While coding is basically one method of storing data usually by shortening the original data in an agreed manner, computational thinking is the thought process involved in formulating a problem and expressing its solution in such a way that a computer or human can effectively carry out.
In an attempt to answer why only coding is not enough to teach our students, it is important to understand that:
- Computer Education covers more than just coding
- App creation consists of other processes apart from coding
- App creation has the ability to equip students with skills for the classroom and beyond
We as educators, leaders, parents and members of the society as a whole need to make a conscious effort to ensure that our youngest generations that will become our future leaders are adequately equipped for the kinds of job opportunities which will be available in the near future. With the kind of fast-paced technological environment in which we live, being able to succeed in the future workplace would mean not only being able to operate computers but also having developed the right analytical skills to enhance an economy of innovation.
Computer science is not solely about coding. Technology is made up of a vast array of theories and science which form the fundamentals of computer science education in schools. Therefore a student’s’ ability to harness his or her creative side is not merely dependent on knowing an algorithm and coding but by understanding the real world problems that exist and how to think creatively about solving them through technological advances. . For example: working in teams, brainstorming and exchanging ideas, collaborating on solutions, learning how to communicate effectively, and thinking outside the box.
Once we come to the realization that coding is not the endpoint with regards to reevaluating the IT curriculum and accept that it actually comprises the journey of arming the younger generation with the relevant problem-solving digital skills, we as educators need to invest in teaching this generation of future leaders the technology-independent skill of computational thinking which is crucial for their development.
Here is where new opportunities like in-classroom app development can help. MAD-learn, for example, grooms students into becoming entrepreneurial thinkers through their ability to think of an idea, conduct research, draft plans, create designs, build a real product, test it and gain feedback, and finally pitch it to a larger audience. Thereby, equipping students with the necessary skills for the classroom and beyond.
The reality is, while tech companies are a dime a dozen, and there is ample room for thousands more to evolve and succeed, even EdTech companies like ours need so much more than just coders. Let’s help students discover their interests, and further develop their skills in those realms to succeed in the workforce.