Spellings joins the Code Club to help next digital generation

Code Club, the scheme to bring practical knowledge about digital technology into primary school classrooms, has another local volunteer in Neil Spellings, a past contributor to this website.

Code-ClubSpellings has worked for more than 18 years in the IT industry, so will offer some special expertise and insight once he begins his sessions at Oval Primary.

He makes a compelling argument for the scheme, and its practical approach.

As Spellings observes, there’s been a rapid growth in the importance of software, much of it in the form of apps, many of which have been written in someone’s bedroom somewhere. “The ability to write software [is] going to be crucial for our economy if we’re to keep up with demand,” Spelling writes.

“If you’ve been a student in a UK school in the past decade, you would have been led to believe ‘IT’ (or ICT as it’s now known) means knowing how to write a letter in Microsoft Word, and add up a column of numbers in Excel and draw some colourful shapes in Paintbrush. This isn’t the IT I was taught at school, nor should it be what our children are being taught now.

“We’ve thrown away two generations of potential authors of the next Angry Birds, the next Facebook or the next Xen hypervisor by turning them into Office automatons.

“What a waste.

“Changing the nationwide ICT curriculum is like turning an oil tanker. It’s going to take a while. So in the meantime, Code Club aims to plant the seed using volunteers teaching coding to nine-to-11-year-olds via after school clubs.”

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