Cracking the digital future
A self-confessed ‘‘techno geek’’ is helping school children crack their digital future, one code at a time.
Reece Barnard tutors would-be digital devotees in the art of computer coding.
The former teacher says children need to learn vital computer skills earlier to give them a wider choice of careers later in life.
Self-taught Reece set up his own business, Techno Geek, last year in the wake of a more digitally integrated approach to teaching.
‘‘There has to be a balance of course, children need to get outside and explore but there’s no getting away from the fact that there’s a whole new world waiting for them in coding,’’ he says.
‘‘If they can use their imaginations, then the sky’s the limit and I want to be able to help make sure that everybody gets a chance to do it.’’
While digital technology is optional in New Zealand schools it will become compulsory from next year. The Government has proposed to shift education into a more ‘‘digitally oriented system’’.
Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced the proposal on Wednesday and said it would break new ground.
Reece, who also tutors privately, will run a coding club in the July school holidays. He has also run special workshops at Bohally Intermediate School and Witherlea School in Blenheim.
He says more people are becoming aware of the importance of coding now and in the future.
‘‘You can’t get away from digital technology. While I ama huge supporter of the arts, music and singing, this is, dare I say it, perhaps more important as unless you become a professional singer they won’t really help you much in your chosen career. Coding will.’’
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