Whilst we know that the skills associated with computational thinking are vital for today’s children to flourish in the 21st Century workplace, the practicalities of teaching coding during school hours can sometimes be perceived as a challenge. There is often a misconception that incorporating workshops and lessons that will instill the important skills associated with computational thinking will take a lot of work. But, with simple techniques, we know how easy this can actually be! Here are my top tips for breaking down barriers to coding and setting your pupils up with life-long skills.
Digital literacy: I’m sure you’ve been told this is important for students in the 21st Century. But did anyone mention it’s also important for teachers too? Believe me, it is! Digital literacy is about digital skills, skills which help you use tech, create with tech and be safe using tech. So obviously as students increase in their use of technology we have to support them in how to use it wisely, correctly and safely. The same applies to teachers.
As a teacher of Computing at Sandymoor School, a Microsoft globally recognised Showcase School in Runcorn, Cheshire, promoting digital literacy is a curriculum area I have been developing during the last academic year with my classes. The three main strands within Computing are mapped against Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Each component is essential in preparing pupils to thrive in an increasingly digital world. Digital literacy is about pupils building their technical knowledge and skills to ensure they become confident and competent users of technology.
Technology affects all of us: from our working lives, to our home and social lives. There is no denying that the growth of technology, particularly in the last ten years, has been at an unprecedented pace.
Becoming digitally literate is something that affects anyone that uses computers, the internet, mobile phones, tablets and other devices to communicate with friends, work colleagues, business. As educators we need to ensure our students become digitally literate in order that they have the best possible chances of succeeding in our technological world.
It has long been accepted that the type of employment our current five year olds will enter into doesn’t exist yet, and the prophecy is that it will be in technology. Improving digital literacy is an essential component of developing effective and employable learners as it is anticipated that up to 90% of new jobs will require excellent digital skills.