coding with your kids

The digital age is here and with it comes rapid technological change. Data, information, processes and digital systems are advancing the way the world operates and it is vital that our children are taught the skills to keep up.

To help empower our children in these aspects the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies has been endorsed for use in schools across Australia. When your children’s state implements the digital technologies curriculum, they will be afforded practical opportunities to use design thinking to develop original digital solutions.

The proposed curriculum has been designed with a number of key concepts in mind including the translation and implementation of algorithms. Intimately related to this concept is coding.

What is coding?

Coding (sometimes called programming), in the simplest of terms, is telling a computer what you want it to do via step-by-step instructions.

Why is coding important?

Coding is everywhere. From your favourite smartphone app to your microwave oven, coding is what makes these things work. It’s what powers our digital world.

According to Deloitte, Australia will need over 100,000 ICT workers in Australia in the next five years. Additionally, 75 percent of the fastest growing jobs in Australia today require STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills – most of which require some form of coding knowledge. Even jobs such as journalism, marketing and banking will also need at least an understanding of programming and coding.

What can I do to help my child with coding?

You’ve read this far and you’d like be a part of your child’s coding learning experience. That’s great! You’ve got a few options to choose from.

  • Coding apps – there are a number of coding apps out there designed for all ages and ability levels. Some are story-based for younger students while others cover the advanced mechanics of coding. As a recommendation, Scratch and Scratch Junior are great starting points for your child. Check out this post by Common Sense Media if you want to see a few for yourself.

  • Code Club Australia – A nationwide network of free, after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. Run by volunteers, sessions teach students how to program by showing them how to make computer games, animations and websites. Kids absolutely love Code Club and it’s an opportunity for them to think creatively and learn through exploring.

  • Coding Camps – Already a big hit in the United States, coding camps are popping up across Australia with many kids already spending their holidays learning to code.