Childhood in the digital age
Childhood in the digital age

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Childhood in the digital age

4.1.2 Creating a new curriculum

Described image
Figure 2 Children now are as familiar with computers in the classroom as with computers at home.

While some of the ideas of virtual or flipped classrooms might appear rather theoretical and take time to be accepted, there is already change afoot in the often dusty world of the educational curriculum. Now, with tablet computers and games far more widely accessible, educationalists leading the curriculum recognise that children need a new set of skills – indeed a whole new language – for this digital world.

With the launch of a new computing curriculum in England in 2014, coding has become an integral part of the national curriculum in schools. Pupils from as young as five years of age should in theory start to learn about creating and debugging simple programs of their own. Coding using algorithms and computational thinking will help children develop a language, together with systematic thinking and problem-solving (through simulation, trial-and-error) and storytelling skills that should prepare them for the future. It’s a big shake-up for children and teachers alike.

As you might imagine, the changes have been widely praised within the technology industry. However, there are also critics questioning the value of teaching programming and coding skills to young children, or wondering whether enough teachers have the skills and support that they will need to teach coding effectively. This brings us, once again, to the digital divide (Prensky, 2001) from Week 1 – how might a distinction between digital ‘natives’ and ‘immigrants’ be affecting education and teaching?

OUFL_11

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus