Don't be surprised if your first-grader comes home and tries to explain computer coding to you. Computer programming is being introduced to New Jersey students on the elementary level.

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Computer programming was being offered about 20 years ago just for high school students in specialized classes, according to Brick Township Interim Superintendent Thomas Gialanella

Younger students today learn a simplified version of how to tell a computer what to do.

"It's really interesting how they really bring it down to even kindergarten level and then they just ramp it up a little bit every year," said Gialanella.

In high school, students are able to write programming codes and have computers perform different tasks. Gialanella noted that students in Brick's STEM program can have robots perform different tasks.

Computer coding is just one example of how learning is changing to keep up with technology and forcing schools to better prepare students for careers.

"Everything our students do are going to have to be dependent on knowledge of computers these days," Gialanella said.

Gialanella noted that everything from banking to buying is done today on a computer or using a smart phone.

"It's going to ramp up and get even more so with students that are in school now. It's going to be part of their lives," he said.

Almost anything students do as a future vocation will be tied to some type of computer,

"So, those skills become important, and that's why they're taught everyday, at every level," he said.

Technology has become part of almost all lessons in the Brick district.

"We have purchased a large number of machines. We have mobile carts of computers in all of our elementary schools. We have overhead projectors where the teachers can hook up to that overhead projector and use it. So technology has become integrated in our school system over the years," said Gialanella.

"Sometimes the students are ahead of us in education, as far as knowledge and using it, and moving forward with it, but you want to see them be able to develop skills outside of Facebook and all the other different social programs and using it for education and positive experiences also."

Contact reporter Dianne DeOliveira at