Adrienne St. Aubin is a Policy Analyst at GoogleIn Estonia, 100% of publicly educated students will soon learn to write code starting in first grade. The crucial difference between Estonia’s approach to tech and education and the approach taken by the US and many other countries is Estonia’s emphasis on creation versus consumption. While Estonia fosters making technology, our major tech/education initiatives focus merely on using technology. We’re teaching our kids how to use technology as an educational tool while the Estonians are training developers. Of course, it’s not surprising that Estonia is ahead of the curve on computer science education. Estonia has fully embraced the Internet as a tool for government service delivery and business—with online voting, paperless Cabinet meetings since 2000, and 99% of bank transfers happening online. It has had free public wifi (something that's literally just a joke in the US) for the past decade. All this, despite the fact that only half of Estonia’s 1.4M citizens had a telephone line in 1991 when the tiny country regained its independence from the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the debate continues elsewhere about whether encouraging everyone to learn programming is as sensible as encouraging everyone to learn to read or as seemingly absurd as encouraging everyone to learn plumbing—whether it’s a 21st century life skill or just the hottest specialized profession du jour. But a few things are certain: it’s a great way to learn computational thinking (recursive, heuristic, and abstract reasoning) and the students who choose to explore it on their own are overwhelmingly male and white. It's a great time to be a six-year old in Estonia. The US and other countries should think seriously about upping our game when it comes to teaching kids how to make technology—especially if we want to retain our reputation as a nation of builders and dreamers and not just one of consumers.