Teaching Kids how to Code and Parents how to Cope

22 Sep

Fast forward 5 years and popular TV programms like XFactor and Britain’s Got Talent will be auditioning a different kind of hopefuls altogether. The new generation of stars is ‘wired’.

That is not to mean that they would merely use Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for self promotion and clever e-commerce tie-ins. Most of all, they will be hackers at heart. They will know how the new world order works and will be taught how to ‘break it’ and put it back together again.

Britain is already reaping the benefits of entrepreneurial minds and digital  skill. Most new innovations are brought in via the web, dramatically increasing the quality of life and laying foundation for healthy improvement. There are a umber of schemes to recognise entrepreneurial efforts and reward their efforts with funding (Seedcamp is a good example).

Now, that is only sustainable if we can bring up the new generation with the right skills and provide enough developers to continue the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We need to teach enough kids how to code. So here comes ‘Rewired State‘ and ‘Young Rewired State‘ – a learning programme for kids as young as 6 and up to 18, which teaches kids how to code. The programme already has 150 alumni, each of whom has become the mentor for upcoming classes. The founder, Emma Mulqueeny @hubmum started the project 2 years ago having seen the complete lack of adequate, inspirational teaching of coding. Over a quick coffee Emma says that ‘bringing up a generation of developers will be key to our future and we have to start young. The kids can’t start from scratch when 18, it’s too late and their University degrees end up being the course of the basics rather than a creative journey to learn and experiment’.

Now I am signing up my kids for sure. Digital skills are their future – not being merely the passengers of Google’s algorythms and Facebook’s data hoovering but having the knowledge and skills to understand the new world order and influence it. The problem of transition will not be so much the kids, but their parents and tackling their fears through education is a key place to start.

teaching kids how to code

Rewired StateCoding a better country, Young Rewired State and their events like Barcamp and Hack the Government are in Emma’s blog



Other Relevant reading: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/jul/27/mini-seedcamp


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