Computer Science as 21st Century Literacy

Much like reading and writing was the literacy for the 20th century, I firmly believe that computer science will be the literacy for the 21st century. Throughout the 20th century, people knew that to get ahead in life you needed to be able to read, write and do arithmetic. It became a staple in our public schools and it became the literacy that we measured everyone against. And now at the beginning of the 21st century we can look around and see that we have done a pretty good job of getting everyone at least the basics of these three skills. But for the next century we need to go to the next level.

Some, like Elon Musk and Ray Kutzweil believe that within this next century, there will be a merging of humanity with our technology. Some of us already believe this is happening today. How many of us would be totally lost without our phones? Without our laptops? Without the Internet? We depend on computer technology for almost everything today, and without computers we wouldn’t be awoken in the morning, we would be able to make our breakfast, we wouldn’t be able to take any transportation to work and we wouldn’t be able to do our job.

This is why we need to have a computer literacy that we start teaching in the 1st grade and we steadily add to it throughout our schooling so that we have a literacy for our technology like we has a literacy for our society.

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