Coding kids the way of the future

Coding kids the way of the future

Future digital leaders have graduated from a Rotorua pilot programme where they were introduced to the basics of computer coding.  Digital Natives Academy ran the seven week course, Coding for Kids 2015.

It followed on from The Hour of Code pilot programme where local children connected with millions of students around the world to commit to one hour of computer programming.

Founder and director of the academy, Potaua Biasiny-Tule, said the children met every week on a Tuesday afternoon and came from Selwyn Primary School, Lynmore Primary School and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Koutu.

More than seven children graduated last week.

It's been awesome, I think the tamariki are more digital native than we are. We are wanting to compliment what they are doing at school, we teach them the basic computer programming language.

“We wanted to introduce them to the industry, but slowly, and give them more confidence and familiarity to what they are doing at school.”

Mr Biasiny-Tule said it was a “pilot community project” where students enjoyed meeting and socialising with one another each week.

They learnt about basic circuitry, block coding and gaming, such as Minecraft.

“We also teach cyber safety and how to keep safe on Facebook,” he said.

“We saw there wasn’t anything [programmes] focussing on the kids, there are a couple of clubs in Auckland but they are sometimes too expensive.”

The academy has been self-funding the pilot programmes but were looking to get sponsors should they host future sessions.

We already know our tamariki are clever and naturally gifted but know that by giving them expert support in these digital spaces and by showing them what is possible they will be able to explore new understandings that will better prepare them for the future.

Young graduate Zeeah Waerea Tamai said she loved meeting new people who she now calls her friends.

“I also liked learning what’s inside a computer and learning electrics,” she said.