Ireland Provides Tech Lesson for Mayor Ed Lee

Coding lessons begin early in Ireland

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013  |  Updated 2:33 PM PDT
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The tech industry has few advocates as dedicated as Mayor Ed Lee.

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Just because it's the City That Knows How doesn't mean San Francisco can't learn from other places.

Fresh from his trip overseas to Ireland, Mayor Ed Lee returned home with some ideas in hand -- including a lesson on technology gleaned from a trip to the Emerald Isle, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

That's where middle school students are receiving a brief introduction to coding language at a young age, Lee said. Computer code is taught just as a foreign language might be taught, according to the mayor, which means that programming is de-mystified.

That kind of early introduction pays off decades down the road when competing in the global job market, Lee said, which is why he's eager to bring it to middle schools in San Francisco.

Currently, the city's 12 middle schools lack WiFi, let alone the access to tablets enjoyed at private schools.

Lee has asked private companies in San Francisco such as Twitter to "adopt" the city's middle schools and provide tech support -- and he may be able to announce a gift within the next few weeks, he said.

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