In classrooms across Australia, hundreds of students are happily working away at a task that would frighten many adults: coding.
Brought out of the realm of extra-curricular activities and into every day teaching by the new national Digital Technologies Curriculum, coding is fast becoming a must-have skill and a favourite among students as young as five.
The birth of Code the Future
One organisation that has been ahead of the curve on this revolution is Melbourne-based startup Code the Future. The brainchild of teacher and assistant principal Bec Spink and entrepreneur and CMO Will Egan, the idea for Code the Future was born at a Startup Melbourne event in 2014.
Mr Egan had recently been assisting his younger sister with her Year 9 level IT homework, and realised how little had changed in the approach to technology education since he was at school.
“I spoke with some of my school mates who had also gone into software development and we came up with the idea of going back to the school to help out teaching modern programming languages.”
The startup weekend provided an opportunity to roll out this idea on a larger scale.
“I joined a team focused on solving the problem of ‘bringing tangible coding education’ in to the classroom. This is where Bec Spink and I met – it was a perfect partnership of a teacher and a developer trying to solve this problem together.”
Ms Spink explains that at the pair bonded over a shared interest in bringing programming and codingconcepts into the classroom in practical, enjoyable ways that were also deeply educational.
“All of my research into educational theory and how children learn is really underpinned by constructionist learning theories, which is very connected to programming. Throughout the Startup Melbourne weekend Will and I talked about how we could make this concept different to existing,already great organisations like Code Club Australia, and instead of being a purely extra-curricular activity, how we could try and embed it in teaching and learning and get teachers involved.”
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