Coding: the new literacy for kids?

October 17, 2018

Coding: the new literacy for kids?

As we know, children today are born into a technological world and are instantly surrounded by screens and devices. Research by Sheffield University and OfCom found that more than 50% of under-twos knew how to swipe; a third knew how to unlock a tablet and take a picture, and 28% already used gaming apps.

Here are some other interesting stats:

  • Over a third of five year olds in the UK have their own tablet
  • They spend an average of 1hr 19mins a day on their tablet
  • 71% of primary schools now use tablet devices to enhance learning for this age group

This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Computing, and coding in particular, has already become the new literacy – this is the future of communication. Children need to be given the techniques to understand this language, then they can utilise it for their own self-expression and to build on their computational thinking – not just so they can become software engineers and programmers, but so they can become PRODUCERS not just CONSUMERS of digital technology.

Research has shown that working on coding projects improves creativity and problem-solving, encourages collaboration, communication and confidence in making choices and instils persistence.

Take a look at our current range of wipe-clean Get Set Go Computing books for children aged 5–7.

      

I’ll leave you with this thought – in 2018, 2.4 million STEM jobs (science, technology, engineering and maths) will go unfilled. (71% of all new STEM jobs are in computing, but only 8% of STEM graduates have done Computer Science.) The pace of technological change is speeding up and it’s now estimated that 65% of children entering primary schools today will likely work in job roles that don’t currently exist!

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