't need to be taught to use the programs they normally use. They should, however, be taught how to use the programs they will later need in life like spreadsheets and databases.
Instead, I think they should be taught programming. Although many schools around the school already teach programming, they teach it usually in highschool or junior high; if they teach it in elementary school, they usually teach a simplified "kids" language which uses drag-and-drop blocks. I think students should start learning programming languages like visual basic and Java in 5th or 6th grade. The first country that does this will have a huge IT revolution.
Kids are creative. Teaching them programming will be giving them the ability to direct this creativity and keep it.

So what do you think?


Written by a 16 year old.

+3
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 13 2011: Its a good thought but think about each and every kid out there....yes they get used to computers at an early age...but i feel its not yet the time to teach programming in elementary school...
    instead teaching them how to use programs would be useful...more the number of programs they know how to use the better....this way when they start to write the program they'll have the working of the program in their minds...
    they need to know what they are programming before writing the program...so programming should be taught in high school or junior high...you may increase the use of programs at elementary...
    • Oct 13 2011: Kids are using hundreds of programs. They're born using computers. They definitely have ideas for programs. We don't need to teach them how to use programs. They learn it themselves without any help because it comes natural to them. They're digital natives.


      Sincerely, a kid himself.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.