What is the future of coding in schools?

While I was home for Thanksgiving, I was talking to a family friend who is a freshman in high school about what classes they are taking. She said she's learning basic HTML and will soon move into Javascript -- things I didn't even know existed until I arrived on the Maryland campus.

I recently read an article by The Independent, in which a study conducted by the social enterprise company MyKindaCrowd showed that 54 percent of teachers believe that students know more about coding than they do. This begs the question of whether teachers who have only recently been exposed to the technology, have the ability and confidence to influence the next generation of coders.

Our generation (if you can call us a separate one) was schooled in Word programs, Powerpoint, Excel, etc. My question for the class is how big a part of the standard curriculum in schools moving forward will involve learning to code from a young age? Certainly this skill set has taken on greater value in our society and will continue to grow with further technological advancements. Could the subject of coding eventually be on par with math, english, history, etc.?


Discussion Assignment Following Our Visit to USA Today Dec. 3

Class, before the start of the next class Dec. 10, please post a comment below this post, describing what most surprised you about our visit to USA Today, and what impressed you. Please remember that this blog is live for all to see, so be tactful with your comments.


What mobile journalists should have on their holiday shopping lists

With our discussion of cool and useful apps for journalists last week, I found this Poynter article on holiday shopping for mobile journalists a good and helpful read.

The article looks at various new devices to make the life of any mobile journalist easier just in time for the holiday season. Many people may not look at the holidays as the time to buy professional gifts, but there are several items listed that will thrill for a number of reasons.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 prevents users from having to take "iPhone photos." The writer, Sam Kirkland, also offers an alternative in the Olloclip 4-in-1 for iPhone users, but that looks slightly bulky and unnecessary. He additionally gives options for tripod needs.

The item on the list that got me interested was iRig's Mic Cast, an external microphone for iOS and Android devices. The mic allows users to switch on a low setting to eliminate background noise for personal, one-on-one interviews, and it also has a high setting to pick up on distant audio, which could be good for speeches or events.

Overall, this is a solid list of technologies at good prices for the holiday season. Any of these items would be helpful for a journalist to do their work, and I am glad I stumbled upon it. (And make sure to check out the section on Smartwatches-- they could definitely become the cool, new technology in the journalism industry by next year.)