Teaching kids to code and learning coding from an early age continues to get the attention it deserves. Coding has become a generic term that can be a little mis-leading. There is more to teaching kids computer science than just code. First things first though, whatever it is termed the key is that it remains fun, exciting and rewarding.
At Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 we are still nurturing an interest and confidence in being more than just a USER of technology. We want kids to be comfortable with the problem solving, logic, planning, team work, story telling and persistence required to MAKE new technology. Computational Thinking encompasses all this and is a useful skill outside of pure computer science.
As a programmer in a past life it was always a quick cocktail party conversation killer. The mere mention of the word programming seemed to conjure up a vision of curly parenthesis, semi colons and hours of typing at keyboard whilst the computer constantly complains about errors in syntax!! There is no doubt that a coder has to deal with this as they work on a specific directive as part of a bigger jigsaw puzzle.
However, as a programmer you have to rise above the detail and plan, communicate, negotiate, manage, brain storm and maintain deadlines of both time and budget. A coder on the other hand is an expert in a chosen language to translate those plans and logic into executable code that works and is implemented in such away that it works within the constraints of the big picture.
Each has it’s role and kids love playing the different roles and learn a lot more than just code. There is real momentum behind developing our children’s digital future, no matter what we call it. Let’s just keep it FUN.