TEDxOslo speaker Torgeir Waterhouse is on a crusade to make coding an integral part of students’ early education, especially in his home country of Norway. “I’m driven by the fact and the knowledge and the hope and the dream that we can empower kids with technology,” he says at the event. “Technology in the hands of the right people can change everything.”
Kids are those right people, he believes. “[Kids are] those people who will someday wake up and say, in the words of John Perry Barlow, ‘I am from cyberspace … I am all about the future.’” A future, Waterhouse says, that will present new demands and challenges to this new generation, challenges that will very likely have to be tackled with technology.
“If they are going to build that future for us,” Waterhouse says, “they have to learn to code.”
So in 2013, Waterstone and other code enthusiasts formed Lær Kidsa Koding (Teach Kids Coding), an organization dedicated to advancing coding education in Norway, by advocating for the inclusion of coding in the Norwegian classroom, as well as providing teachers, students and parents with the framework to create coding clubs, workshops and engage in self-directed coding lessons on their own.
“The whole idea was, ‘We can do this,’” says Waterhouse. “One of the things we wanted to do was, quite simply, help kids understand and master their own role in the digital society … because my kids can’t learn from my childhood how to handle being online 24/7 … and [how to] be creative and create with the technology versus just being a user.”
Lær Kidsa Koding now has over 2,000 volunteers and works with kids all over Norway.
Watch Waterstone’s talk below to learn more: