Code Club arrives at Australian schools

Cool to code using gamification and exploration

Teaching coding skills

Teaching coding skills

Australian school children will get a chance to learn coding skills under a new program that taps into gamification and learning through exploration. This initiative relies on animation and interaction to make coding fun.

This program, led by Code Club Australia, was launched in Australia this month. The initiative is supported by the Telstra Foundation and extends Australia’s participation in the Code Club World program.

The global Code Club initiative shows children how to program by helping them develop computer games, animations or websites.

Teachers or volunteers can offer an hour a week and teach one project a week. This can either be at after-hours school or other venues like libraries.

Following a successful trial, 500 children get a chance to spruce up their coding skills. This initiative is designed to build a code-savvy generation.

Coding skills rate just as highly as literacy or numeracy and increasingly so into the future.

Code Club Australia will provide project materials or interactive learning tools, together with support by the Telstra Foundation.

World shaped by digital technologies

Catherine Livingstone, Telstra Chairman and Code Club Australia’s first National Ambassador, said that coding will play a critical role in creating the skills that underpin Australia’s future competitiveness.

“The world is being shaped by digital technologies and Code Club is critical in building a relevant skill-base for Australia’s future,” Livingstone said.

“Our ability to equip our young people with these essential skills is going to be the difference between a prosperous Australia, competing and innovating on the global stage, or being left behind.”

Annie Parker, founder of Code Club Australia, and co-founder of the start-up accelerator muru-D, said this initiative ensures that children have access to high-demand coding skills during their formative years.

Software the language of business

“Coding is the new literacy and as a country we have to acknowledge that software is the language of business today. It’s what is going to best prepare our children whilst encouraging problem-solving abilities and digital confidence.”

Parker added that not every child will be the next Mark Zuckerberg. “But not enough has been done in recent years to ensure our kids are learning the best balance of skills to allow them operate in a world where almost everything has a digital component,” she said.

Code Club Australia sessions encourage fun, creativity and learning-through-exploring. Children are trained in programming through gamification and are encouraged to think differently.

Organisers say that the first trial confirms that children love to code when this is taught in a fun and interactive way.

Globally, the Code Club concept has spawned more than 2,700 clubs. Nearly 40,000 children are learning how to code across different countries and languages.

Code Club Australia is headed by a board that comprises some experienced members. These include Joanne Jacobs, an academic and digital strategist, Pete Argent, a director at Coder Factory, Clive Dickens, chief digital officer at Seven West Media, Anthony Farah, CEO at Vivant and Annie Parker, the founder of Code Club Australia.

Follow Shahida Sweeney on Twitter: @ShahidaSweeney

Tags software developmentcodingTelstra Foundationprogrammingprimary schoolsCatherine LivingstoneCode Club AustraliaCode Club World

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