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Noelene Callaghan

My Blog

My Blog

Why encourage students to code?

Posted on 2 July, 2015 at 8:25

1. What do you think empowering kids to create the apps that they themselves or others of their age use will bring to the quality and usefulness of the app created? E.g. could it increase the adoption rate, capture workflows that only kids could think of etc?

Children and Teenagers are creating apps that adults can not. This is due to a number of factors but mainly due to the limitations that adults possess in living in a technological world. Children are increasingly finding it difficult to access the information that they need or want the overall process to be simpler. And using app-based applications is ideal for children whom rely on devices such as smart phones and ipads/tablets. As these are their primary technological resource, accessibility to ‘anything’ must be readily available.


Children are also much more competitive than adults. Children who continue to develop multiple apps simply do it to better their previous attempt of creating an app. As children enter high school, they realise the potential of creating apps and take it to a next level. These teenagers typically create extensions or apps that will form part of their overall portfolio of work.



2. What coding languages do you recommend kids start off with? Why?

There are a number of languages that children can begin coding with. Ultimately, children should select a software that they have unlimited access to. In most instances, this software will determine the language that children will learn and master.


The most common coding languages that are accessed by children are those that are associated with games. For example, children who use Minecraft typically use Java. Java is one of the most accessed coding languages available and certainly allows children to develop their coding skills throughout and after their school career.



3. What sorts of skills could coding bring in terms of abilities children of today need? E.g. creative thinking etc.

Coding provides students with many of the dimensions of 21st Century Learning. In addition to critical thinking skills of computational thinking and problem solving, coding require kids to use numeracy skills such as probability, patterns and statistics to determine the next lines of code and how that code will influence the final product. Probability of prediction is a huge consideration when coding as one needs to ascertain, for example, what the steps are for a character when walking around a field.


Contrary to belief, coding provides students with social skills. It provides them the ability to converse using sophisticated language (using formal words) and also gives those individuals deemed as shy or introverted with a voice that they may not necessarily have (at home or in the classroom).



4. What advice would you give a young primary school student taking up coding in terms of career advice?

My advice would be to find a software program that you can use either at school or at home and begin coding. It is best to have an adult who knows what you are doing and they don’t necessary need to know anything about coding. This is purely to help you technologically and to ensure that you will always have connectivity and accessibility.


As many children code whilst they are playing games, joining a group on your favourite game may link you to other players of the same age and you can begin sharing your experiences or troubleshoot any problems that you are encountering. This will help you develop your skills whilst having a lot of fun.


Another great thing to do is get a teacher involved. Your teacher may be able to set up a coding club that could continue throughout your years at school and perhaps lead to work experience opportunities, meeting experts and more.





Categories: 2015, Education, Technology