Through school, there were few subjects that I outright hated, but Algebra was one of them. I couldn’t fathom how I’d ever take that knowledge and use it in the real-world, and to date, I don’t think I have. There’s one thing I can tell you for certain, though: had programming been part of the curriculum, that would have benefited me, and would have been something I would have enjoyed (based on the fact that I did enjoy it post-school).
It’s for that reason that I’m glad to see that the Department for Education and Skills in the UK has overhauled its curriculum and introduces programming and algorithms. The best part: kids as young as 5 will take part. That’s undoubtedly young, but tasks at that point wouldn’t be difficult, and as they say, kids soak up knowledge like a sponge. In this case, learning about these skills early could truly benefit them later on in life.
At the outset, kids will be required to build and debug a simple application and gain knowledge about the basics of algorithms and how they’re implemented. Later on, networking, learning to use search tools, boolean logic and other advanced skills are introduced.
This updated curriculum goes into place in September, 2014. Let’s hope it catches on.