It wasn’t long ago that having electronic devices in the classroom would land students in detention or they would temporarily lose their device. Now, classrooms are slowly becoming equipped with tablets, computers, and other devices being used as helpful tools. While it is a step up from deeming them as contraband, it is important to also increase the awareness of how these devices actually work.
According to the Globe and Mail, the government of British Columbia, Canada announced that schools in the province would be integrating a coding class into the current curriculum for grades kindergarten to 12. It’s meant to battle the small percentage of students interested in coding and potential employment opportunities, especially because of the current technological boom. One hundred million dollars is going towards the movement through a venture fund, however, some say the plan is flawed.
The CBC reports that there needs to be more planning behind the new curriculum. There is no new funding or clear details. There is also the need for proper tools like a stable internet connection and well-trained teachers in order to give students a good education.
Even if there is a lot to be done in terms of planning, creating a coding for kids class is still a good idea, once well sorted. Young children are being introduced to technology from an early age to the point where it’s become second nature. Yet, not many of them know how it actually works and what happens beyond the screen. This puts them in a technology literacy paradox.
If children are the future, it should be important for them to understand how technology works in order to further develop it and appreciate the science behind it. This brings up the argument of teaching literacy all together rather than classes specifically for coding. After all, it’s expected that 1.2 million new jobs will be created in STEM, and other job sectors like media and economics are embracing technology in new ways too.
Classes taught specifically for digital literacy is important and can be taught early on, but much like other subjects in school such as math or art, there should be other branches as well. Bunching topics like coding, design, safety, history, and computer science wouldn’t be as useful for high school students who want to focus on one area.
Even if students don’t want special instruction in coding, it’s still an important skill to have. Coding can help open doors and put an extra bit of money in their pockets. Not everyone knows how to design a website or make an app. It also helps to develop problem-solving skills, since often times one small mistake can cause a lot of obstacles. Instead of just consuming the technology handed to them, kids can eventually learn how to tweak and improve different devices.
Learning code isn’t just good for students who want to become programmers, it’s also good for those who want to debug the world around them.