Filling in the gaps....learn to code
Last night, I was watching the FBI Most Wanted television series. Our very own New Zealander, Keisha Castle-Hughes, from the movie Whale Rider, is Special Agent Hana Gibson for this series. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly they can fix a bug in an episode, while in the real world coding is like a cha-cha dance. Two steps forward and one step back. And there we had a hacker, controlling an airplane electronics and was just about to crash the plane, when all it took Special Agent Hana to stop the hack to then save the day was to punch in a few codes. If only!
This made me think once again how important it is for everybody, not just students to learn coding.
Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) is offering Arkansan communities boot camps with the aim to re-skill themselves since last year’s rapid economic shift created a tremendous demand for programmers. The spike in demand for skilled software developers produced1.4 million job openings nationally and in Arkansas alone, nearly 1,300 software development roles are advertising in need of skilled tech workers.
“Our coding boot camps offer community members an avenue to enhance their college degrees with further certification and open up opportunities to enter or advance in the field of software development and experience financial growth,” said NWACC Director Training & Community Development Evetta Aldridge.
On the other side of the world, the new 42 Abu Dhabi’s Centre has opened.
The coding school is open 24 hours a day and offers its programs free of charge, where the school aims to cultivate creativity, collaboration and self-discipline by giving students ownership of their learning without classrooms or teachers. This tuition-free model is rooted in a peer-to-peer learning methodology that creates flexible learning pathways via a project-based, gamified approach.
42 Abu Dhabi reflects the Abu Dhabi government’s commitment to developing a digitally aware and technology-driven generation of young professionals who are not only technically skilled but are also pushing the boundaries of digital innovation,” said Hussain Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education who was also present at the
The program aims to train and attract 100,000 coders and establish 1,000 digital companies within five years. They are working with technology powerhouses like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and many more.
Talking about tech companies, Apple released their new coding education resources and curriculum tools for kids, from kindergarten all the way up to college.
“Learning the fundamentals of coding at a young age helps students listen, communicate, and think in new ways — and it improves students’ confidence,” said Leticia Batista, Ed.D., a dual-language kindergarten teacher at McKinna Elementary School in Oxnard, California.
“Our resources and support for educators are designed to prepare students to be the innovators of tomorrow, whether they’re just getting started or ready to build their first apps,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s VP of Education and Enterprise Marketing.
At Kai’s Clan we share the methodology to get as many kids ‘coder experts’ as possible. However, it is not just being a coder but understanding the whole system. Hence, our STEAM toolbox approach, where we incorporate coding in Blockly and Python, experiencing augmented and virtual reality, easy use of IoT and game-based learning.
Kai’s Clan also focuses on creativity and we use Minecraft and Tinkercad to encourage students to design their own robot avatars. Since its release in 2011, Minecraft has amassed 140 million active players worldwide, a majority of them being young children. So why not tap into those skills that they already have, by implementing Minecraft’s game and design platforms into Kai’s Clan and enhance the learning experience?