16 September 2016

To code or not to code, is that the question?

​Members of our Senior School Coding Club and Junior School Robotics Club spoke about their experience in coding to the Deloitte Symposium To Code or not To Code, hosted at the School this week. The core of the ensuing discussion was informed by many of the comments, issues and challenges described in the girls' presentations.

The Senior girls spoke about Dash the robot they had built, which travelled up the hall to Dr Townsend's door to say 'hello'. It had an iPhone on-board, recording a video of the journey.

A Year 12 girl explained that learning to code, helped her to fill in the missing step between creating the robot and telling it what to do. "You can't just say 'you know what I mean?' and expect it to understand. That's where writing code comes in. It helps me think logically when writing essays and I can answer mathematics problems in more detail."

The School had six staff participate in the symposium. The workshop is part of series that will contribute to a research project by Deloitte's Centre for the Edge and Geelong Grammar's School of Creative Education. It was the first of five nationwide forums to bring together educators, designers and consultants to discuss topics such as:

  • To code or not to code, is that the question?
  • What educational and social outcomes we should be striving for?
  • Are there key skills from "learning to code" not covered in the current curriculum?
  • Is there a better definition for digital literacy?
  • How does digital literacy relate to coding and the rest of computer science?
  • How do we demystify digital technology and bring the community along?

This is primarily a data gathering exercise for an international report on the future of education, and there were 20 other participants from corporates and other schools.

Peter Evans-Greenwood (Deloitte) and Tim Patston (Geelong Grammar) were very happy with the passion, wisdom and level of discussion in the group. Peter said that it reaffirmed his feeling that this research is much needed and timely. They mentioned how delightful the girls and their teachers were, as well as how clearly passionate they are about working together on projects for the sheer joy of it.

Ms Alison Windmill
Publications and Marketing Coordinator