Why learning computer science can change the fate of schoolchildren

The pandemic is known to have increased children and teens’ internet time, exceeding the hours they devote to classes. according to him Ministry of education, “If, before the health crisis, one in three boys and girls spent more than six hours connected to screens after school hours, that number has doubled with institutions closed.”

But the American specialist says that this problem opens an opportunity Pat Youngpradet, academic director Code.org, a global organization dedicated to promoting computer science teaching.

“Instead of turning them into consumers of technology only, we can empower students to become innovators of technology-based solutions,” says the academic regarding the transfer of an educational paradigm that seeks to provide tools for the 21st century.

Yongpradit inaugurated the Innovation and Technology Symposium, Today’s Tools for Tomorrow’s Education, which was held at the beginning of September by the Seminarium Education Foundation with the encouragement of digital videoAnd A new initiative from the BHP Foundation and the Kodea Foundation seeks to install computer science into Chilean school curricula, generally focusing only on teaching technologies at the user level.

“Instead of making them mere consumers of technology, we can empower students to become innovators of technology-based solutions,” says Pat Youngpradet. Photo: Seminarium Foundation.

“Teaching computer science and coding helps students go beyond the immediate benefits of digital literacy or prepare them for careers in technology. Evidence has shown that the schoolchildren they learn develop creativity, problem-solving, math skills, metacognition, spatial skills, and reasoning skills,” says Youngpradet.

His expertise in the subject led him to assert that when learning computer science, students acquire “a different, structured way of thinking, which allows them to use new tools to achieve what they want to do. They can solve problems, collaborate and work as a team, as well as increase their tolerance for frustration, as he says.

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Pat Youngpradet, Academic Director of Code.org. Image courtesy: Code.org.

Thinking in the Chilean context, Yongpradit offers guidance and advice to achieve the changes it proposes in weak educational institutions:

More about digital education network

Ask for support. There is a huge international community seeking to facilitate the inclusion of computer science in the classroom, and there are more and more resources that can be adapted to low-contact contexts. It is advisable to join efforts to reduce the gap that mainly affects these schools.

Start small to find the best resources. The initiative Hour of Code It’s a good place to start, with activities for students of all ages and resources for teachers of all subjects and subjects. The IdeoDigital project is also heading in this direction, with a five-year operational horizon and completely free high-quality resources.

Empowering students. Having one or more trained computer science teachers in every institution contributes to this. The teacher designs the learning process and is a medium who promotes the spaces of metacognition – the ability to self-regulate their own learning processes -, always believing that the future will have high levels of uncertainty for younger generations.

“The mission of Educating the Future is to advance thinking about the impact of technology on lives and ways of communicating as digital natives,” says Pat Youngpradet.

“New generations must be trained for the world they have to live in and that change will continue,” adds Monica Retamal, Executive Director of the Codia Foundation. “Currently, technology transcends our world, and advances in computer science are generating important contributions to specialized processes, from modernizing institutions to generating relevant information for making public policy decisions. In the face of these changes, schools cannot be left behind. This is important, Especially in the country’s most vulnerable schools, where we must reduce the gaps that exist today around scientific and technological knowledge.”

Monica Ritamal, CEO, Kodia Foundation; and Alejandra Garces, director of the BHP Foundation.

Along these lines, Alejandra Garces, Director of the BHP Foundation, adds, “Teaching technology is a tool, a means, not an end in itself. It allows children to develop critical thinking that will be very useful for facing the future. For this reason, as a foundation, we encourage IdeoDigital, to be Part of a profound transformation of education in Chile, where teachers are considered essential.”

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