Future8 Web Developer Category Judge, Angela Brennan joins us to talk about her passion for new technology and provides some great advice for teachers on September’s new Computer Science curriculum.
Angela works with Fire Tech Camp, who are London’s only tech day camps, putting the power of technology into kids’ hands so that they can create their own games, design their own smartphone apps, and even build robots!
We wanted to know more about Angela and why digital creativity is so important in our current landscape. We asked Angela:
What are some of the common misconceptions about coding you’ve come across?
“That it is only the ‘geeky boys’ that enjoy coding. When given the opportunity to code, not everyone enjoys it but it certainly isn’t just the ‘geeky boys’. I have seen boys and girls of many cultures and backgrounds create fantastic Apps and websites, make their own robots and develop their own games so don’t feel like it’s only boys or “geeks” who want to and can do it! We’re seeing more and more people take it up and have fun with it.”
What would you say to someone who assumes coding is very difficult?
“You will not know until you try it. It is incredibly rewarding seeing what you can produce in class, in your bedroom or even on the bus. You are surrounded by technology so why not use it to create incredible products that you can share with your friends, family and even the world. There are many languages you begin to code in so start with the basics and keep going.”
Here’s one for the teachers – with the new computing curriculum rolling out in September, how can school teachers go about encouraging and teaching app and web design in classes?
“Teachers need to not be afraid to embrace technology and the unknown. The best way to inspire passion in coding is by being passionate yourself. So I’d say to teachers, build your own websites and apps, get excited about coding so that you can impart that on students. Also get to know other teachers and share your ideas. Finally I’d say let students have some freedom to code about things that excite them. Being too rigid in the design process can lead to them learning a task and not how to code so let students have the freedom to become excited about their ideas and facilitate their creation.”
We have also created some useful end of term Teaching Materials – available on The Guardian’s Teacher Network and on our Tips and Resources page. These were created as end of term activities and provide fun ways to to engage in technology and creativity with your class, peaking their interest before the new computing curriculum in September.
Find out more and sign up for all the exciting info and teaching materials, or visit the Future8 website to ENTER the competition! Check out our Tips and Inspiration blog post with Angela for tips on how to impress our judges with your entry, for a chance to win one of our life changing prizes!