Barack Obama: High Schools Should Offer Programming and Graphic Design Courses

Last week President Barack Obama participated in a Fireside Google+ Hangout where Google’s hand-picked participants asked him questions in the spirit of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats,” though with interactivity of 2013. During the session, the president expressed interest in starting game development and graphic design programs in high schools throughout the country. He agreed with a Hangout participant that high schools should offer these courses to better engage their media-savvy students that are likely interested in such careers. In his opinion, students who regularly consume Internet media and games should know how to build this type of software. The president also felt that programming and design courses would require students to learn valuable subjects, such as math and science, which they normally may not find interesting. The president made the following statement:

“Part of what I’m trying to do here is make sure that we’re working with high schools and school districts all across the country to make the high school experience relevant for young people, not all of whom are going to get four year college degree or advanced degree. Given how pervasive computers and the Internet is now and how integral it is in our economy and how fascinated kids are with it, I want to make sure that they know how to actually produce stuff using computers and not simply consume stuff…We’re going to start setting those programs in our high schools, not waiting to go to community college.”

Do you agree that offering coding, programing and design classes in high schools is a worthwhile venture? Do you believe these programs would better engage students over other traditional academic subjects and better prepare them for our future economy? Share your impressions in the comments section and with us via Twitter to @Technapex or @DianaHSmith. You can also check out the Google+ Hangout to hear it from the man himself.