Is Coding the New Literacy? What does learning to code buy you?
The article posted below is a carefully-considered (not a “Rah! Rah! Let’s Code!”) and intriguing consideration of the role of coding in modern notion of literacy. I particularly liked the idea below. Is Annettee Vee right? Does knowing about coding inform your ability to think about things to code? I suspect that’s true, but it’s an empirical question. It’s much nearer transfer, and is not as much of a stretch as looking for evidence of general problem-solving skills from programming (which is very rare) or applying a computational framework for understanding the world (i.e., computational thinking).
The happy truth is, if you get the fundamentals about how computers think, and how humans can talk to them in a language the machines understand, you can imagine a project that a computer could do, and discuss it in a way that will make sense to an actual programmer. Because as programmers will tell you, the building part is often not the hardest part: It’s figuring out what to build. “Unless you can think about the ways computers can solve problems, you can’t even know how to ask the questions that need to be answered,” says Annette Vee, a University of Pittsburgh professor who studies the spread of computer science literacy.