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Jonathan Weinberg writer
Jonathan Weinberg Technology Journalist GB
The British Government has deemed 2014 as the ‘Year of Code’ to get more children learning the basics of the languages behind computers, websites and apps.
 
There were, of course, already plenty of ways for kids across Britain to get interested in coding.
 
Organisations such as Young Rewired State, Code Club and Nesta’s Make Things Do Stuff initiative led the charge here along with global players such as Code.org and CoderDojo.
 
But the Government shining a light on coding can’t be a bad thing… can it?
 
With digital skills now at a premium, and many companies shipping in coding talent from abroad or shipping out work overseas, there’s huge UK growth potential for such skills.
 
The huge interest in the use of Raspberry Pi devices has got young people back delving behind what makes a computer tick. Rather than just sitting at a PC screen with no clue as to what made it possible for them to do so.
 
The recent Livingstone-Hope review led to the introduction of better computer science lessons in schools with coding on the timetable for all five to 16-year-olds. That has to be good.
 
Of course, there’s still a shortage of teachers with the necessary skills but skilling as many young people as possible means future generations will develop their skills for the benefit of Britain.
 
Understanding such digital languages has to be as important in today’s connected world as learning a new foreign language when aeroplanes made cross-border travel easier.
 
It won’t be right for every child. No subject is. But learning to code also helps children understand logic.
 
And anything that gets young brains ticking to solve problems and achieve a positive outcome is surely crucial to their all-round development and future job prospects.

How do you feel about the Year of Code and other coding initiatives? Tell us in the comments below.
 

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Opinion 3 years ago

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