Friday, 16 October 2015

A Balance Between Coding and Digital Literacy

An article from EurActiv.com caught my attention this afternoon. Titled, "Computing and digital literacy education needs a unified approach" and authored by the ECDL Foundation, the piece argues that
"education programmes promoting coding need to be balanced with basic technology skills, which are too often lacking - even amongst so-called 'digital natives'."
Also highlighting that there was a danger that
"this focus on coding risks diminishing the quality of other aspects or computing and digital literacy education."
It was quite refreshing to read this article as I thought that I might be the only one who was having some concerns, especially with the media focus on educational technology at the moment is seemingly fixated on coding in schools. In my post from June I wrote about what I saw as 'skewed reporting' of the digital competence framework, from the BBC. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with the introduction of coding into school. But in my opinion, it does have to be balanced along with the basic technology skills (word processing, data handling, web browsing, etc.) and other important digital literacy or competence areas such as digital citizenship, e-safety, online communication and collaboration. It will be interesting to see the final digital competence framework that the digital pioneer schools produce. I'm sure some quarters would like to see and are maybe pushing to have coding built into this. However, from my reading of the Successful Futures report, it's clear that Prof. Donaldson believes that computer science sits outside of the digital competence framework. I wonder what the BBC will think of that??

E-Skills at School - Computing and digital literacy: call for holistic approach
E-Skills at School - Brochure