There is a common thing among Bill Gates the Microsoft founder, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg the Facebook CEO and Drew Houston of Dropbox. Their common thing is that they made IT services and products that many people use. Also, there is another common thing. These are people who had been learning coding concepts and doing programming since elementary school.
Bill Gates made ‘Tic-Tac-Toe’ similar to a bingo game and Drew Houston made a simple game that asks for your favorite color. This experience as a child influenced and developed their programming skills. As if a student who once played violin music grows and can become a good violinist, the student who knows how programming is formed, naturally develops programming skills.
As society became more and more digitized, a lot of changes took place. Also this change influenced education. So, instead of teaching programming to be a programmer, creativity and thinking skills are essential for future talents in the digital age. As a result, efforts are being made to develop creativity called Computational Thinking (CT) and at the heart of it is coding education. In the case of foreign countries, there is a tendency to actively support coding education as a national policy, and the UK is at the forefront. The UK government announced ‘computer education guidelines for children’ in September 2013 and prepared systemically coding education from elementary school. Furthermore, they designated the year 2014 as the year of coding and there are various campaigns for spreading coding education. Not only in the UK, but also many European countries try to change radically towards coding education and digital education. Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, and others have made information and communication education a separate subject, and Estonia has already modified the curriculum.
Likewise also Korea announced that coding education will become a regular course in elementary, middle and high schools from 2018. What is this coding education?
Coding education is to think progressively stage step by step in order to solve a given problem and to raise the thinking ability of computing by the algorithmization of the thinking system. In other words, as we teach science to show natural phenomena that happens around us, this education’s purpose is to teach Internet, Smartphone and Computer principles. So, a few years ago, educational and technical experts collaborated to develop coding content and pedagogy, and government and IT companies are increasingly supporting it.
We should have a lot of interest in coding education because it will also become a regular subject in Korea.