Computer skills for the future
At CEOP we often hear from adults who feel concerned that young people may become involved in using the dark web, hacking or other types of ‘cybercrime’. This fear of the unknown can overwhelm and impact our confidence as educators to confidently speak about the opportunities of computing, whilst also adequately protecting and supporting young people. Although risks associated with hacking or the dark web are apparent, what is also clear to see is that children and young people are stimulated and driven by digital devices, app based technology and curiosity.
There are many ways that an interest in learning about technology can benefit the children and young people that we work with. It can lead to developing great problem solving skills, or careers in cyber security and app development. And the first stage of nurturing this interest can be done through education and creation.
Bloom’s taxonomy of learning revised in 2001 shows ‘Creating’ at the top of the learning pyramid.
Anderson, L. W. & Krathwohl, D.R., et al (2001)
One way of connecting Bloom’s taxonomy to online safety education and digital literacy is to seek to involve children and young people in creating safe apps and technology. There are a number of organisations that exist across the UK that aim to involve children and young people in creating a better future for themselves through technology.
If you work in a school with children and young people aged 10-18 years, the organisation, ‘Apps for Good’ can meet the demands of the computing curriculum in an engaging way and build skills in this age group of teamwork, communication and problem solving. It also helps educators learn up-to-date subject knowledge, technical skills and pedagogy in this area. Their resources and services are free for non-fee paying schools and those that have taken part have created incredible apps focused on social change, and aimed at improving health, learning and safety.
If you work with children under the age of 11, there are also opportunities through ‘Code Club’. Code Club is nationwide network of volunteers and educators who run free coding clubs for young people aged 9 – 13. It works through volunteers who team up with a community venue such as a school or library to run an after school club using specially created Code Club resources. Children and adults can follow step-by-step guides which help them to learn Scratch, HTML, CSS and Python by making games, animations, and websites.
(Image from Code Club archives)
Further resources for young people and adults
- Scratch is a free programming software where you can create your own interactive animations and games. scratch.mit.edu
- CoderDojo is a global network of community based programming clubs for 7 – 17 year olds. Learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and explore technology. coderdojo.com
- MyKidsy is a directory of London-based innovative and educational activities for children to help unlock their hidden talents and creativity. Find an after school club near you. www.mykidsy.com
- Young Rewired State is a young team of coders who attend events around the world and use their digital skills to build prototypes, complete challenges and meet others who share their interests. www.yrs.io
- Free:Formers helps companies drive digital transformation through programmes that teach relevant and practical skills to anyone from frontline staff all the way up to senior leadership teams. Click on the link to find out more.www.freeformers.com
- FUZE Technologies supports schools in meeting the requirements of the new National Curriculum for computing, offering a computing platform that helps make learning text based programming as easy and accessible as possible. www.fuze.co.uk
Digital Defenders support young people to use their computer skills to build careers in cyber security www.inspiredcareers.org/DigitalDefenders.pdf
- The Barclays Digital Driving Licence can help you to become more digitally savvy and keep up to date with technology. They have joined forces/partnered with companies such as Microsoft and IBM to create a fun interactive learning experience. digitaldrivinglicence.barclays.com
If you are already an educator who knows young people that are involved in one of these programmes, we would be keen to hear from you about your experience, and if we can feature a success story on the site, email firstname.lastname@example.org