We should be programming literate so we’re able to design the programs we use or at least we should be able to understand the framework. That is, there should be basic coding principles that we all understand, like we how we understand basic mathematics. This is the idea behind Code Club, a United Kingdom based project created in order to teach children starting at ages 10-11, coding through an after school program.
Perhaps it’s too late for many of us, but Code Club is grabbing the bull by the horns and actually doing something about the need for more young people to have a better understanding of what’s behind the apps, games, and devices we’re all using from a young age.
The aim of Code Club is also to make coding more appealing and more fun from a young age instead of it being seen as too difficult, too abstract, or simply not cool.
The Advert Is Awesome
Take a look at this fantastic video for Code Club created by the digital agency Albion regarding Code Club :
Another goal of the project is to begin a code club in a quarter of the U.K.’s schools by 2014 and Code Club is in the process of recruiting volunteers to go into schools in order to get kids interested in programming immediately. Activities outlined include teaching children how to make games as well as controlling robots.
Getting Kids Interested On A Wider Scale
Co-Founder Linda Sandvik says about the project, “We’re teaching our kids to be secretaries rather than programmers.” She also notes that nowadays, we teach children about the laws of physics as a way to talk about the physical world, so why not teach them about what’s behind our technology?
Clare Sutcliffe and Linda Sandvik, the founders of Code Club, met a web design conference and soon realized that among the many things they had in common was, “a belief that it is essential that children are introduced to coding at an early age and shown how much fun it can be.”
Code Club will complement a broader push in the U.K. educational system which teaches children, on a basic level, how to use technology. For the two founders of Code Club, this makes perfect sense.
Based On Scratch Tool
The Code Club curriculum will use M.I.T.’s Scratch Tool which allows children to get their feet wet in coding by allowing them to drag and drop elements of code in a visual format, instead of having them type out actual lines of code. The tool allows them to build code, visually recognizing results through the drag and drop format, while also allowing the user to see the lines of code themselves to see what is being represented.
“The idea is to build things that are really exciting. We want them to be making stuff,” says Sutcliffe.
By teaching children coding from an early age, Sutcliffe and Sandvik want children to learn another way in which they can change the environment around them. It’s also an important goal of the two that children learn to program and design specifically for their own purposes, instead of relying on other individuals or corporations to do it for them.