Celebrating Programming Skills in Schools on Digital Learning Day
The Digital revolution has provided us with great access to information, so much so that google processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average. This equates to a staggering 1.2 trillion searches per year. Even four of the biggest IT companies (Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook) alone store at least 1.2 million terabytes of data. With so much information available it’s important to educate children about digital technology from an early age.
Digital Learning Day is designed to help celebrate digital technology in learning and education and call attention to the innovative use of technology that can be used for learning in schools.
It is no secret that technology has become a huge part of our everyday lives. According to the 2018 Communications Market Report by Ofcom, 64% of adults in the UK say that the Internet is an essential part of their lives, of which 20% of adults spend more than 40 hours online per week.
As such, in recent years, school abolished ICT and replaced it with a new ‘Computing’ curriculum including coding lessons for children as young as five years old. The new curriculum came as a result of a skills shortage for the technology sector, with the number of tech jobs far surpassing the amount of people with the appropriate skills to fill them.
Surveys by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, O2 and Ocado Technology, revealed that between 60-65% of school children’s parents are unaware or unsure about the changes to the curriculum. In short, the reasons behind the changes lie not only with tech companies not having the access to enough graduates qualified to fill vacancies, but also due to campaigners arguing that learning programming skills with benefit children whatever their ultimate career.
Programming teaches children to be creative and is a way for them to be articulate and think logically: children can see what’s happening in front of them and predict what is going to happen next – a vital proficiency for children to be exposed to. Studies suggest that computing helps to develop literacy and numeracy skills and there are lots of transferable skills involved.
Here’s a quick summary of which programming skills children learn throughout their school years:
Key Stage 1 (5-7 year-olds)
- Algorithms – what they are, and not just in computing context.
- Creating and debugging simple programs of their own.
Key Stage 2 (7-11 year-olds)
- Creating and debugging more complicated programs – getting to grips with variables and ‘sequence, selection and repetition in programs.”
- Using websites and other internet services.
- Using devices for collecting, analysing and presenting back data and information.
Key Stage 3 (11-14 year-olds):
- Using two or more programming languages – “at least one of which is textual” – to create their own programs.
- Boolean logic, working with binary numbers, and studying how computer hardware and software work together.
Children also learn computer and internet safety, including how to report concerns about ‘content and contact’ online.
Are you a parent with views about the changes in the curriculum? Let us know – we’re keen to hear your thoughts. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Take a look at Corecom Consulting’s Educational Partnerships.
A full breakdown of the changes made by the Government can be found here.