Learn to Code and Future-Proof Our Children

**This post has been updated in 2018

Do you feel left behind by the digital revolution? Do the children around you know much more about the internet, smart phones, or even coding? Why not learn some digital skills, and perhaps join a new journey into a digital career, or be a part of the digitalisation of your world.

Let me invite you in by simplifying the terms for you.

What is coding?

Coding is the process of assigning a code to something for identification purposes. When you were born and your parents gave you your name; "Jessica", that was them assigning you a code...for identification purposes. Coding is also a set of rules, or often instructions, made up of words and numbers to tell something what to do. It's just like learning a new language, like Spanish or French!
So now you understand the core of what code and coding is, let me explain to you why it's important.

Why do I need to learn coding?

Maybe you're thinking that your life won't be significantly changed by coding before you retire, you're wrong. You're just thinking too literally.You're educators, you educate the future and that future needs YOU to teach them how to be future proof. If you learn what code is, how to code, or even why we need code, coding and coders in our lives, then you can inspire a generation and make sure they aren't left behind too, because coding will become a required skill for them.

Here are 3 employment areas that could be big in the near future:

VR (Virtual Reality) /AR (Augmented Reality) personalised entertainment:

We need people that can create realistic environments for people to enjoy, using many different coding languages. There will also be space for actors in these worlds, a much less technical role but if they knew coding, they would be more valuable to the development team.


Somebody needs to test, calibrate, clean, and repair these machines! This person will need to know about robotics, computer technology and even mechanical engineering. This means that an understanding of code and what makes a computer/robot work is essential.

Application and Software engineers:

Machines are given commands using software, but somebody needs to programme that software as well as improve and maintain it. Also, we use applications and software in our every day lives, what ideas do your students already have? These people will need to know lots of different languages to get the best results. These jobs already exist, and there's a lot of competition for the roles.

Many things will be run by code in the future, including:

  • Streetlights and traffic lights
  • Cars and other forms of transport
  • Watches
  • Roads
  • Tires
  • Cereal Boxes
  • Power Grids
  • Parking Payment Machines
  • Shoes

Do they seem far fetched? Many of these are already becoming a reality, imagine having moving advertisements on cereal boxes. The things that are already becoming a reality are paying by contactless payments and apple pay at parking meters, and shoes that tell athletes different things about their performance. These all have to be coded by somebody in order to work correctly and become better.

Can you get children involved?

Of course you can! If you're not too confident, why not plan a stay safe online lesson? Or even ask a student to present their online safety tips to the other students. Giving them the best, safe start to enjoying their time online will allow them to use the space to learn these new skills and become familiar with what they can do.

You can learn to code in many places, one that I strongly suggest is code academy. They make learning many types of code very easy, and free! Why not start by taking a course to learn something for yourself? Choose something you wish to code and pick a language suited to that - don't worry! the website will tell you what each language is used for.

It is not all on you to teach the next generation how to code, it has been reported that 50% of digital product developers are self-taught and as many as 83% of app developers have taught themselves.

Join the Hour of Code for Computer Science Week (3rd - 9th December 2018) which is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organise an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 30 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.

Perhaps you want to help children learn something more simple, like reading? Have a look at this fantastic infographic for some ideas!

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