Teacher: “Would you like something to drink?”
Consultant: “An espresso please!”
Teacher: “We have filter coffee…”
At a primary school in ‘Bos & Lommer, Amsterdam’ where I am about to host a coding class to 17 children of group 8, I am a bit nervous when the kids greet me with applause. An Accenture-consultant in a classroom of group 8 is not a regular sight and takes a bit of getting used to for everyone. Today the children will be part of a special class, namely: a coding class. After I have given the children a short introduction on the teaching material, which is based on Scratch, I let the pupils work on their assignment. The assignment allows room for lots of creativity; you see kids changing the elephant that is part of the game into a dragon, the poacher into a knight and Youtube-videos are imported for background music. It is thrilling to see the kids experience 'aha-moments', when they understand how to make the program do exactly what they want it to do. Or, when they realize why the program isn’t working the way they intended and search for solutions (bug fixing starts early).
Hour of Code: Coding as a 21st century skill
But why is it relevant to obtain coding skills? In this highly digitalized world it is ever more important to not only know how to interact with technology but to understand how to make it work for you. As President Obama said: "Don't just play on your phone, program it". Kids learn invaluable skills for the 21st century by programming. They are often summarized as “Computational Thinking”. It doesn’t mean all kids should grow up to be programmers by profession. It does mean that technology is playing a bigger role in a growing number of professions. From a lawyer that uses Big Data to research legal cases, to a gardener that utilizes robots for automation.
"Don't just play on your phone,
In the week of 5 -11 December the international Hour of Code-week will take place. In over 180 countries events are organized to show the importance of programming classes. Everyone is called upon to take or host one hour of coding. All with the goal to “demystify” code and show that coding isn’t scary or complicated.
At Accenture we know and see the impact that technology has on society and have the chance to contribute to society through corporate citizenship. Accenture CodeMasters is an example hereof. Accenture CodeMasters is a community of over 100 colleagues that teach coding classes at schools. That is not just valuable for the kids but at least as rewarding for the teacher. Rewarding because as a teacher you see the kids learn and develop before your eyes.
As a company that lives and breathes technology it is our aim to show the next generation the endless possibilities of technology. Will you join us on our mission?