Teenagers Want to be Shown how to Crack the Code to Their Own Digital Futures

Teenagers want to develop the skills they need to program their own career path as research published today highlights the value they place on their digital future.

The annual report into the Realtime Generation, the term for 13-17 year-olds who have been able to access information online and immediately for almost all their lives, seeks to inform educators and employers on the expectations of today's teenagers.

Although the headline is based on possession - "Teenagers 'own six digital devices', survey suggests" is the BBC's take on it - the real thrust is about aspiration. Teenagers rightly see knowledge as the only way to be part of the digital future. While 7% of teenagers have created their own app, four times as many would like to. One-in-three boys and one-in-four girls are keen to develop the skills which will enable them to do this and take their first steps into coding.

For many of the Realtime Generation, they see their digital future as their future. Their careers and their lifestyles will be heavily influenced, if not dominated, by technology and they understand that having a solid grasp of the concepts of coding will be of huge and lasting benefit. The Government has recognised this by including programming in the curriculum for the first time, which schools will be following from September. Schools, and particularly the ICT teachers who will be responsible for delivering the new curriculum, are understandably nervous about it. For some, they are completely unfamiliar with coding beyond a bit of basic HTML while more experienced coders are bewildered about how they can teach it to students.

Reassurance comes in two parts. First, as today's report shows, large numbers of students want to learn to code and see the relevance to their careers and their lives. Second, CPD for Teachers is here to help. We have trained primary and secondary school teachers around the country how to get to grips with coding and programming so they can go back to their schools with a deeper understanding of the subject and with an arsenal of tools and tips to enable them to teach it to their students.

On Monday, December 16, we are hosting a free webinar, Programming for the Petrified, which will help you to break down the challenge and will provide you with strategies, both for building your own skills and for developing engaging and robust ways to teach coding. Book your free place