This project smacks of the skills students will need to be successful when they graduate school.
At 11 years of age my daughter is a techno wizard and a great editor possessing an innate ability to interact with technology intuitively. It made me wonder what skills she would need to put her talents; creativity, technological adeptness and intelligence, to work to succeed in the world. The answer I came up with is coding and I'm not the only one who feel this way.
Kids possess the necessary skills to create and invent through coding, let them!
For digital natives, coding will be intuitive, a way of life for 21st century students and there's no boundaries to what they will create. This isn't going to be a career choice, but a necessity in a world full of computer driven communications, robotics and inventions we cannot yet conceive. The younger students begin to learn to code through play, the better.
Several years ago my daughters had had their first coding experiences with Scratch and now create 3D worlds with Alice. They do it at home for fun instead of watching TV or playing games on their devises. Their most recent exploration has been on a New York Lego Robotics team where they are building and coding robots to perform tasks in an arena, in addition they work collaboratively to create a solution to a world problem of their choosing. This is an amazing experience and after a few bumps in the road they learned how to navigate the environment, make friends and are now leading their team.
I am amazed at the ease with which children master technological collaboration.
My older daughter is learning CS6 so she can build app based learning tools around our book series, her 9 year old sister is marketing them. Just using the technological tools they find at home they have been able to reach out and expand their knowledge and opportunities, imagine what they could do if these types of programs were part of their school day!
Never before has there been a time when children have had such great opportunity to get their creative ideas out of their head and into the world. You, as educators and pioneers on a new frontier can lead the way to whole new concept of education centered on global collaboration and real world accomplishment. You have the power to make it happen today so why wait! My daughters are counting on you to make them ready for tomorrow's world, so are your students.