Kids Should Code

The Guardian – Jim Chalmers & Tim Watts

On Wednesday lunchtimes at Altona Primary, it’s not just the basketball court or the cricket pitch which is the place for students to be. It’s the library, where kids in grades four, five and six crowd around and enthusiastically learn the basics of how to give instructions to a computer – coding.

The students attend not only because they enjoy designing video games, and building robots and their own computers, but because they know how important these skills are for their future. As a nine-year-old explained to one of us, he was learning coding not because he wanted to be a computer scientist, but because he wanted to be an architect.

This kid is lucky. He’s at a school with a passionate IT teacher and a school community that understands how important these skills are. Unfortunately, the failure of the majority of Australian policy makers to recognise what the geeks call “computational thinking” as a fundamental literacy in the 21st century is letting down the bulk of our other students. Read More