Blogger Nico Lumma recently published a rant on Handelsblatt about Germany (and probably other countries) are wasting time by not letting children learn to program in school.
There have been initiatives like http://code.org/ to promote »coding« as a basic skill of the future:
… or a recent German version »Jeder kann programmieren« …
And maybe in 20 years from now kids will be creating interactive toys like these gloves of musician Imogen Heap:
Actually there are not many things that you can learn so well online like coding…
But why coding?
In the information age, being able to code turns you from a consumer into a producer. If software defines what you can do, then creating software is a way to of doing things for your own way.
This is not meant to be turning kids into software developers: Programming is a way to be able to experiment with information and data. In a world of data it teaches how to think about machines, processes, data and communication. It makes you aware of what technology can do and thus could become. Maybe for your personal profit, maybe for the profit of many.
A society where only few people can program a computer is unthinkable!