Panaga School teacher creates online programming tools

National 1 minute, 34 seconds

BELAIT

A TEACHER from Panaga School in Seria has launched an online resource for teachers in Brunei looking for simple, free tools to teach computer programming to primary students.

Digital Education Specialist Teacher at Panaga School Neil Lynch said he developed the website in line with an increasing shift in the global IT industry that prioritises sharing and creation, signalling a need for the curriculum to focus on producing students as “creators instead of just users”.

Lynch's website at www.kidscodeprojects.com shares existing online resources for seven categories of coding, including HTML, Robotics and Python, which focus on ease of use, engagement and tangible results.

“Young students are unlikely to be receptive to studying purely syntax or technical programming without being able to visualise or see the end product,” said Lynch.

Lynch, a Google certified innovator, believes that simply informing or showing students is not sufficient for teaching coding.

“For things to really stick, and for students to be able to actually use the information gained in a meaningful way, they need to be actively involved and have ownership in the learning process.”

He provides an example on visual programming language software Kodu, widely popular among children as it allows them to make their own three dimensional games without having to learn a huge amount of code.

Lynch said students need to graduate with the ability to combine critical thinking skills with the power of computing to deliver solutions to global problems.

“IT education is changing around the world to keep up with a rapidly changing world that is about digital sharing. Many curriculums, including the one taught here at Panaga, have now replaced the ICT subject with digital education,” he said.

As part of a wider engagement with schools in Belait, Lynch will speak to teachers about programming, and hopes to spread awareness about the free teaching tools on his website.

The Brunei Times