Mid Canterbury children are fast becoming ICT whizzes with the help of after school coding classes.
Code Club Aotearoa has been running the Mid Canterbury Code Club at Ashburton College for students from around the district since Term 4 last year but other schools are starting to take up on the initiative.
Code Club Aotearoa co-founder Michael Trengrove said this year Allenton and Mayfield schools have started their own clubs.
“I think there’s a really great uptake in Ashburton.”
Learning coding gives children a foundation to adapt to an increasingly ICT-reliant environment, he said.
“The kids are not just learning how to use the technology but they are creating the technology.”
Code Clubs are popping up all over the country with nearly 200 already and Mr Trengrove said he hoped more Mid Canterbury schools would want to start their own.
Code Club Aotearoa can provide support and professional development for any teachers undertaking the lessons, he said.
The Mid Canterbury Code Club is being run by Business Mid Canterbury (BMC), Code Club Aotearoa and the Mid Canterbury Principals’ Association with help from local businesses in providing tutors.
BMC business development manager René Artz said the Mid Canterbury Code Club sessions are going well, with 25-30 students aged between 9 and 12, attending each week.
The students have learnt Scratch 1 and 2 and are now learning HTML. They should finish all modules by the end of Term 2.
It is hoped that more classes can be created for other students wanting to learn coding after this, he said.
Technical tutor Matt Harris said the classes are very important for the students because children are entering a different world nowadays and need to be more technologically savvy.
There is also shortage of people in the industry and these children will be able to get jobs in the future with these skills, he said.
“The New Zealand curriculum is focussed on reading, writing and arithmetic, which are the foundations of everything else but these students in Mid Canterbury are having the opportunity to do something a bit different.”