“LET’S do it again,” calls a ten-year-old. Once more, pupils clasping printed numbers follow tangled lines marked with white tape on the floor of their school hall. When two meet, the one holding the higher number follows the line right; the other goes left. Afterwards they line up—and the numbers are in ascending order. “The idea is to show how a computer sorts data,” explains their teacher, Claire Lotriet.
This was the scene at a recent event in London to promote “Hour of Code”, an initiative organised by Code.org, a non-profit, aimed at rousing interest in computer programming—or “coding” in the language of the digital cognoscenti. In September, when computer science becomes part of England’s primary-school curriculum, such games are likely to become a common sight in the country’s classrooms. Many other places are beefing up computer-science teaching, too. Israel was an early adopter, updating its high-school syllabus a decade ago; New Zealand and some German states recently did the same. Australia and Denmark are now following suit. And the coding craze goes far beyond the classroom: more than 24m people worldwide have signed up to free tutorials from Codecademy, an educational website.
Read more at The Economist.