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Why do kids need to learn to Code?

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Catherine Lamin

on 9 June 2018

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Transcript of Why do kids need to learn to Code?

Why do kids need to learn to Code?
National Curriculum


The Problem...
Teachers aren't trained to teach computing
Concepts are unclear
Courses can be expensive, time consuming and boring
Lots of resources, but are they any good?
Teachers aren't confident with a new style of teaching and learning (project based rather than chalk & talk)
The Recommendations
Computer science should be on the National Curriculum
"We need more specialist teachers, and more effective use of video games and visual effects in STEM lessons"
Raise awareness of industry opportunities and equip students with the right knowledge and skills
The Argument
Useful skills?
Basic understanding of how a computer works makes life easier for everyone
Encourages fun, project-based learning
Links to real life e.g. computer games, digital effects in films
Programming skills are cross-curricular
What's happening in schools?
Ignoring it
Teaching it without understanding
Poor content in lessons
Buying into expensive schemes designed to allow teacher to take a backseat
Buying resources and not using them
Cross Curricular Coding
Directly links to maths skills
Electronics and DT
Literacy (debugging = spell checking) - active lit
Science - sensors etc.
Music - Sonic Pi
Much, much, more
Coding Evening
An informal opportunity for teachers to meet with industry experts and friendly hobbyists
Usually in a pub or somewhere equally informal
People bring along resources, ideas, projects and just chat
Currently only running in the South-East, but keen for them spread
Been able to support a number of teachers to become more confident with teaching CS skills
Next Gen report (2011)
Video games & visual effects industries
Education not meeting their needs
UK strengths - creativity & technology
From 3rd to 6th in video games industry over two years
School curriculum focuses on office skills not useful CS and programming skills
Awareness of STEM job prospects is poor
can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation

can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems

can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems

are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology
In the Classroom
A whole new set of skills
Basic programming skills from age 4
Block-based coding to 11
Text language from 11+
Understanding components, networks, how the WWW works
Physical computing
How did you learn to code?
How can you help?
Code Club
Coding Evenings
Twitter chats
Community events e.g. Raspberry Jams
Code Club
Free to run
Supports teachers who lack confidence
Aimed at 9-11 year olds
Online resources
Easy to use
Volunteer can lead or support
Computational Thinking
Not just skills for the computer science classroom

We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.

Richard Riley, former US Secretary of Education
Full transcript