Computer coding isn’t just for tech-minded millennials in Silicon Valley working on the latest start-ups. It’s also getting real right here in Queensland with our kids being the innovators of the future.
Robotics and coding in the classroom
The move for Australia to enter a new technological initiative was announced at a Digital Literacies education summit in Brisbane in June 2016. The initiative plans that from 2017 all Queensland schools will introduce robotics and computer coding into the curriculum from Prep to Year 10. A trial of the digital modules will be handed out to 1,000 teachers to start the ball rolling.
Keeping a finger on technology’s ever-changing pulse
With technology changing at such a fast rate, educators and teachers agree it makes sense to change the way our kids are learning too so they can keep up. The move is supported by Griffith University’s School of Education, the Queensland Council of Deans of Education and the Queensland College of Teachers. The Queensland Education Minister, Kate Jones, also agrees the Australian education system has to adapt if it is to be internationally competitive.
New knowledge for a new generation
The lessons that Australia will adopt are similar to the ones rolled out in the UK, which has already started teaching coding lesson to kids as young as four. Other countries that have followed suit are Israel and Slovenia.
While parents do have the option to have their children sit out on coding lessons, the general consensus is that they’d be crazy to do so. As Griffith University education lecturer Professor Jason Zagami says “We have to prepare them for [this new] world, as much as it might be different to the world we were brought up in. We have to acknowledge they may need different skills that we may not have ourselves.”
Many kids already know how to operate an iPad or are familiar with their parent’s Smartphone before they even get to school. So carrying on that learning at school will be a natural progression, albeit a bit more advanced than watching a movie on Dad’s iPad.
With this new knowledge, we may see more children creating with technology, rather than just consuming. In school, kids will be doing such coding as programming a robot to move around or creating a digital storybook.
As well as embracing 21st-century living, the new coding syllabus will also prepare kids for jobs that don’t yet exist.
“We are going to see incredible changes in technology when it comes to farming practices in this state, when it comes to biofuels, when it comes to manufacturing,’’ says Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, “There is a world of opportunities and our young people need to be part of it.”