‘Coding is learning to write for the future,’ says Taoiseach (video)

28 Nov 2014

Ciarán Cannon, TD, with Europe's Digital Girl of the Year Lauren Boyle and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, to launch the Hour of Code in Ireland. Photo via @ciarancannon/Twitter

Following an hour-long lesson in coding with Europe’s Digital Girl of the Year Lauren Boyle in Dublin on Thursday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, has noted its importance in the future of education.

Founder of the Excited digital learning movement, Ciarán Cannon, TD, claims Kenny is the first head of state anywhere in the world to take part in the Hour of Code, a one-hour introduction to computer programming.

“More than learning to write with the pen, this is learning to write for the future here,” said Kenny following his lesson with 10-year-old coder Lauren.

“We’re going to have great young minds leading (this), and that’s where we need to be,” he added.

“If we don’t do this, other countries will leave us behind.”

Hour of Code Ireland from galwayeducentre on Vimeo.

Teen entrepreneur and founder of the Digital Youth Council Harry McCann also attended the Taoiseach’s Hour of Code and agreed with the importance of learning this skill at a young age.

“It’s a useful skill and there’s so many major tech companies in Ireland at this moment in time who are employing young people and are employing people after they come out of third-level education who have this skill that they have been learning for years,” he said.

From 8-14 December, during Computer Science Education Week, a concerted effort will be made to get as many students and educators as possible to complete an Hour of Code using online lessons such as the one Kenny used to build a programme that created a multi-coloured hexagonal pattern.

Now a tutor to Kenny, Lauren perfectly demonstrates the potential this skill can open up, having built three Cool Kids Studio websites herself.

“Coding is the future and all of the things you like are made with code,” she said.

“Your computer, your phone or your iPad is all made with code, so it would be really cool if you could make that yourself.”

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.