We’re Glad to be Back…
Jam Coding are pleased to be back in schools, doing what we love, teaching the next generation of digital citizens some important life-skills. 2020 has certainly shown us that technology is hugely important for education and connecting people and will only grow in significance for future generations.
We have been busy over the last couple of months planning and preparing for the next school term with exciting new curriculum lessons and extra-curricular workshops starting this week.
A lot has changed…
Getting children back into the classroom has been highlighted as being so so important for their development and well-being. But of course, we, like everyone else in the great communities we serve, cannot ignore the difficult circumstance under which we have to operate now in the classroom.
In order to ensure the safety of your children, Jam Coding have put in place the following a list of policies and procedures:
- The disinfection of all equipment prior and post-use in each of our sessions.
- The use of gloves by all staff if requested by the school
- The use of face masks or visors as required by the school
- Temperature checking of all staff on a daily basis
- Class Bubble or smaller group sizes for After School Clubs (1 child per laptop) where children are operating out of class bubbles.
- Use of group bubbles to distance and seat learners as appropriate
- Sanitisation of hands by learners before and after each session
- Full staff training for all Jam Coding Code Coaches with risk assessments for the management of groups and environments
We have taken these steps to ensure we can get back working with our budding young coders as soon as possible. If you would like to speak to us about coding in a school then please contact us.
A lot is changing…
The fact is 9 out of every 10 jobs will require sound digital skills in the next 10 years. Jobs in digital will represent a huge proportion of the future workforce and we are on a mission to make sure as many young people as possible are digitally ready to join that workforce. If they aren’t then they are at a serious disadvantage to their peers. It’s Digital Skills week from the 14th September and we are going to be launching some workshops FREE for schools in the UK. Watch this space for more information.
At the very beginning of last year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD -11). The revised 11th edition saw the inclusion of a condition called “Gaming Disorder”. Up until then, “Gaming Disorder” had only been listed as a “condition for further study” within the 2013 fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
What is Gaming Disorder? Signs and Symptoms
A person with Gaming Disorder, as defined in ICD-11 by WHO, will show the following characteristics for at least 12 months:
- lacking control over their gaming habits
- prioritizing gaming over other interests and activities
- continuing gaming despite its negative consequences
To be diagnosed, these behaviors must be so severe that they affect a person’s:
- family life
- social life
- personal life
(Source: Medical News Today)
Should “Gaming Disorder” be a recognised medical condition?
The decision to recognise Gaming Disorder as a “condition” (that is treatable on the NHS) experienced a mix response:
Dr Richard Graham, a lead technology addiction specialist, was complementary towards the decision to recognise the condition which he believes “is significant because it creates the opportunity for more specialised services” and “puts it on the map as something to take seriously.”
Among the gaming community however, there is the perception that this could lead to over-reaction and further scrutiny of a hobby that is already greatly stigmatised. The concern is that parents will rush to the conclusion that their child plays ‘too much’ and that this is detrimental to their mental health.
Although he welcomed the decision, Dr. Rchard Graham added that he is sympathetic to those who do not think the condition should be medicalised because “It could lead to confused parents whose children are just enthusiastic gamers.”
So are computers bad for your health?
Although computers, the internet, and smartphones do facilitate gaming, they are not the cause of “Gaming Disorder”. These platforms were actually part of the WHO’s original research but were not deemed to be concerning in comparison to the addictive nature of gaming.
It should also be mentioned that Gaming Disorder is still a rare condition, with a prevalence rate among young people of 10-15% in several Asian countries and, 1%-10% in Western countries.
Nevertheless, how technology is used determines whether or not it will be detrimental to health & well-being. In fact, recent research from the University of Oxford found that the majority of children successfully incorporate digital technology and screen-based activities into their daily lives, even using it to their benefit, for example with homework.
“People think that children are addicted to technology and in front of these screens 24/7, to the exclusion of other activities – and we now know that is not the case.”
– Researcher, Killian Mullan.
So before computers are condemned to be bad for the health & well-being of young people, it is important to acknowledge that for the majority, computers are used sensibly, safely and positively. And that is what we encourage at Jam Coding.
We promote the safe and productive use of computers, even encouraging the kids who attend our workshops to go home and play outside afterward. What is more, our workshops were actually designed to teach children to use computers properly, by this we mean not just to play idly on them but to create, communicate and collaborate using the power of technology. They offer a 360 degree approach to eSafety. We are proud to have helped to raise the computing experience of thousands of learners, showing them that computers are for more than just gaming and all whilst helping them stay safe online.