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An Enabling e-Learning forum: Coding, digital literacy or a new kind of language?

Started by Tessa Gray 30 Jul 2015 9:08am () Replies (20)

In the holidays, several students in Tauranga (yr 3-6) got to do what most kids would love to do, - go back to school! Codebrite school that is, where they got to play with iPads and robots learning simple programming and computer coding language. The kids were buzzing, the parents were intrigued, all-in-all, it was a success.

So why code?

“In a nutshell, learning to code enables pupils to learn the step-by-step commands to make websites, games, and apps. Common coding languages include HTML, Python, CSS and JavaScript: all of which are widespread and versatile.” Why Kiwi kids should learn to code

In the 20th Century, meaningful education was all about learning your ABCs. Today, it's centered on Alphas, Betas and C++. (Why Programming Is The Core Skill Of The 21st Century) and “Coding has been called the "new literacy" because of its role in powering our digital world. Websites, apps, computer programmes and everyday objects like microwaves rely on code to operate.” Cracking the code - schools get kids programming

Coding The same trends are not going unnoticed in New Zealand. There are many programming opportunities where global markets are turning to New Zealand for the solutions. The problem? There just aren’t enough students leaving school with coding or digital literacy skills. NZ is currently short of 10,000 technologists: so let’s teach coding in schools…

There is an increasing recognition that our young people are entering the workforce where nothing is guaranteed, where skills for the 21st Century are vital if they want to be competitive in a rapidly changing job market. “Programming skills are becoming ever more important, quickly turning into the core competency for all kinds of 21st Century workers.” (Why Programming Is The Core Skill Of The 21st Century)

The Ministry of Education recognizes, "A lot's changed in digital technology since the curriculum was introduced so we are addressing that. We're reviewing how we support digital technology in the curriculum," Ms Parata says. Cracking the code - schools get kids programming

CareersNZ indicates the amount of programmers in New Zealand are growing steadily, the job prospects are ‘good’ and for a bonus IT jobs are some of the highest paid in New Zealand.

CareersNZ programming

However, People in jobs not directly linked to computer sciences will still benefit from an understanding of programming and coding.” Cracking the code - schools get kids programming

Check out these cool things you can do with coding https://www.madewithcode.com/projects/

How can we start coding?

So if this is new to you and the teachers in your school, where could you start? This article in the Interface Magazine is well worth a read, If it’s something you’d like to introduce in your classroom, there are plenty of simple and effective ways to do it… then find out more at Meeting the challenge of computer coding.

If you are teaching programming or computer science in your school, what 5 top tips would you offer as a starting point? Feel free to add your ideas to this shared Google presentation here >>>.


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Image source: Flickr


  • MrsB30 (View all users posts) 30 Jul 2015 2:36pm ()

    I am going to start coding this term with my Year 3-4 class. It's something I have been interested in for a while but a bit nervous to try because I don't know a lot about it myself. However I have realised there is a wealth of resources available and that it's going to be OK to learn alongside my students. Our inquiry concept for term 3 is design so we will be 'designing' our own computer games. I am going to introduce code to my class using the hour of code resources (code.org) and then we will be starting off by using Pixel Press 'Floors' which is an iPad app. We are not a 1:1 school and currently only have 1 iPad per class so I am looking at a way I can get more devices but may have to explore other resources, such as Tynker, Gamefroot and Scratch, as we do have more desktop computers and a few laptops. Also the Google CS First resources look really cool (http://www.cs-first.com/) I'd love to hear from anyone else who's tried coding with this age group! Planning to get stuck in next week!

  • MrsB30 (View all users posts) 31 Jul 2015 12:27pm ()

    That sounds great. Would be a good starting point having a set time to get something to happen!

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