Friday, May 11, 2012

My idea for Campus Party Europe in Berlin: Programming syllabus in primary and secondary school.

The main purpose of the Campus Party Europe in Berlin is to rewrite the source code of Europe. Both education and entrepeneurship are key to that objective.

Technological advantage

Europe would have a technological advantage if most of its future citizens can read, understand and modify a computer program, specially in today's conditions of:
  • broad bandwidth, 
  • computer ubiquity and 
  • Software Libre philosophy. 

Benefits of programming

There are many papers and websites stating the benefits of teaching programming. To name but a few:
  1. Structured thinking - steps, optimization. 
  2. Abstraction - variables, functionalization of repetitive structures. 
  3. Problem solving - using a set of versatile tools for many situations. 
  4. Methodical approach, but many more times creativity and out-of-the-box thinking

But how?

Scratch programming environment

Nowadays there are high level programming environments suitable for children 5+, like ScracthAlice, RoboMind or Greenfoot. Later, they can try sites like codeacademyappInventor, Stencyl, GameSalad or Programming Dojo. There is a wide variety of educational programming languages to choose from.

In short...

My idea is to make governments in the European Union consider the inclusion of programming in the standard curriculum from the very early stages, as a game and transversal to all the subjects.

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