Headteacher Magazine, guide to services and products for UK Schools
● Computer programming has been included within the National Curriculum
● An estimated £900m is spent on education technology by schools every year
● Ebuyer.com has created a guide for parents on how to help your child learn to code
With schools spending an estimated £900m on education technology every year, and computer programming featured in the National Curriculum, technology is now a fully fledged part of a child’s educational experience. But how can parents aid their child’s development at home?
Paul Lyons, IT Director at Ebuyer.com, said: “It’s really encouraging to see that schools are embracing technology to aid education, but as coding becomes more prevalent, parents need to be prepared to support this and develop skills from all ages. As coding will be part of your child’s ICT lessons, introducing it into their after school activities is a good idea.
“Even if they have no interest in becoming a software developer, they will benefit from skills such as problem solving and following instructions - which can be applied to benefit learning in other areas. Many parents may not know where to begin but introducing educational aspects into children’s technology use at home can have a real impact on a child’s ability.”
Ebuyer.com has compiled its five top tips on how parents can support their child to learn computer programming:
Coding and computer programming may be commonplace in the classroom, but the concept will be alien to many parents who may not understand the benefits of teaching children to write computer software. Coding is ultimately writing instructions for a computer to follow, so try to think about real life examples, such as following a recipe, that you can use to teach them the basic process.
3. There are hundreds of free games available that will teach children the basic skills of coding, without feeling like they are still in school. CodeCombat is just one of the many games available, which sees users take their ‘hero’ through the different levels using basic commands. For children with a more advanced knowledge of coding, Code Wars helps improve your skills by challenging other users.
4. Coding kits are the perfect gift for coding novices. The Arduino Coding Kit teaches the basics of electronics and programming to build an Etch-a-Sketch. If your child particularly excels and shows an interest in learning more complicated applications, as they get older a desktop computer would be a good investment. The Acer Aspire computer has all the functionality of a desktop, with a sleek and lightweight design.
5. If you are worried about the amount of time your child is spending in front of a screen at home, the Code Club might be a good solution. With over 5,969 clubs across the UK, they are a great opportunity for 9-13 year olds to socialise with like-minded children and learn valuable skills that will benefit their education. These free clubs help young people learn Scratch, HTML and CSS by making games, animations and websites.
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