Obama endorses required high school coding classes

During a live Google+ Hangout, the president agrees that requiring students to learn a computer language "makes sense."

Obama told tens of thousands watching a live Google+ Hangout that he likes the idea of requiring programming classes. Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

President Obama says he wouldn't mind seeing a curriculum requirement for American high school students to learn a programming language.

"I think it makes sense, I really do," was his response to the idea posed in a live Google+ Hangout earlier today. "I want to make sure that (young people) know how to produce stuff using computers and not just consume stuff."

Obama recalled a conversation he had with Mark Zuckerberg about how the Facebook founder taught himself programming at a young age.

The president suggested that with the high interest in digital technology among young people it makes sense to teach skills like programming and graphic design in high school so that students can go on to pursue a career, with or without a four-year college degree.

In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, Obama also proposed making preschool available to all 4-year-olds in the country. Given the fluency of the average toddler today with digital devices like iPads, perhaps it makes sense to start even earlier so that the next generation of programmers have a firm grasp of HTML5 or the iOS SDK by the time they start kindergarten.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Mac running slow?

Boost your computer with these five useful tips that will clean up the clutter.