There’s been a real buzz about EducationCity.com’s Code Crunch Student Tool since we released it at Bett in January. If you've not heard about it, it's our brand new programming tool prototype, which helps pupils develop an understanding of coding by using their maths and logic skills. We’ve had some teachers tweeting to say they’ve used it with pupils as young as Year 2, and we’re hoping even more people will take a look this month, as although its official home will be in our Maths module, it’s also part of our Topical Resources for National Science and Engineering Week.
Why is such an introduction to coding important?
In the past, introducing children to computer programming at primary school would have seemed unthinkable. But then, until ten years ago, who would have imagined that the internet would be something we could and would access on a daily basis for information on practically anything? With the rapid progression of technology as it is today, if children don’t understand computers, it could mean that they, and we as a country, get left behind. This is such an issue given that the technological landscape has evolved so much and at such a pace, that the new primary National Curriculum, effective from 2014, is planning to replace Information Communication Technology (ICT) with computing to address more difficult skills, such as coding.
Why is coding considered so important?
The simple answer is because companies in the technology industry are crying out for computer science graduates. They are finding it increasingly difficult to fill job vacancies as the number of computer science students graduating each year is simply too small to satisfy demand, and if things stay the same, they will find it more and more difficult over time. By introducing pupils to coding at a younger age, the hope is that this will spark more interest in maths, science and computer science, and so encourage more youngsters to study them all further. Aside from this, introducing basic computer skills to young children is important for everyday life. Understanding how new technology works is a necessity given that today’s children use complex devices on a daily basis and are likely to encounter more as they grow up.
So, is Code Crunch the first of many such Student Tools for EducationCity.com?
We’d like to hope so, but we are currently focusing on our Code Crunch prototype and with that in mind, are taking on board as much feedback as possible about it. We created it so users can contextualise and apply maths skills in a fun and interesting environment, but know some teachers are finding taking what may be their first steps into coding as daunting as their pupils. To this end, we want to take away some of the mystery surrounding it and add a definite element of fun. We hope the short video we’ve created with the help of our talented trainer, Ellen, will help to do this. Take a look and see if you can programme your computer to count to ten.
Code Crunch is currently available FREE to trialists and subscribers via the NSEW Topical Resources, no matter which modules you have access to.
Let us know how you get on!