In recent years, computing education in the UK has been overhauled to make it more relevant to the digital age and to our increasingly technology-driven lives. However, the new GCSE in computer science has failed to attract much interest from students, as many pupils felt its emphasis on coding and programming was irrelevant to them.
This raises important questions about how to engage students in computer studies and how to inspire enough of them to want to learn skills which are imperative for the technology industry’s development.
Are coding clubs the way forward?
Schools in Wales are to be given £1.3million over five years to set up extra-curricular clubs to teach coding to children from as young as three years old. This investment has been introduced to try to instil into pupils at an early age that coding is an essential part of modern life, as it forms the basis of all the social media accounts we regularly browse, and the apps we use every day.
Coding in the curriculum
The new national curriculum, which is expected to be up and running by 2021, includes a crucial change which could increase the number of students studying computer science: coding and ICT is to be given the same importance as literacy and numeracy. This could be an effective way to start filling the extra 100,000 coding jobs which are expected to be created by 2020.
Think you could inspire students to take up computer studies?