I am not sold on the idea that in and of itself coding is a K-12 essential. There are now a number of databases containing common code sequences in all languages and it won’t be too far in the future when code will be available “on demand” by way of plain language query not unlike Google. A little further out, five or fewer years, I expect we will see code that writes code. Consequently, I don’t have much faith in estimates claiming that 1.4 million programming jobs will be needed over the next decade.
However, from my limited experience with it, I do believe coding to be a beneficial technological integration tool. Coding is “non-subject specific, lending itself to interdisciplinary lessons that integrate math, science, English, art and a variety of other subjects. Students simultaneously balance logical reasoning, creativity and problem solving in real-world scenarios.” Watch the video at Made with Code. Then, if you’re not convinced that coding requires a considerable amount of logical reasoning, creativity and problem-solving, try a couple of simple projects of your own. At the least you will gain an appreciation for what is involved in programming. EmergingEdTech lists and briefly discusses four additional coding sites for teachers and students. If you really want a challenge sign up for Harvard’s very well known free introductory computer science course, CS50.