Education Eye: Coding, the future of skills building?

The future’s not so much about the big idea - it’s about having the technological skills to make the big idea happen.

By Catherine Stoker, director of the Independent Education Consultants
Saturday, 14th February 2015, 5:00 am
Catherine Stoker
Catherine Stoker

I spend quite a proportion of my week visiting schools. One of the most noticeable changes over the past couple of years has been the advent of teachnology, in other words, technology to support teaching and learning across all areas of the curriculum. 
Ipads and Apps are increasingly becoming vital classroom tools and many teachers have initiated creative ways to engage and inspire children’s interest in learning through their use. 
The I.T. curriculum is no longer about PC skills such as learning how to touch-type or use Word, Excel and PowerPoint. 
These skills are now almost second nature to children who, surrounded by technology from a young age, have grown up using them for almost as long as they have been able to read and write. Instead, programming through learning to code is fast becoming the future of technological learning in schools. 
Learning how to write and understand the language of computer code gives youngsters an insight into the logic behind the technology they come across every day via Apps, smartphones and programmable gadgets, enabling them to engage more within the world in which we now live. 
As important as learning French, Spanish or Mandarin, computer code has possibly become, the most powerful and useful language of all. 
Even if they never intend to pursue a career in programming, the logical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills it requires will certainly prove useful, whatever career path youngsters take. Coding, competent use of technology and an ability to exploit the internet will be future essentials for the CV, since they are fast becoming fundamental to all aspects of innovation and communication.