Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary school.. (1 Viewer)

CitySickness

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Re: Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary scho

Point taken on the involvement of private IT companies.

There will always be debate around what should and should not be taught in schools. I'm just of the opinion that learning to code, or even just learning that it's maybe not as daunting as you might have been led to believe, is already vital for kids to feel some sort of mastery of the tools that they live with – this isn't a "projecting into the future" thing.

Most computer skills education in Irish primary/secondary consists of learning how to use Microsoft Office. That's fucked.
 

magicbastarder

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Re: Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary scho

i have no issue with kids learning logic or the like; but at seven, you should be learning the basics of syntax and calculation (which are themselves important foundations for coding skills).

i think sudoku is used as more of a 'numbers can be fun' exercise, rather than a maths skill boosting one.
 

Theseus Mock

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Re: Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary scho

I've seen the way the current generation of teenagers write on Facebook & Twitter. Are they even teaching kids how to spell properly & how to use correct grammar now? Cause if so, I'm not seeing much evidence of it.

Don't get me started on FB/Pinterest mothers.
 

pissypants

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Re: Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary scho

bollocks to that. kids should go to school to get an education, not job training.

Aren't creativity, accuracy, and attention to detail all life skills? All three are a requirement for programming from my experience of working with coders.
 

ann post

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Re: Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary scho

Driving should be taught at gunpoint from age 12 in donegal, age being the main thing - imagine learning to drive and handle alcohol/clubs and pubs within the same 2-3 year period on the worst roads in the country, then being given a europewide license when you have never crossed a city in rush hour or driven at motorway speeds on a motorway.

Granted though:

everyone does not need to drive, and this attitude just helps normalise driving as the primary form of transport

i think there is a case for the geographically challenged hinterlands though.
 

snakybus

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Re: Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary scho

Assuming computer literacy is a life skill (which it isn't), is coding the main part of computer literacy. I know loads and loads of people who use computers for a myriad things in their jobs (not their lives, mind) and only one or two are programmers. Most use it for email, socialising, watching youtube. Most people I know who apply their computer literacy for monetary gain use it for design, writing, organising information (a heck of a lot of that goes on) and other stuff. Like, at a push I'd sooner have my kids learn how to use computer tools for music, design etc than learn how to programme - and I'd sooner have them learn numeracy and arithmetic (little kids don't learn maths) and reading before either. Like sure, the world needs linguists, lawyers and editors too, but we don't teach those things to 7 year olds - and that's the application of language skills in their native tongue.
 

Scientician 0.8

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Re: Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary scho

Irish schools are slowly moving towards primarily digital means. Interactive whiteboards are increasingly common and a number of schools now use iPads instead of school textbooks, much to my personal chagrin as a seller of those textbooks. Loads of people tell me how great it'll be when the kids all use iPads but I'm curious what the situation will be in Irish education when foreign consumer electronics corporations rule the roost. Locally, parents pay €650 for 1st year kids to get an iPad 2 loaded with the textbooks, I think this includes insurance for the machine.

Obviously with younger kids the issue might be, is it necessary to physically learn to write with a pen before a child uses a keyboard or other digital interface to write? I know I could copy out programmes in BASIC on my Amstrad CPC probably before I could properly write with a pencil and I've heard pete and others comment on how naturally using an iPad is to the sprogs so maybe it's not that much of an issue. What I haven't figured out apart from the issue of foreign corporations calling the shots in our childrens' education, is whether the iPads are locked in so kids can't use them for whatever they might use iPads for other than reading, learning. I imagine the scope for kids to fuck around downloading games and other distracting programmes to their tablets is immense. Then of course there's the issue of durability, time will only tell whether an iPad can last as long as a textbook in a school setting. That issue becomes irrelevant if the schools go with generic, cheaper tablets that can be easily replaced over time.

I've always thought a class for youngish kids that would be a good idea across the board would be educating about the online environment, essentially netique. That is, teaching kids how to interact with other people online, to avoid dangerous individuals, and also to educate them in the fact that much of what they do online will remain accessible there for many years to come. Social networking has made it possible for ever younger children to interact, nominally on an equal basis, with people many years older than them, without leaving the house. Obviously vigilant parenting is important but I think it should be made clear to kids that what they do and say online may have consequences many years hence.
 

magicbastarder

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Re: Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary scho

one of the issues with the books is that the model is one of licencing; so you cannot sell or inherit the schoolbooks at the end of the school year.
 

Scientician 0.8

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Re: Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary scho

one of the issues with the books is that the model is one of licencing; so you cannot sell or inherit the schoolbooks at the end of the school year.

Although in recent years publishers have largely put an end to this by including superficial updates every cycle. Few textbooks are valuable after the three and two year cycle anymore. Contrast that with a book like Soundings that was used for 30 years.
 

Theseus Mock

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Re: Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary scho

Although in recent years publishers have largely put an end to this by including superficial updates every cycle. Few textbooks are valuable after the three and two year cycle anymore. Contrast that with a book like Soundings that was used for 30 years.

I don't get the frenzy behind these superficial updates. Come the new school year, all you hear now are parents moaning of the cost of books. In my secondary school years 94-99 I'd say I purchased about 2 or 3 new books in my entire 5 years, all the rest were second hand jobbies/hand me downs from other siblings. I remember my biology book for the leaving was literally hanging together by the little amount of disintegrating threads holding the spine together.

Teachers should accept whatever old or new edition of a book a student has. It's not like the syllabus is a yearly moving target, or is it?
 
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If they want to revamp primary school education in this country for the better they should start teaching the kids a foreign language from the off.

This.Also a vast improvement in the teaching of languages would help.After 12 or more years 'learning' Irish most people leave school without the ability to hold a basic conversation.
 

hiadudiad?

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Re: Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary scho

After 12 or more years 'learning' Irish most people leave school without the ability to hold a basic conversation.

This was my experience anyway, although my french was way better than my irish after leaving cert and i spent less than half the number of years learning french. I reckon there is (or was ) something more chronically wrong with irish teaching than other languages
 

Scientician 0.8

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Re: Estonian children in public school to learn coding from the start of primary scho

I don't get the frenzy behind these superficial updates. Come the new school year, all you hear now are parents moaning of the cost of books. In my secondary school years 94-99 I'd say I purchased about 2 or 3 new books in my entire 5 years, all the rest were second hand jobbies/hand me downs from other siblings. I remember my biology book for the leaving was literally hanging together by the little amount of disintegrating threads holding the spine together.

Teachers should accept whatever old or new edition of a book a student has. It's not like the syllabus is a yearly moving target, or is it?

Not at all. It's a con on the part of the publishers that has been tolerated for too long imho. There used to be a healthy secondhand trade that our stores and others facilitated and of course people could swap and sell them amongst families, friends etc. The Department Of Education has made noises about how costs have to come down but say telling the publishers to put a moratorium on updated editions of textbooks for a while would be a big help for parents.
 

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