Coding essential to future curriculum, says Michael Gove

Education secretary Michael Gove has outlined coding skills as essential to the curriculum of the future

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Education secretary Michael Gove has outlined coding skills as a key part of the curriculum of the future.

In a speech at Brighton College, Gove said: “It will be impossible to call yourself educated in years to come unless you understand, and can influence, the changes technology brings.

“One thing we can be certain of is that the acquisition of coding skills, the ability to think computationally and the creativity inherent in designing new programmes will help prepare all our young people better for the future.”

The speech follows the government’s ditching of the national curriculum programme for ICT.

A new national curriculum for all subjects is set to be introduced into schools next year.

“For children who have become digital natives and who speak fluent technology as an additional language, the ICT curriculum was clearly inadequate,” said Gove.

He said: “Thanks to the work of Ian Livingstone, the British Computer Society and gifted teachers across the country excitement, and innovation, are returning to one of the most important and testing intellectual disciplines in modern education.

“Technology will change our lives in ways we cannot anticipate in the years to come – and it will certainly transform teaching as the revolution in higher education is proving,” he said.

In the speech, Gove criticised children playing games such as Angry Birds rather than learning to code, prompting a hostile response on Twitter.

“The opening paragraphs of Michael Gove's speech are ridiculously stupid. I got into coding as a teen precisely because I liked video games,” tweeted Economist reporter Daniel Knowles.

Ian Kennedy, lecturer at De Montfort University tweeted: “What if my son was coding Angry Birds, Mr Gove? Somebody did code that you know.”

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Mr Gove really is out of touch, like his party...i've tried now at least twice to get on a training course for C# at my local college and its been a disaster. First time - couldn't work out whether to charge me! If they don't know, i definitely dont! Second time - course was cancelled, despite leaving home tel no, mobile no and email address word never got through to me! And then if you pass the exam i'm guessing if its anything like support in IT, it will take years of trying to gain your first role, as you will need to find a sympathetic manager to your plight of knowing how to code, but not having any experience in the role...

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Intuitively, this generation should have computer skills in abundance. Yet companies in the technology industry are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit computer science graduates and programmers with the right skills. The problem is in our school system. Earlier this year, the Education Secretary, warned that the curriculum was not fit for purpose – leaving children "bored". HTML Learning for Toddlers is a MUST! We need to start RE-educating the current Curriculum with the ABC's of the 21st century. Join the revolution:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/bo...

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It is refreshing to see such a positive move in education from Michael Gove. The emphasis on coding in the next iteration of the National ICT Curriculum will not only help stretch our children’s knowledge of technology, but enable schools to feed imagination and drive innovation from an early age. App development and the concept of digital learning is crucial to future generations as technology becomes ever more integral to success.

We recently hosted a hackathon for education at the BETT show (Stone Group and hackathoncentral joint event) and saw first-hand what school children as young as seven are capable of: Scargill Junior School were particularly active during the event and worked with developers to learn about different aspects of coding that would help them create content and games, including a problem solving maths app based around a haunted house.

At times I think there has been a tendency to underestimate what children are capable of when it comes to IT, and in this case coding. They have, and are growing up in an age where their daily lives are shaped by how they interact with IT – that is not necessarily the case for those that have been responsible for shaping the National ICT Curriculum of yesteryear. We wholeheartedly support encouraging our children to code.

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