Let’s Teach Our Kids Technology

The largest learning technology and computer show has just started in London, with Education Secretary Michael Gove assuring a more challenging computer science program in schools in England. He says students as young as six will get the chance to learn to program and code – but having said that many kids already do.

Amy Mather’s remembers well her first experience of coding was at a science festival, when she was just 11 years old.

Nowadays, she writes her very own applications, designs and codes games, still at the very young age of 14 and has recently been named the European Digital Girl of the Year in 2013.

You might be surprised to learn that she even talks at business events,the reason? Simply to try and encourage other kids to give it a go.

“Everyone has thoughts and ideas that could make our own lives easier,” she says.

“Coding provides you with the power to achieve that. The sky’s the limit.”

Her dad, an engineer, gave Amy a very first taste of coding when she was just old enough to attend school.

But this is not an experience shared by many youngsters in the UK currently. Technology and computers are taught under the guise of ICT which seems to mean endless lessons on simple word processing, spreadsheet and database assignments – in truth these are now merely routine office tasks. Most secondary schools in Wales for instance have no-one really trained in teaching coding – it certainly doesn’t feature in the curriculum currently.

It is important that our children experience these skills, particular technology and computer programming. It is not only important due to the demand on these expertise in our modern world, but also the increased chances we give our youngsters. Often you will find aptitude in computer coding in the less academic children which is a fantastic opportunity for them, sadly many don’t get the option because of the lack of opportunity in modern secondary education in the UK.

The demand is out there, from games programming, security opportunities where programmers are need to help design online surf protection for applications. There are a myriad of opportunities, learning to code gives youngsters the same sort of opportunities as learning a second or third language. What’s more while we are messing around trying to figure out how to set up a VPN on an iPad (it’s here if you are interested!) if we point our children in the right direction then they’ll be able to help us in our later years!