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Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,

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Should we start teaching children in Primary and/or Secondary School "Coding"?

Coding is computer lingo, which I've heard a million times, but I've never really found an interest in learning anymore, until I saw this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU1xS07N-FA.

I believe that learning coding seems like a fascinating task now. I feel that coding would be pretty amazing skill to spread to the future innovators of tomorrow. I have not yet given myself the opportunity to learn coding, but after watching this I will check it out in the near future.

Do you think that the current curricula for education would fit a whole new division of computer science related courses, like coding (I think it's the big one?).

What are your views of more technologically based educational environments in the near future?

Does anyone else imagine a world of cyborgs....ha, but seriously, what are the limitations to having this skill?

If you have any other questions that might get answers or you have an answer for, then ask away and let's challenge the boundaries my fellow Tedsters! =)

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  • Mar 15 2013: I think it depends on what you are trying to achieve. Surely the end goal should be the driver on what to spend and direct their time upon.
    If the achievement is to give a lot of young people the ability to code, then great this is the way forward.
    If you are looking for a lot of young entrepreneurs, high achievers or creative thinkers then I think the time would be better spent else were.
    The current problem with our education system is the concept that 'one size fits all' i.e. all kids can achieve and attain the same level or become the best at whatever they choose to do. This initial mind set is wrong, and does not build children up upon their strength but instead tries to level the playing field. We really should be looking at their interests and natural talent and trying to nurture and build upon them.
    If the concept was right then surely anyone can become an Olympic champion, greatest violinist, ever or surgeon regardless or interest or ability. All they need is a little time to practice, in which case surely we should all be in very highly paid jobs doing whatever.
    I believe just because you can use a screw drivers and a socket set does not make you a great mechanic. It only produces someone able to do rudimentary mechanical tasks.
    Learning to code is no different, great you can now make a program but without imagination, creativity and other interests what are you going to do with it??
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      Mar 21 2013: Hi James,

      I want to emphasize that if coding were added to schools curriculum, then it would be to peak interests where children may not know they had , but having more skills wouldn't hurt anyone. If you watched any of the videos I have in my description, then it shows how coding can be a medium for creative expression. I don't believe that coding should dominate and be the only topic children should be learning, but it should be part of their agenda.

      I think you are assuming that people can't fail or should know their strengths and weaknesses from birth. Some people are like wine, just give them some time and they will "ripen".

      Who are we to decide what a child should do, even if it is their strength. Encouragement and improving those skills may be beneficial, but do they want or like to do what they are good at?

      Someone once told me a sad story of their friend. She was really good at mathematics, so her parents told her to become an engineer. She would graduate top of her class and had many job offers, but she would tell her friend that she really likes doing art, though she wants to make er parents happy. She begins to spiral into a deep depression and she ends up taking her own life. The fact that she wanted to do something she was good at and her parents wanted, she never achieved the happiness that she could have attained. Moral of the story, let people try what they like and give them help and encouragement.
      • Mar 22 2013: Hi Derek,

        Yes, very very sad story about someone that should have followed their heart rather than there head.

        I actually do agree with the sentiment that you are putting across. Being a software engineer myself I know how liberating and creative coding can actually be. My ideal would be to expand across a wider range of skills in addition to just coding i.e. basic mechanical engineering and more music type activities.

        I'm unsure if you know here in the UK the government has announced that all children should be able to program and create apps etc. My concern is forcing kids into to as well as not allowing them access to the information/skills etc could be damaging to the child.

        You address my point exactly when you say 'Who are we to decide what a child should do'; with our current system for example I was disallowed to take computing at school, as the teachers said that I wouldn't do well in that. Now here I am with Masters in Software Engineering!
        Because I my very bad experience during schooling, I'm very keen on trying to create an environment that nurtures children and build upon their skills, abilities and desires.

        However I still maintain on what the end goal of this would be, as for a taster I think it's great but I can see the education system taking something good like this and warping it into something totally different. In our current education system I see kids that don't have the basic skills of looking and feeding themselves. I would much prefer kids being shown and taught basic life skills before other such subjects.
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          Mar 25 2013: Hi James,

          In no way will I ever advocate for an education system that will produce students that doesn't consider their interests whatsoever to fruition. According to Sugata Mitra, most school systems were created with the ideal in mind that people needed to be identical, so they would be able to fit in at any work location, such as government positions, but he said that was the system that was efficient about 300 years ago. Now we have surpassed the need for that system and a new system will be beneficial. Indecisiveness is our enemy and research has been done where a new system is supposed to focus on the individual growth, but it probably won't be implemented because of special interest groups.

          If you believe in something, then amass like-minded individuals and act upon those ideas in the safest manner. Change is difficult for many to accept, but it will eventually happen in my optimistic view of our future.

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