Coding Part 2:
Why do we need to include learning how to code in the classroom?
If you examine the standards for students at www.iste.org you will see Standard #6 for Technology Operations and Concepts. What does this mean? Kids need to understand how and why things work.
What about the time factor?
This can be a touchy subject, but honestly, can you not fit an hour into your schedule to teach students the fundamentals, the importance of coding? I understand that the schedule prevents some from doing so or some are not willing to change their schedule to bring coding into the classroom. I see it this way: It is an hour. We can adapt the coding curriculum into math, science, ELA, and social studies. If you can take an hour out of your school day to teach kids the importance of coding, DO IT!
How does it fit with the curriculum:
Science: I see this closely aligned with Math here, but my science colleagues can help me out with this one.
ELA: Both with English and World Languages this is all about language structure! As a language teacher, I like to work coding into the classroom by focusing on certain concepts like the imperative or giving directions.
Social Studies: Personally, I'd go with Google Lego Builder or even Minecraft to have students craft buildings and events from history.
What age can we start this?
My son was introduced to coding through the Minecraft tutorial at hourofcode.com. At 5 this was a bit challenging for him so I showed him two amazing iPad apps: Box Island and The Foos. He ran with it and I can't get the iPad away from him as he builds coding structures to get the sprites to do all sorts of commands!
In the end, give them coding. It's important. They'll like it!