Computer Science education needs a shakeup. The world and technology have moved on from basic word processing and excel spreadsheets, yet the computing curriculum has not. Why are we still educating the young with outdated computing practices when we could start equipping children with the computational ability required of the future workforce?
The future workforce will not have the necessary skills:
Lack of computing expertise has been highlighted as a great concern with respect to its effect on the future workforce. The issue has been brought to light by both The Royal Society (the UK’s independent scientific academy) and The Department for Education, who state that computer science education is vital “to ensure our future workforce has the skills we need to drive the future productivity and economy of this country”.
Too much viewing. Not enough doing!:
It is becoming the norm for three and four-year-olds to have access to either an iPhone, IPad or tablet device. Statistics show that under-fives now watch close to 3 hours of videos a day. Although it is very beneficial for children to learn how to navigate technology from a young age, this kind of passive consumption of media through technology will do nothing in the way of creating a better future through technology.
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
Create more. Consume less:
At present, children are absorbed in using technology for the mindless viewing of digital media. They swipe their iPads, tap their iPhones and passively consume the content on their devices without thinking about the actual process behind the machinery being used.
Instead of teaching children to see computers as mechanical boxes on which to type word documents, send emails and watch YouTube, we need to teach them to be innovative thinkers, creative builders, and to understand and unlock the true potential of the software they are using.
In her brilliant TED Talk back in 2016, children’s book author and instructor for beginner programmers Linda Luikas, discusses the potential of children to harness the power of computers, if they approach them with a creative and entrepreneurial mindset.
Unfortunately, this approach has not been adopted by the Computing curriculum.
The world today is dominated by software. We demand programmers and coders to create new innovations, to fuel the economy, and even contribute to scientific breakthroughs. Learning to code has become a vital life skill, so much so that, in the near future, not knowing how to code is going to be the same as being illiterate or innumerate today.
“Code is the next universal language.”
– Linda Luikas
Through learning to code children can develop numerous valuable skills, including creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication. So regardless of whether you do or do not have aspirations to be a future coder or programmer, there is still something to be gained from providing high-quality computing education for the young.
THE KEY POINTS
- Technology has progressed and so too should the computing cur
- With the current approach, we are instilling a dangerously restrictive view of computers in our children. We have to change this outlook.
- We need to encourage children to change the way they view technology- to think innovatively, be creative and not use computers so passively.
- Getting more young people to learn how to code is vitally important for their skill sets as part of the future workforce, and towards creating a prosperous economy, fuelled by technological innovation.
The outdated school curriculum is simply not an adequate means of creating such positive change. That is why Jam Coding have been working hard for over 5 years to provide as many schools and children as possible with innovative computing programmes.
Want to get involved? Call us on 01254 480470 Or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org