Codies….the new generation

 

 

We all know that children these days can be more tech-savvy than most of their parents and teachers, and over the years the young have either been self-taught to use computers or have been involved with their school using computers in the classroom. Today, programming for children is a new skill that teaches to solve problems, create ideas and has the ability to assist them throughout life and perhaps in their chosen future career paths.

Coding or programming for children courses are now springing up in many schools and independent local area meeting points. The courses are usually run by computer software programmers who have streamlined teaching material to suit children from 7 years of age through to 15 years. (1)

Code Club Australia is one such group structured to teach our future programmers coding language.  Code Club boast more than 50,000 members around Australia. (1)

Another popular group is Sydney Programming School. They state, ‘Coding is a challenging yet very rewarding experience. As the digital landscapes change so will the way in which we communicate within it. Once you learn how to code the only limit of what is “possible” is your imagination’. (2)

They also claim, learning how to code will allow the children of this generation to become architects of the future and they teach children to become  equipped with the necessary tools to help them build their own games, apps and interactive stories.

Most courses start from Scratch interface to advance to real programming languages such as Python, JavaScript,  HTML, CSS, Phaser and Unity3D programming. (2) To read more about this,click here.

Digital Literacy 

So why is coding important to teach the younger generation?

CoderDojo is a global movement of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people. They too believe that an understanding of programming languages is increasingly important in the modern world, that it’s both better and easier to learn these skills early, and that nobody should be denied the opportunity to do so.  Any young person can attend a Dojo for free.   At a Dojo they will learn skills such as building a website, creating an app or a game, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment.(3)

The importance with all coding courses offered around the country is to help children realise that they too can build a positive future through coding and community. Most importantly, their own job opportunities can be favoured by understanding how programming works and its ability to change the world in which we live in.

“Programming is the next big blue collar job category.  There will be the equivalence of blue collar jobs in the digital enonomy, and coding will be one of them, ” says Professor Kowalkiewicz, PwC chair in Digital Economy at the Queensland University of Technology.(4)

According to a Deloitte analysis, the economy will require another 100,000 new ICT workers in the years to 2021 and there are not enough people learning ICT skills, so many of these jobs will be required to be filled by either the existing workforce, and through immigration.(4)  To read more about this click here.

Apple’s Free app – Swift Playgrounds

Last year Apple’s app, called “Swift Playgrounds” was first introduced, where the company explained how it wanted to inspire the next generation of coders through its new software.  Having kids to code isn’t just an altruistic effort on Apple’s part — the company is dependent on programmers to build its software and to fill its app stores with consumer applications, where Apple gets a cut of the revenue.(5)

What was interesting about Apple’s entry into the learn-to-code space is that it launched the app for the iPad, not desktop PC. The iPad, after all, is the Apple device that many kids already have in the home, and is a platform they’re familiar with from the many hours spent playing games.(5)

To read more about the Swift Playgrounds app click here.

 

It seems that coding is a skill best learnt early like any language, and it’s going to be an important advantage for those who wish to have a digital future or who wishes to understand technology better. Learning any skill young, whether it is through your local school or programming club, is just one way to ensure our society will have a better invested future workforce.

Marco Tapia

www.picnet.com.au

 

 

References:

1.  https://codeclubau.org/

2.  https://www.code4fun.com.au/

3.   https://coderdojo.com/movement/

4.   http://www.smh.com.au/business/is-coding-the-blue-collar-job-of-the-future-20170222-guiigu.html

5  https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/21/apples-learn-to-code-app-swift-playgrounds-adds-5-more-languages/

6.  http://www.afr.com/technology/mobiles-and-tablets/apple/apple-offers-free-app-swift-playgrounds-to-teach-kids-coding-20160912-greu5b

May, 19, 2017

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