We chat with Laura Kirsop about her thoughts on technology within schools and how the new curriculum will benefit children
What technology do you use to teach children coding?
We only use free, and preferably open source software that is easily downloadable onto the average schools PCs. We start them making games and animations, move them onto making websites and then by the end of their two years they can code.
Do you think it’s worth adopting new and expensive technology such as 3D printing in schools?
All schools in the UK have PCs, interactive whiteboards and broadband. The very basics are there. Lots of schools are now investing in tablets and I’m not really sure that’s the right thing to be doing. I’d like to see schools investing in things like Raspberry Pis and 3D printers, which teach children to make, build and program, rather than just be users of tech.
What do you think of the new curriculum?
I think the new curriculum is great. It has a focus on understanding computer science concepts and making programs so we’re fully behind it. Primary schools were doing lots of awesome multimedia work in ICT before – e.g. film making and editing – so I hope they don’t forget about this.
What trends or developments are currently happening in the education technology space?
I think that once we get through the first couple of years of implementing the computing curriculum and teachers get more comfortable with the language and technologies they need to use, we’ll see horizons broaden a great deal. This transitionary period will be followed by one where technology is embraced and teachers have the confidence to let children explore and create.