In the UK, amidst recent critiques of information and communications technology (ICT) education, a computer programming project called Code Club is developing an afterschool program to teach preteens coding in a fun way. Run by volunteers currently working in the technology industry, Code Club aims to change the way UK schools teach ICT. The project is trying to shift ICT education focus away from Microsoft Office Suite, which teaches basic software usage, towards coding, which engages creative and computational skills important in software development. Code Club co-founder Clare Sutcliffe believes teaching kids programming is important for operating in our increasingly technology-based world.
Code Club’s target student body is composed of ten to 11-year-olds; kids with enough of a grasp of basic math and logic to begin coding. Its current volunteer network numbers about 100 and the project aims to have its afterschool program running in at least one-quarter of UK schools by 2014. Instructors will teach 12 lessons over six weeks using Scratch, a programming educational tool developed for children by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Code Club kids will learn to create their own games and eventually be able to command robots.
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