What do they mean?
The coding curriculum for sixth graders in the United Kingdom discussed in the first story of the series shows what the really important part is. According to the analysis of the Chuncheon National University of Education team, lead by Professor Jeong In-ki, sixth graders create a mobile application throughout the year and have already received more than 250 hours of coding education since the age of five.
The course of making an application has six steps. The first is planning. What kind of application do you want to make and why? The second is project management, assigning roles for each team member. Thirdly, students research the market and differentiate their products. Fourthly, they set up the menu layout and design. Fifthly, they complete the programing. Lastly, they study how to market the application.
British children spend one hour each week on this for six weeks. They discuss what kind of app they want to make, why it is needed in society and then revise their plan based on the suggestions of their peers.
In the course of making an app, they learn to collect information from the internet and make a presentation using software. Moreover, they learn about society and the market. What kind of software does society need? What kind of software can I make to contribute to the community?
They are the very questions that society needs to ask as we go through the fourth industrial revolution. The entire world is connected through software, and the software moves everything in the era of the digital revolution. And the children in the United Kingdom learn to ask these questions to themselves from age five. Do Korean students ask themselves these questions and seek answers?
In 2015, Britain’s education secretary said that mathematics was the power of the industrial revolution, and coding will play the same role for the fourth industrial revolution as computer coding was included in the public elementary, middle and high school curriculum. Great Britain was the origin of industrial revolution, and it has already realized that the next revolution has started.
The United States and France have moved quickly, and China and Japan are also ahead of us. Having fallen behind in the global trend, can Korea maintain the title of IT power for long? When a revolution begins, the existing order changes all at once.
JoongAng Ilbo, Oct. 7, Page 31
*The author is an industrial news writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.