The South African education system has taken a step forward in equipping its learners with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to succeed in the modern workplace that is constantly evolving due to the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR). The new curriculum for Coding and Robotics has been developed to provide learners with the necessary tools to become responsible citizens in a world that is increasingly digital.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at what coding and robotics are and the specific aims of the curriculum. We will also explore the various career opportunities available for those who study coding and robotics and discuss the strands and methodologies that underpin the curriculum.
What is Coding?
Coding, also known as programming, is the process of writing instructions that a robot or computer program can read and then execute. Coding is used to instruct machines and robots to perform specific actions. It can also be used for data management and analysis in software development.
In the context of coding and robotics, learners are taught how to set up a code to instruct a specific robot so that it can fulfill a purpose. The computer must be able to read the code to execute the tasks. Coding allows learners to see their thinking come to life through trial and error tasks until their intended outcome is achieved.
What is Robotics?
A robot is defined as an automatically operated machine that replaces human effort. Robotics is the engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and operation of robots.
Coding and robotics teach learners to think critically and creatively, problem-solve, and collaborate. The curriculum is structured to develop five strands in the Foundation Phase and is then reduced to four strands in the Intermediate and Senior Phase.
Strands and Methodologies
The five strands for Coding and Robotics in the Foundation Phase are: Application Skills, Problem-solving and Pattern Recognition, Internet and e-Communications, Coding, and Robotics. In the Intermediate and Senior Phase, the five strands are collapsed into four strands where Problem-solving and Pattern Recognition are integrated into Coding.
The strands of Coding and Robotics are underpinned by Computational Thinking and the Engineering Design Process Methodologies to develop critical thinking skills. The Specific Aims in the subject, i.e., Skills, Knowledge, Values, and Attitudes (SKVA) are rooted within the curriculum.
Computational Thinking is a set of problem-solving methods that involve expressing problems and their solutions in ways that a computer could also execute. This is a dynamic process consisting of four steps.
The Engineering Design Process is a series of steps that should be followed when finding a solution to a problem. This process could involve designing a machine or computer code that needs to accomplish a certain task. The steps are as follows: Investigate, Design, Make (Build), Evaluate, and Communicate.
The curriculum for Coding and Robotics opens up a world of opportunities for learners. Some of the career paths available for those who study coding and robotics include computer design, programming, computer operator research, cybersecurity expert, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, specialized 3D drawing, software development, innovation and research, project planning engineering, and many others.
In conclusion, the new curriculum for Coding and Robotics in South Africa is a step in the right direction towards equipping learners with the necessary skills to succeed in the modern workplace. Coding and robotics are important disciplines that teach learners to think critically, creatively, and collaborate. The curriculum is structured in a way that provides learners with the tools they need to succeed in their future careers.