By Gabrielle.

What’s your take on learning coding? Do you think it’s an important thing for ALL kids to know, like math and spelling? Or do you feel like it’s something you’ll introduce to your kids only if they show an interest in it. I’m not sure where I land on the subject. I feel like people speak about coding the same way they talk about speaking Chinese — like in the near future, no one will have a chance for success unless they’re a proficient coder and fluent in Mandarin. But I think I still approach coding as if it’s a particular expertise instead of general knowledge everyone should have.

Mark Zuckerberg thinks differently than me. He’s quoted as saying, “In fifteen years we’ll be teaching programming just like reading and writing… and wondering why we didn’t do it sooner.” Quotes like his are getting me to shift my thinking, and make me feel like it’s urgent that my kids should gain some coding skills. And infographics like this make me think that programming could be an amazing tool for bringing more equality to people of color, and to women in particular, in the work place.

So, over the summer, we started having the kids go through coding tutorials and they seem to enjoy it. (I don’t think that means they’re natural coders, I just think kids enjoy learning things!)

Amy Hackworth (you may remember the terrific posts she contributed last year), just sent me a link to a really cool campaign going on right now. It’s called Hour of Code and it’s an educational event geared toward helping kids all over the world, aged 4 to 104, try an hour of code sometime this week.

The lofty goal is to have 10,000,000 kids participate! I love the idea and can’t wait to tell my kids about it. Oscar & Betty’s school has early out dismissal all week, so this could be a really cool thing for them to try with their extra hours. If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the main site. And here are fun and easy tutorials for learning code (including one with Anna and Elsa — smart!).

Have your kids tried any programming yet? Perhaps Hour of Code is a good excuse to introduce them.