Coding as a literacy skill

shyakasterCoding, Literacy0 Comments

 

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ICT skills are very important because of the power within computer software to help us communicate efficiently and effectively, to trade, to analyse etc. When I say ICT skills I’m talking about learning to use the available software like Word to write, Excel to analyse, Google AdWords to Market and collaborate etc. However there is a catch. All the above ICT skills can be self taught especially from a demand point of view, i.e , if I need to advertise online, I research using “wikihow” and after one day of trial and error, I will be a star.
Same as if I really needed to do cash projections or cash flow analysis, I would employ Excel and use it’s help section. What I’m trying to say is that information is now ubiquitous and if you need to learn something, you can very easily using Google. The issue therefore, especially so for education sector, is to teach children how to learn since those that don’t know how to learn wouldn’t thrive in this information age.
Skills like research, collaboration, effective communication, analytical skills, critical thinking, perseverance, are some of the skills required in the 21st century where you need to navigate the endless deluge of information being hauled at you. You need to separate the wheat from the chuff as it were otherwise you end up with a population that reads about illuminati off the internet and believes it yet they could also use that same internet to read about say the fall of the Berlin wall and its ramifications for the new world order.
The emphasis therefore should be on teaching computer science right from kindergarten as part of the curriculum! There is educational content designed for these ages and so there is no excuse not to!
Why computer science/coding?
1- Whether child ends up as a computer scientist or not, learning to program computers is pivotal as it delivers all the about skills that I mentioned. Computer science teaches organisational skills, improves Maths and literacy scores, thrives on risk taking and enjoying trial and error, is inherently a collaborative endeavour because programmers work in teams, teaches perseverance as certain tasks required tenacity from the programmer to figure the solution, develops design thinking skills, analytical skills, greatly improves abstract thinking skills and above everything computer science is about problem solving. Training problem solvers is tantamount to creating entrepreneurs which is what an underdeveloped country like Uganda needs. We need people who create jobs.
2-Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. The fastest growing job sector where the demand outstrips supply several fold is computer programming.
3- The 21st century runs on a digital platform. Everything we do is now governed by software and its getting worse. Jobs are now getting automated. Who needs an accountant when they have cheap accounting software on the phone? The only people to thrive therefore are the ones that can use digital tools to design solutions on the digital platform on which we operate. This underscores the need to get children learning to make software as soon as yesterday.
4- Value Creation. Please answer these questions to help you understand the immense power of software to create abnormal value! How old is Facebook? Value? How old is uber? Value? How old is WhatsApp? Value? How old is Alibaba? Value? What is the most valuable company in the world? Apple. What do they deal in? What is the biggest music store in the world? ITunes . Does it make CDs ? No. It’s just a software.
Look at mobile money here in Uganda. How many jobs has it created, how about economic value? We are missing the point for as long as we shall continue to use technology rather than to create it. And to start a business based on software requires cognitive and technical skills rather than cash which is what you would need more of if for example you were trading or manufacturing something.
 

What we are about is education and the value it adds to our young ones who are the next generation. Technology moves at the speed of light and making sure it works for is a good thing.What we are about is education and the value it adds to our young ones who are the next generation. Technology moves at the speed of light and making sure it works for is a good thing.What we are about is education and the value it adds to our young ones who are the next generation. Technology moves at the speed of light and making sure it works for is a good thing.

 

What we are about is education and the value it adds to our young ones who are the next generation. Technology moves at the speed of light and making sure it works for is a good thing.What we are about is education and the value it adds to our young ones who are the next generation. Technology moves at the speed of light and making sure it works for is a good thing.What we are about is education and the value it adds to our young ones who are the next generation. Technology moves at the speed of light and making sure it works for is a good thing.

 

What we are about is education and the value it adds to our young ones who are the next generation. Technology moves at the speed of light and making sure it works for is a good thing.What we are about is education and the value it adds to our young ones who are the next generation. Technology moves at the speed of light and making sure it works for is a good thing.What we are about is education and the value it adds to our young ones who are the next generation. Technology moves at the speed of light and making sure it works for is a good thing.

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