Earlier this year, Barclay’s bank launched its new TV campaign to introduce children to basic programming skills. One of the adverts features a child, Pacha, learning computer coding to make an onscreen dinosaur do the moonwalk. The campaign is part of Barclay’s ongoing plans to help increase digital skills amongst the public.
From watching adverts like these, there’s no doubt that our society is starting to recognise that young children need to be given the tools they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world. This sentiment has been echoed by the government, as a new school curriculum has recently been launched which will see children as young as five being taught how to create computer programs.
Elsewhere, the BBC has announced new programmes and teaching resources across CBeebies, CBBC and Bitesize to get children interested in computing.
This move towards digital technology is also being supported by parents, as research by Barclays has showed that 77 percent of parents believe it is important for children to learn coding skills that are vital to a variety of industries, from development of smartphone apps to computer games and graphics in TV and films.
Under the current EYFS curriculum, children should be able to “recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools.” Despite this, many settings are reluctant to embrace the use of digital media in Early Years learning at all. But, could withholding the opportunity to learn on digital devices harm a child’s prospects in the future? The trend in the current job market would suggest, yes!
Having qualifications in digital media and technology are fast becoming a sought- after skill. In London alone, it is estimated that in just a few years, there will be a shortage of 300,000 digitally skilled workers, meaning that an education in computing will play a key role in people finding employment in the future.
Whatever side of the fence you sit on, it’s clear that children who have familiarity with digital devices from an early age will have a distinct advantage when it comes to their prospects of employment in the future. In addition to this, supplementing a child’s learning with digital technology can have a positive effect on learning outcomes if used the right way.
The question is: how will you help your children thrive in the digital age?
Does your setting embrace the use of digital technology day-to-day?