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Gaming could plug UK teachers coding skills gap

19/11/2015 Joanna
During his term as education secretary, Michael Gove announced that coding would become a core subject in schools. While teachers across the UK have worked tirelessly to sufficiently learn the subject, computer games could also play an important role in filling the skills gap and teaching coding to the younger generation.

Kuato Studios develops free educational games for school children, and just last week released an analytics dashboard that lets teachers see each child’s progress for its app, Code Warriors. Teachers in the UK are using this, along with a literacy game called Dino Tails, to help to support the curriculum.

Creative director Kris Turvey tells Techworld: "Teachers are embracing it - they are keen to use anything to engage kids. Using the games has improved teacher’s confidence. We’re all told that coding is going to be important, even by chancellor George Osborne who admittedly can’t code. But no one really understands what that means, and what you are supposed to do with it."

There is much apprehension among teachers over using technology too much as a teaching aid. However as the curriculum changes, causing a skills gap where the majority of teachers are not able to code already, technology is becoming a necessity.

Educational software is proving to be a useful resource to help children learn the basics of maths and physics, while also understanding computing logic. Advances in machine learning are now also allowing a game to in turn learn from the child who is playing the game. This means games can be tailored to children’s needs and could take some pressure off the school system.

"We wanted the learning to be propelled by game mechanics," Kris Turvey said. 

Posted by Tim ColmanADNFCR-2164-ID-801806172-ADNFCR
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