Kildare school pals and members of the Digital Youth Council Harry McCann and Jack Cullen have established a new coding group, Let’s Teach Code, which aims to have coding established on the curricula of schools in 196 countries worldwide.
Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com, McCann said that the efforts of Let’s Teach Code are focused on getting coding into the classroom and will complement existing coding initiatives like CoderDojo and Hour of Code.
McCann and Cullen, who both go to school in Clane, are members of the Digital Youth Council.
The Digital Youth Council emerged as an initiative by second level students passionate about STEM subjects who were inspired into action at the Excited digital learning festival in Dublin.
Both McCann and Cullen are entrepreneurs in their own rights. McCann is the founder of Kid Tech while Cullen runs his own web design consultancy.
‘2016 could be the year of code for Ireland’
– HARRY MCCANN
The new movement, Let’s Teach Code, has already received a ringing endorsement from Ireland’s Digital Champion Lord David Puttnam.
McCann explained that the objective is to bring coding into every classroom around the world, starting with one classroom and one country at a time.
He said the motivation is to ultimately encourage countries to put coding on the curriculum. “Coding is where the money and the jobs are. It is unthinkable that it is not yet on the Irish school curriculum.
“If we could get one school in every country to teach coding, then that’s 196 new classrooms worldwide teaching coding.
“If we could take Ireland as an example and get a school in Kildare or Galway, the idea would be to spread it to other schools.”
He has a point. In Europe alone, there are currently 700,000 ICT jobs vacancies.
“The hardest part is getting Government to listen.
“Thanks to CoderDojo I’ve been coding since I was 12 or 13, and I was lucky there was one active in my area.”
The challenge, McCann says, is mostly financial in terms of building up the source materials for teachers and getting them to embrace coding.
“2016 could be the year of code for Ireland,” McCann, who is in fifth year in secondary school, said.