Jaysean Erby raises his hands as he solves a coding problem, as Apple CEO Tim Cook watches from behind at an Apple Store, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Apple CEO: More computer science and coding education needed
December 15, 2015
Teaching kids to code is just as important as teaching them any other language. And the younger they start learning it, the better. That view comes from Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Cook spoke to a group of New York third graders. They visited an Apple store in Manhattan. There, they took an "Hour of Code" class. Cook gave an interview after the class. He said that schools are not putting enough focus on computer-science education. But he has "great hope" that will change. And he hopes coding will finally become a required class for all kids.
"From an economic standpoint, the job segment itself today is huge. But it is going to become even larger," Cook said.
The ideas should be introduced at a young age. If it is done in a fun way, it is more likely that kids will find them cool. They are more likely to stay interested as they grow older. That hopefully will result in a larger and more diverse tech workforce down the road, he said.
Cook added that even if kids do not grow up to get a well-paid job in the tech industry, they will find a new way to be creative. And they can pick up important problem-solving skills.
The kids at the Dec. 9 event played a Star Wars-themed game. It was made by the non-profit group Code.org. They worked with Disney on the game. The kids used iPad Minis too. They used them to try basic drag-and-drop commands. The kids programed droids. They had them do things like pick up scrap metal and evade Stormtroopers.
Their teacher is Joann Khan. She said the kids' introduction to coding was probably a first for most of her students. She noted that her school no longer has a computer lab. The school is located in Manhattan's East Harlem neighborhood. She said the lessons taught through the game bring to life some of the math skills the kids are learning in her classroom. It is something she planned to point out to them when they got back to school.
The "Hour of Code" workshop was one of many held by Apple Inc. A lot of other technology companies around the world also held classes. It was part of a push by Code.org. The goal is to introduce as many kids as possible to computer science. It is being done through a one-hour class.
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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why does Apple CEO Tim Cook think that computer language is as important as any other language?
Write your answers in the comments section below