Disney Helps To Get Kids Coding

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Students who learn to program early in life gain a deeper and more complete understanding of the logic and advanced thinking behind programming. Learning and practicing this type of thinking early in development helps influence a child’s brain. We know the future of our world is digital and computer science will play a critical role in the careers of the next generation of innovators and storytellers. Therefore, children need to be provided now with a rich foundation in these thinking and problem solving skills.

In 2014, Britain became the first G7 country to introduce compulsory computer science on the school curriculum for children aged five to 16. So by the age of seven, all children will be expected to be capable of writing and debugging a simple program. By 11, some will be exploring computing concepts once considered appropriate for undergraduates. Helping to engage children, we need to make the process fun and interactive, so that they are immersed in their learning experience as they are exploring their creativity.

This is exactly why Disney’s collaboration with Code.org has been so successful. In 2014 it created a Frozen-themed Hour of Code tutorial and did the same in 2015 when Lucasfilm brought iconic characters like Princess Leia, R2-D2, Rey and BB-8 to a tutorial themed to the Star Wars saga. As a result, millions of students have been introduced to the world of computing. Taking this partnership further, Disney and Code.org have announced that these characters will be coming soon to Code.org’s Computer Science Fundamentals curriculum for young learners in grades K–5. Since so many millions of students have learned their first hour, this new curriculum will provide a complete follow-on learning program while integrating the same beloved brands, and will be used by millions of students globally. This creative initiative has seen millions more students get engaged with coding and has made coding cool and fun. The Frozen and Star Wars-themed tutorials have been used more than 30 million times worldwide and are among Code.org’s highest-rated coding activities.

The Computer Science Fundamentals curriculum on Code Studio is an in-depth, 80-hour year-round course for kids in grades K–8. The Frozen and Star Wars-themed courses will be developed and integrated into the curriculum over the next year; and the integration of Disney characters will serve as a bridge for students as they transition from the introductory Hour of Code tutorials to a full computer science course, which will be available to the more than 11 million students and 330,000 teachers who have accounts on the Code Studio platform.

By 2020, a million computing jobs will go unfilled in the US alone, due to a lack of appropriate preparation of its future work force. We need to be able to give the next generation a chance, by introducing teaching programming in schools; it will enable this opportunity reach a much wider group of children.

Photo Credit: Disney Newsroom on 3BL Media