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"Coding, Cybernetics, Convergence, and Conversations": Why communication matters in STEM

Posted by Dr. Catherine Ball on 20th Jul 2021

"Coding, Cybernetics, Convergence, and Conversations": Why communication matters in STEM

Looking forwards to the next industrial revolution (the 5th one, and maybe the most important one yet), concepts such as cybernetics, cyber-physical systems, and colliding, convergent technologies are clear and present opportunities. But what underpins the success of new technologies? Humans. 

And where do humans interact with these new opportunities? 

Communication. 

The main platform for communications between students and technology is known as ‘coding’, but I am a controversial thinker around coding, as I believe it is a language, and should be taught with language teachers. Coding teaches grammar, lexicon, slang, and pattern recognition. Other languages do the same.

It is widely understood that kids who have more than one language, and maybe even don’t speak English at home, are (in general) better at coding.

So, where’s the problem?

Unfortunately there’s a cultural association of coding being only used by software geeks of Silicon Valley; the truth of coding, and why our kids need to learn it, is much more complex. Without the ability to take technology apart, understand how it works, and recognise where the bias lies in the systems we are creating, the future generations are set to only be consumers of technology, not creators.

So, what to do? You are not alone.

Providers like Code Camp, Code Club, Drone Legends, Girl Geek Academy, and Code Like A Girl are renowned and recognised providers of solid, curriculum based, and fun ways to access the world of coding. The key here is project based team work, and the ability to work together to solve a problem.

There are so many ways to engage with coding that educators should reach out to these experts and feel empowered by a community that wants to add value to the work done in the classroom. It’s also rather good fun. Enjoy!