In a technological world, understanding the technology behind everyday object is a major skill. Learners of today cannot miss the opportunity to learn how to code and program, so they can plunge into the next big thing: Internet of Things and the Cloud Technologies are already here, and their presence is only due to increase when today’s students will be graduated.
Back in 2013, former American President Barack Obama endorsed the possibility to learn a computer language for high school students. Ex US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor even declared that “becoming literate in code is as essential to being literate in language and math.” If coding learning even hit the political agenda, it’s because statistics are indicating a clear path towards computer science: 71% of all new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) jobs are in computing, and yet only 8% of STEM graduates are in computer science. Programming has a very high job demand: in a tech society, programming is seen as a basic skill. 2013 Code.org’s viral video What Most Schools Don’t Teach easily and directly expresses these needs:
Why should kids learn how to code?
Knowing how to program is like knowing the language of the digital age, especially for younger generations. How young? Kindergarten young: with apps like Scratch Jr, 5-year olds can learn coding skills as they program stories and games.
Generally, there are many reasons why kids should learn how to code. Let’s see three of them thanks to Tynker blog:
- The world is different: our daily lives are full with smartphones, laptops, social media, streaming video apps and many more. Children will grow up learning how to use these technologies, but that’s not like understanding the logic behind them. With coding, kids may understand how to control technology, so they can become an active part in the digital transformation.
- Coding may turn ideas into reality. In the digital age, every idea for a new business or a new solution passes through the realization of a user interface, a software or an app. If students learn how to code, they can transform other people ideas – and their own – into something concrete.
- Programming is not as hard as we could imagine. When learning, kids are assured because they have immediate feedback on what they’re doing: if a child programs an object to move in a certain way and immediately sees the result he wanted, he will understand he has manipulated the code correctly.
This flow is what makes coding a powerful educational tool.
Internet of Things: what’s the impact on children?
Everything is connected: we can control every task from our smartphone, we can turn on and off our home appliances with a simple tap on an app, and we can create connected objects that can interact between each other. Internet of Things is a huge event: it is expected that there will be more than 30 billion connected devices within 2020.
Regarding the learning process, internet of things has many benefits:
- IoT is like playing with Legos: if Legos favour the construction of something and develop logical and practical skills, Internet of Things may allow children to program apps to drive their creations.
- Kids are stimulated to explore objects, find connections between the components inside them and rebuild them. Manipulating code and objects, they will be able to understand the cause-effect relationship of a phenomenon.
Acer’s solution to coding and Internet of Things
Acer CloudProfessor is a hardware starter kit for students to make and learn Internet of Things coding, creation and development using mobile devices. The CloudProfessor IoT hardware development kit is available at Acer stand B109, at BETT event in London.
- With hardware components included in the package, students can link together and bring to life through coding programmes using smartphone or tablet devices
- Thanks to Acer CloudProfessor’s connectivity with the cloud and other IoT devices through Acer’s own cloud platform, students will be able to play, create and safely explore the world of connected devices