Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, YouTube… The list of digital tools and interactions your students are accessing is ever growing. They are the ‘digital native’ generation. These kids might know how to use all of these different platforms, but do they know what goes on under the hood?Digital literacy has gone beyond the user phase. Kids need to know how to write code to be truly effective digital citizens of the future. Already the job market is heavily based in the digital world, and to compete now, and in the future, understanding computer code is a major advantage.The prospect of teaching kids how to code freaks teachers out. Particularly primary school teachers, many of whom have been working flat out to keep abreast of how to use the software and hardware that has been rapidly appearing in their classrooms. The new Australian national curriculum indicates that computer coding should now to be taught from age 5. It’s time to take the plunge!
Kids will love the problem solving element of coding. Get them building simple games, blogs and websites, harness their Minecraft obsession by coding add ons for the game. I dare say that teachers taking the plunge into this new world of technology teaching will find it stimulating, and the possibilities for extension and development are huge.To be literate in the 21st century requires more than reading and writing. Digital literacy is the driver of industry, and the sooner kids learn, the more opportunities they will embrace.