Coding in schools is about more than just learning to code
Teaching children to code gives valuable life skills, as well as knowledge for potential future employment, PC Pro has been told.
Tris Simmons, senior product marketing manager at Netgear, said coding can help enable “computational thinking”, which encourages logical analysis and organisation of data, identification, testing and implementation of a solution to a given challenge, and formulating problems so that a computer may assist in resolving them. Those using computational thinking should also be able to apply these skills to areas other than just computing.
“It helps children to think differently,” said Simmons. “They’re learning problem solving skills, but they’re also starting to learn the specialist language used in the world of technology and to explore this area themselves.”
“Coding also helps children learn how to collaborate and work in teams to complete a task,” he said, no matter what area of employment they go into in the future.
Simmons also suggested coding may give those currently in schools the skills to create jobs that haven’t even been conceived of yet, both within technology and outside of it.
ICT: good for students, good for business
The way students are now learning to use technology in schools now will also allow them to slot more successfully into the workplace as they are more familiar with using a wide range of fast evolving devices.
He referenced one school that uses tablets from age 2 to age 18, both actively, with students using them to carry out tasks in the classroom, and also passively, with teachers using video to monitor progression in activities like drama, dance and sport.
Additionally, many schools are encouraging children to bring their own devices into school, while still providing a backup suite of devices they can borrow.
“They are used to BYOD throughout their life,” Simmons said. “This will help their future employers reduce costs and shift IT resources from simple management to adding value to the business.”