The years of the three Rs are long gone. With students now needing to learn more skills than ever before it should be no surprise that coding has become embedded in the primary school curriculum.
As technology continues to advance, coding is quickly becoming a skill that’s as fundamental for Australian kids as literacy and numeracy.
Coding Kids’ general manager Emily de la Peña says coding is very different to conventional academic education as it requires trial and error, having a go and resilience.
“With coding, there’s a lot of iterative learning,” Emily says. “So students need to feel comfortable with making a mistake and even failing.”
For many schools, coding is a part of their focus on digital literacy which extends on the kids’ literacy and numeracy skills to solve problems using digital technologies.
Gumdale State School principal Phil Savill says coding is a part of the school’s science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) program that allows the kids to learn, play and create through the use of innovative technology.
“It’s the new language giving our kids the opportunity to create so much in regards to computer software, apps, and websites,” Phil says. “It opens up a whole new world in regards to their learning and how it will impact on their future.
“We are certain that a number of our students will be the innovators and entrepreneurs of the future.”
This focus on digital literacy isn’t a complete switch from traditional teaching practices as Emily says students still need to explore and consolidate concepts offline to fully benefit from coding.
“Even when you’re an adult you can nut out a problem with pen and paper in a group situation,” Emily says. “Technology is just a learning tool to reach the final outcome of learning and understanding.”
The emphasis on testing and experimentation in coding can benefit kids in other subjects where they shouldn’t be afraid to take a risk, even if they will most likely be wrong.
Words // Nicholas Grech