How can industry experts play a role in making sure children code to build 21st-century skills? How would they benefit?
The dreams and aspirations of children are influenced by what they see around them. Schools alone cannot be expected to foster in children the complex combinations of 21st-century skills like problem-solving, collaboration, and communication that they will need in the future. It is vital to bring coding to children and connect the world of learning and work to provide better exposure and ensure holistic development.
Here are some ways in which the industrial community can motivate children to learn to code to build 21st-century skills:
(1) Organizing excursions to job sites:
Short trips to job sites can enrich school learning by providing a change in ambiance to the students. They can witness the real-world application of CS fundamentals. Such simulations can help in confidence-building as they meet new people and engage in fun activities related to robotics and automation.
(2) Mentoring and Guest lecturers:
Schools can invite industrial experts to talk about the importance of coding in building 21st-century skills and share their diverse experiences with students. These interactions can spark the interest of many students and encourage teachers to move beyond usual pedagogy. For higher grade students, industry exposure can help them build connections with professionals outside their usual family networks.
(3) Direct engagement through employee volunteering activities
Corporate companies can organize employee engagement activities in partnership with non-profits or schools that are dedicated to imparting 21st skills to students. Employees can contribute by providing feedback on the curriculum design, thereby, bridging the gap between industry and school.
While bringing workplace experience to classroom teaching can result in broad benefits to students, it’s a win-win for the industrial fraternity too. Interaction with children allows professionals a breather from the workplace hustle by connecting them to the roots. They can derive satisfaction by sharing their learning with children. Engaging in volunteering activities can also enhance employees’ communication skills and help them develop personality by providing a fresh perspective.
Collaborating with industry and the community is vital to better prepare children and young people for future work and life.