Coding / IT

(16 Posts)
allegretto Fri 15-Apr-16 18:53:23

How important is it for a child to learn coding or IT skills at school (either primary or secondary)? Because my children do zilch (we are abroad) and I wondered if it is something that I should look into as an after-school activity or whether it doesn't actually matter that much. Thanks!

Ferguson Fri 15-Apr-16 19:34:51

Besides its IT value, I guess it teaches precision and accuracy in problem-solving and logical thinking, and how to approach problems. But Maths, Science, Geography, Design & Technology, Art and Music can also cultivate those sort of skills, and of course IT overlaps into those subjects as well.

If it is available as an after-school activity, then it can't do any harm to give it a try, but I think it is possible it has been boosted and 'sold' more than it really deserves. The Raspberry Pi and other similar systems CAN teach the basics of IT and coding at a very low cost, but it will need a lot of effort and dedication, and good maths or physics skills as well, to make real progress. Also Lego Technic has computer-based activities, and some schools use that type of approach.

Accuracy and attention to detail are the main requirements to learn coding, but I think good employment opportunities should exist if all the other subjects are learnt to a high level. The ability to USE computers effectively comes into EVERY walk of life today, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to know how to build or 'code' them.

allegretto Fri 15-Apr-16 20:10:28

Interesting, thanks! Unfortunately they don't even really learn to use computers at my son's school.

Hulababy Fri 15-Apr-16 20:17:18

Do you have a computer or tablet at home?
How old are the children?

lots they could do at home, teach themselves:

Computer - Scratch, Tynker, Hour of Code, Code Academy, etc.

iPad (some other tablets) - Scratch Jr, Bee-Bot, A.L.E.X., Kodable, Daisy, etc.

allegretto Fri 15-Apr-16 20:18:38

Thanks - I don't know what any of those are but I really look them up! My children are 11 and 6.

wallywobbles Fri 15-Apr-16 20:31:30

They can build an app with udemy or code academy - can't remember which. My 10 year old started but got a bit bored. Requires you to do it too really.

allegretto Fri 15-Apr-16 20:42:07

Oh dear, I have no interest or inclination to learn!

allegretto Fri 15-Apr-16 20:42:27

I just don't want them to get hopelessly behind UK children....

irvineoneohone Fri 15-Apr-16 21:08:08

My ds learned coding at khan academy. I think a lot easier than code academy, but more proper coding than scratch.(https://www.khanacademy.org/computing )
He started when he was 7. It starts from drawing shapes and text. Also has hour of code for quick fun.

irvineoneohone Fri 15-Apr-16 21:09:33

www.khanacademy.org/computing

JinRamen Fri 15-Apr-16 22:50:41

It is on the curriculum.

But get yourself a pi and a book called adventures in pi and you will be set. Very straight forward. For the six year old, perhaps start with the carol vorderman book.

allegretto Sat 16-Apr-16 07:50:39

It is on the curriculum - unfortunately not where I live! The school barely has any computers - just one computer "lab" with really out of date machines. I will look up those books, thanks.

icapturethecastle Sat 16-Apr-16 09:31:29

The Hopscotch app is also good - I am no expert but my DS 8 has been using it to make simple games and it has lots of tutorials. They haven't done anything at his school yet.

jo164 Sat 16-Apr-16 11:50:16

My children are at a private school and whilst brilliant in lots of ways is a little behind the times with regards to IT and coding! I bought the rising stars coding books and my eldest (8) has been working through them herself - starts with scratch, power point and excel use. She is really enjoying it. Books were on amazon.

irvineoneohone Sat 16-Apr-16 14:21:01

Yes it's definitely on curriculum. My ds learned to use power point, word and excel at school in yr1/2, and done some scratch in yr3. But they only cover the minimum.

MadelineOnCode Mon 24-Oct-16 10:12:20

I know I'm late to the party on this thread but I just wanted to know how you got on Allegretto ..

Here are links to the most popular coding aids:

scratch.mit.edu/
www.gethopscotch.com/
code.org/learn

If you are after an activity book which engages both you and your child without the need of a screen (devices can make learning a 1-1 experience) try out the Super Duper CSS Coloring-in-Book. This offers activities which explore the keywords and concepts of HTML and CSS check it out here :

www.amazon.co.uk/Super-Duper-CSS-Coloring-Book/dp/099339812X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477299511&sr=1-1

Code clubs and home schools use this technique to add context to lines of code. Good Luck!

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