The biggest change in the teaching of ICT has been the addition of coding to the curriculum.
The first question you are probably asking is "what is coding?" Modern society has this obsession with renaming things. Changes are either very small or there is no change to the item and the name change is normally an attempt to try and make it sound more exciting. So just like they renamed online storage as cloud storage, they changed the old term of programming to coding.
The second question you probably have is "Why do we need to teach children in primary school coding?"
There are two reasons for this.
The first reason is that experts believe that the future of computers is changing, and you only have to look around your home to see the beginning of this change.
Experts now believe that in the future instead of a single large computer doing all the work and controlling everything we will instead use a network of smaller computers dedicated to specific tasks that can communicate and interact with each other.
We see this with the rise in popularity of home hubs. A small voice-controlled computer that allows you to connect to other small computer-controlled device designed for a specific task such as thermostats, light switches and sockets. So the hub acts as a central control point that then allows you to control all the other devices.
The hub does not know how to control the heating or vary the lighting, and does not need to know. The same way that the thermostat does not need to know how to interpret your voice commands.
Each device has unique coding that is designed to only allow it to carry out the task it has been designed for. The thermostats only job is to adjust the heat it does not need all the coding to show complicated graphics, play sounds or understand voice controls.
Using this method it makes it easier to add new devices that come on to the market, such as a smart TV, smart washing machine or smart fridge to the network without having to install new software.
In the future there could be the chance for us to have the ability to make changes to these system to customize them more to our needs. Not all coding involves lines and lines of alien text. Some coding is done through a graphical interface or menu system.
This system will also change the way we build and use machinery at work and in the way we repair and service them as well. This means going into a job with coding knowledge is a bonus.
The second reason to teach children coding is because it helps them to learn how to think logically and problem solve.
When coding, children have to think logically about what the code needs to do, and the order in which it does things. And these skills transfer into real life. For example, when making a sandwich there are certain steps that need to be carried out before others. You can't butter the bread after you have added the fillings, but they may not need to add the fillings in a specific order. In coding this order of instructions is known as an algorithm.
If they did make their sandwich in the wrong order they soon realize, work out the problem and make changes to their algorithm, or debugging in coding terms.
I bet you never thought you would be connecting sandwiches and computer programming!