30 September 2015

code club

I was absolutely fascinated to read of a school in London that has cut out all technology for its pupils. The regime cuts out all screens and technology devices, including television, from school and home until the age of 14, when computers can be used in the classroom.

The Guardian suggested the school is capitalising on recent research that claimed regular computer use lowers school performance. This, for me, seems to be a strange approach. I wonder whether perhaps we should be looking more towards new ways to make technology work in schools, rather than cutting it out.

We’ve been doing just that with our work with Code Club and the launch of a new Raspberry Pi computer suite at Broadoak School, which launches tomorrow. Finding new ways to integrate technology into education.

Whilst there are clearly some areas of concern when it comes to young children and technology – overexposure being one of them – for me, having children picking up the skills to navigate technologies and become comfortable experimenting with computers, coding, and how the tech in everyday life works if only a good thing. Digital literacy is an essential skill in the modern world. Should it be down to parents to ensure that children are not over-using screens at home and are enjoying outdoor activities, exercise and letting their imagination run wild.

In my opinion, having no access to the internet, at all, until the age of 16 does reduce or even remove the risks of cyber-bullying and the negative impact of social media, but it also removes the opportunity to become familiar with the tech and often we choose what we are passionate about in later life in these early years.

Life is about balance. This could perhaps be an example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

It’s undoubtedly a move that will trigger much debate. What do you think?

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