"I think given how pervasive computers and the internet is now, 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."
- U.S. President Barack Obama discusses how he is in favor of bringing lessons in computer programming more prominently to high schools.
As part of a Google+ discussion
, the president noted that computers and video games in particular are now a substantial force in exciting young people enough to learn, and that is something he is keen to tap into.
"You look at someone like Mark Zuckerberg [co-founder of Facebook]," said the president, "and he taught himself programming, primarily because he was interested in games."
"And there are a whole bunch of young people out there I suspect who, if in high school are given the opportunity to figure out 'here's how you can design your own games', but it requires you to know math, and it requires you to know science, or 'here's what a career in graphic design looks like' - we're going to start setting those programmes in our high schools, not waiting to go to community college," he added.
Obama noted that engaging the younger generation with this sort of initiative can work to get the best out of them.
"What it does is not only to prepare young people who may choose to not go to a four-year college to be job-ready," he said, "but it also engages kids - they feel like 'I get this, this is not just me sitting there slouching in the back of the room while somebody's lecturing.'"