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Initiatives to encourage children and young adults to learn coding

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Initiatives to encourage children and young adults to learn coding

Teaching children and young people to code, design and build social apps and websites seems to be the new ‘thing’, as highlighted by BBC News at the start of last week, reporting on Code Club. Code Club is hoping to be registered as a charity to help and inspire primary school children aged 10-11 to learn how to code.

It is called Code Club as these sessions that have been kicked off by 100 volunteers who will instil the basics of computer programming into young children. Claire Sutcliff and Linda Sadnvik who thought up the Code Club project said “We’re teaching our kids to be secretaries rather than programmers”. After a recent successful campaign challenging the curriculum of ICT in schools the Government is now in the process of changing its guidelines as the campaign emphasised the importance of basic programming knowledge.

What can seem a sometimes boring subject to most has been recreated to reflect the importance of programming in everyday life with the course including practical activities such as making games and controlling robots. “The idea is to build things that are really exciting” Ms Sutcliffe said “We want them to be making stuff.”

The first twelve sessions of the club should be free to run as it will be volunteer based not taught by teachers. This will be a large factor in the company’s aim as Code Club plans to have 25% of the UK’s primary schools running the initiative by 2014.

A similar idea to Code Club but for young adults has been reported by Mashable. A London based tech course have announced they are teaming up with Facebook to initiate a free training course for the unemployed youth. Advisers for the initiative include representatives from Dell, Thomson Reuters and Techlightenment.

The scheme will teach students how to design code and build social apps for Facebook to create positive social change. Learning programs such as HTML5, PHP and SQL, they will then be advised on how to market their apps as entrepreneurs. The graduates will present their projects at Facebook’s London Headquarters after completing the four-day-a-week, ten-week program.

Both initiatives try to bring more young people into the Technological Sector and the tech course also had the commendable goal to attempt to combat unemployment numbers within the 16-24 age bracket whilst helping society. We will monitor the success of both schemes with interest and wish them well.

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