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Coding: Modern Skill For The Modern Man (and Woman!)

What language is (arguably) more important than Mandarin in the 21st century? Code! Think about what's around you that requires code of some variety: computers, tablets, phones, TV's...yada yada. On "Where We Live," we tried to demystify coding and discuss its importance in education.

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  1. You can listen to the full audio of the show here:
  2. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Major League Baseball player. Now, I want to be a coder when I grow up. That doesn't mean I need to quit my day job though.
  3. Quite frankly, who wouldn't want to learn at least some code skills? And why wouldn't society be pushing for more code education? Here's a list of a few people who are voicing their support on Code.org, which advocates for code education

    President Bill Clinton
    Mark Zuckerberg (well, duh)
    Ashton Kutcher
    Snoop Dogg (or Lion, or whatever)
    Dr. Oz
  4. "You don't have to be a genius to code! Do you have to be a genius to read?"
    - Bronwen Grimes, Technical Artist at Valve
  5. What Most Schools Don't Teach
  6. Do you have a young child? You might think, "Oh this is great! I should make sure my kid takes computer science classes in high school!"

    It's now easier than ever to teach your toddler basic computer programming skills.
  7. Brendan I. Koerner is a contributing editor to Wired. He wrote a very coherent and persuasive piece in favor of teaching kids to code.
  8. Koerner says the earlier we teach kids to code, the better.

    "Extensive research has shown that because young brains are so adept at picking up languages, it’s best to introduce children to foreign tongues as early as possible. This is why so many ambitious parents are now clamoring for kindergartens that offer intensive Mandarin—they want to give their kids the best possible shot at learning a key language of the Asian century.

    "What those parents likely don’t realize is that the same neural mechanisms that make kids sponges for Mandarin likely also make them highly receptive to computer languages. Kindergartners cannot become C++ ninjas, but they can certainly start to develop the skills that will eventually cement lifelong fluency in code.


    "And encouraging that fluency should be a priority for American schools, because it is code, not Mandarin, that will be the true lingua franca of the future."

  9. But if you're not a kid, don't let that stop you from learning to code.
  10. But maybe software coding is a little too out there. The end-result isn't "physical" enough for you. No, you're not off the hook. May I introduce you to Arduino?

    ARDUINO IS AN OPEN-SOURCE ELECTRONICS PROTOTYPING PLATFORM BASED ON FLEXIBLE, EASY-TO-USE HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE. IT'S INTENDED FOR ARTISTS, DESIGNERS, HOBBYISTS AND ANYONE INTERESTED IN CREATING INTERACTIVE OBJECTS OR ENVIRONMENTS.
  11. Massimo Banzi: How Arduino is open-sourcing imagination | Video on TED.com
  12. I recently bought an Arduino kit and started to teach myself how to wire electronics and program them to do what I want. Here's the result of one recent project.
  13. An early Arduino project.
  14. Am I the next Steve Wozniak? No. I'm 99.9999999% sure that I won't be the next Woz.

    But am I having fun? Yes.

    Am I learning more about the world around me? Yes.
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