Coding. Everyone is talking about coding. It is a hot topic, especially in the education sphere, and there are numerous (confusing at first) coding platforms to choose from.
At our campus, we offer coding as part of the curriculum and have done so for a number of years. Our students code on computers with code.org (currently, but not exclusively) or on their iPads with Swift Playgrounds. We also offer Robotics as an extramural. This year it is our aim to up our offering significantly. This will happen over the course of the year as my co-teacher, Mrs Louw, and I work on our own knowledge to expand the programme.
In doing my research around coding, I did initially wonder what all the fuss was about. I had my own questions about why kids should code and what value it really had from them. My questions have, over time, been suitably answered and I now strongly feel that coding should be part of the modern learning offering. It is not our intention to turn all our students into coders – in fact it has less to do with the actual coding, but is rather much more about the fact that we would like to see them develop into lateral thinkers who think out of the box and who can grapple with problems and make every effort to solve them despite the amount of effort required. We want students who do not give up, who persevere and who show determination in tricky situations. We want them to become collaborators who can put their heads together to creatively solve problems and come up with new ideas and designs. We need to develop computational thinking and cater for the world our students live in and for their futures which look very different to our own when we were at school. In fact, we have no idea what their futures look like. We can only use our imaginations.
If you also have questions about why your child should learning coding, this article shared on the Parent24 website, entitled Why do my children need to learn to code? What’s all the fuss? might just answer all your questions. It is an interesting read!
Here is another interesting article that might answer more questions for you: What is Computational Thinking? Why thinking like a computer builds skills for success.