School computer coding should start in kindergarten, says P.E.I. tech advocate
P.E.I. should add computer coding to curriculum, says IT chair
Nova Scotia has just announced that it is making computer coding a part of the curriculum. Teachers will cover the basics of computers with students in Grades Primary to 3, while older students will learn how to write computer programs — or code — starting next year.
Eventually maybe we could lead to every student on P.E.I. learning how to code.— Maureen Kerr , tech advocate
Kerr, a director of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation and chair of the federation's information technology committee, is also a member of the advisory council to the minister of education on technology in schools.
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For the last five years, Kerr has been offering an after-school technology club she created after she realized her two sons were getting limited access to computer programming in school. Last spring, 15 students at Stratford Elementary took part in her sessions, which included coding.
'Sooner or later kids are going to have to find out how to work technology'
"It helps with our understanding of the Internet because technology's a big part of our lives now," said Gabe Redmond, who was part of the technology club, and now attends Grade 7 at Stonepark Intermediate.
Kerr points to other jurisdictions that already include computer coding in the curriculum, such as the U.K. and different parts of the U.S.
Kerr said the government's investment of $5 million in mobile computer labs should make it easier for teachers to start to teach computer coding.
Hour of Code could be starting point
"If all the schools could try it, and get on board with the Hour of Code then eventually maybe we could lead to every student on P.E.I. learning how to code."