Queensland kids get coding
Compulsory coding classes will be rolled out across Queensland next year.
In a move the State Government says will equip children for the jobs of the future, parents will no longer be able to opt out of digital learning classes for their kids.
The mandatory digital learning classes from Prep to Year 10 will cover coding, robotics and other tech-related lessons.
Similar classes are already central to the primary curricula of England, Belgium, Finland, Estonia and the Netherlands.
State Education Minister Kate Jones said it was an exciting change.
“We are on a learning journey ourselves but I think when you crunch the numbers in regards to the skills young people are going to need in the future, then we owe it to them to help them take part in the digital economy,” she said.
“Their world is a digital world and they need to have the intellectual capacity to back that up, and that is exactly what the digital curriculum does.”
Griffith University Dean of Education Donna Prendergast says all kids will need enhanced tech skills.
“At this particular time in the history of human kind digital coding is one of those key learning areas that we must attend to,” she said.
“You're never too young and never too old to learn.”
But not everyone agrees.
Child development expert Dr Michael Nagel has warned that there is still a debate over how much screen time is good for young people.
“There is a growing body of research that says engaging with iPads and engaging with technology may be doing more harm than good in terms of health,” he said.
“You should really look at the evidence, and to date there really is not any evidence to support this.
“Somehow I think it is kind of fascinating when people say if kids don't do it they are going to be left behind.
“When we are talking about kids at four and five years of age, we have rafts of research that tell us what kids need more than anything is to get out and play.”