Throughout the Kickstarter campaign I’ve been using it as an opportunity to reach out to parents and get their opinion on the new Computing curriculum and general drive to push it into schools.
I had a great email from an old school friend who’s not technical and reflects the general consensus I’ve found quite well:
It’s essential that children are given the opportunity and access not just to learn about computers and coding but to really understand it. If my daughter is being taught maths so that the methods and numbers are unpicked and she understands why numbers work they way they do so she can apply that understanding with any set of numbers then surely the same benefits apply when it comes to computers/coding.
I am concerned that even though computers/technology touch nearly every aspect of our lives there is still a ‘mystique’ about them or coding is seen as a ‘dark art’ it must be mainstreamed in education if we are to encourage our kids to learn and be turned on to the possibilities to then go on to choosing a career path that sees them create the next generate of technology or use their knowledge in engineering, science or research (areas that need a boost of entrants). My son has just started secondary school having only had a limited experience of working with code and it frustrates me to think that this may continue.
Even if your kids are lucky enough to go to an extremely well resourced school their experience and exposure to computers and coding depends entirely on how adept the teacher is with it. Even then I’m willing to bet that its ‘surface’ learning rather than a deeper understanding. Too often lack of resources is used as an excuse for not exposing the children to this kind of stuff at all which makes practical solutions such as yours a total win:win.
I want my children to ask why? when they are being taught, and get past the surface learning that provides limited value and does not give them the tools to learn and acquire knowledge and skills as they move through their school years. Using outside of the box methods to teach them a different perspective on such a critical part of their lives & futures should surely be the top of the list.
I hope this isn’t too ‘soap box’ but its something I feel very strongly about.