[Interview] Coding education becomes mandatory by 2025... Is coding education really necessary for my child?

“Coding education is an excellent tool for nurturing talent needed by future society.”


  • [인터뷰] 2025년 코딩교육 의무화…우리 아이 코딩교육 꼭 필요할까?


    From 2025, coding education will be mandatory in elementary schools. Accordingly, parents' interest in preparing for compulsory education is more intense than ever.

    35% of parents of kindergarten and elementary school students believe that coding subjects will become more important in schools and are preparing appropriately. According to the results of the 'Coding Education Awareness Survey' released by Talent Education on the 12th, 35% of parents of kindergarten and elementary school students are indeed receiving or have received private coding education. When asked about their reason for choosing coding education, more than half (51%) answered, "To prepare for the fact that coding subjects will become more important in school education in the future."

    As parental interest increases, the early childhood coding education market is growing rapidly. You can easily find coding programs for kindergarten and elementary school students that use blocks, robots, tablets, etc. The problem is that as coding education continues to grow in popularity, there is a lack of awareness of the actual educational effectiveness or value.

    We spoke with Kim Jeong-hoon, director of ALUX Education Research Institute, about the future direction and value of coding education for kindergarten and elementary school students.


  • 김정훈 에이럭스 교육연구소 소장 / 에이럭스 제공


    Q. What is the current status and outlook for coding education for kindergarten and elementary school students in Korea?

    The outlook for special-purpose subjects usually follows the outlook for higher-level industries. Currently, 4th Industrial Revolution technologies, including coding, occupy the most important position in the industry. Naturally, its importance has been recognized for a considerable period, and I expect its significance will continue to expand.


    Q. Why is coding education needed for kindergarten and elementary school students?

    Previously, coding knowledge was attained through majors such as computer science at universities. However, the current industry needs more SW talent. Human resources in the industry go beyond simply being ‘necessary’ and can be seen as being ‘very insufficient.’ Due to the lack of talent, the curriculum was eventually expanded to include kindergarten and elementary school to cultivate talent.

    Because coding education expanded rapidly into kindergarten and elementary school, neither the curriculum's educational philosophy nor the methodology was solidly established. This is the case not only in our country but also in other countries. In particular, because the coding covered in university courses is extremely function-oriented, university education could not be directly applied to kindergarten and elementary school students. A separate form of coding education, tailored to kindergarten and elementary school students, was needed.                                                        

    ▲ Kim Jeong-hoon, Director of ALUX Education Research Institute / Provided by ALUX


    As coding education was newly applied to kindergarten and elementary school students, various meaningful educational effects were discovered. A representative example is ‘creative problem-solving ability.’ The current purpose of coding education in kindergarten and elementary school is ‘to develop creative problem-solving skills based on computational thinking skills.’ Creative problem-solving skills based on computational thinking are the skills that society needs most today.

    Therefore, I believe that coding education is an excellent tool for nurturing the talent needed by future society.


  • 에이럭스가 개최한 '2023 글로벌 로봇 코딩 대회 G-PRC' 해외 예선에 참가한 학생들의 모습 / 에이럭스 제공


  • ▲ [Image] of students participating in the overseas preliminary round of the "2023 Global Robot Coding Competition G-PRC" held by ALUX / Courtesy of ALUX 


    Q. There are various coding education programs on the market, such as block type and robot type. Just looking at the activity, it seems so close to play that you may have doubts about its actual educational effectiveness. What is the educational effect of coding education for kindergarten and elementary school students? 

    Although it may seem like a game at first glance, the activity requires quite a bit of brain power to complete, and through this process, children's computational thinking skills grow. In the future, there will be more information to process than now, and the ability to process it quickly will be required. Children who receive coding education from an early age grow up with brains suitable for computational thinking, and these qualities can be utilized in various fields.

    In addition, coding education can be connected to a variety of different fields to provide convergence education. Taking ALUX 's coding program as an example, coding education can be applied to various subjects such as math, science, art, and music, all of which are regular school curricula. Taking advantage of this quality, we are constructing a curriculum tailored to the interests and learning development of each age group, from infants to elementary, middle, and high school, and continuously developing educational content. In particular, because convergence education that combines various fields is possible, each child can create a unique portfolio.


  • 에이럭스의 AI 인플러그드 로봇 교구 '비누' / 에이럭스 제공


  • ▲ AI Plugged Robot Parish 'Soap' in ALUX / Courtesy of ALUX


    Q. How is preschool and elementary school coding education linked and applied in the actual coding area?

    The first barrier in preschool and elementary school coding education is ‘English.’ If you look at the code of a commercial program, it is written in English, so you must know English and enter it using the keyboard. For this reason, in the past, even if coding education was available to the younger age groups, it usually started in the upper grades of elementary school. However, this barrier was broken with the advent of block coding languages such as Scratch and Entry, as code could now be created by inserting blocks, just like putting together Lego blocks. The code created corresponds 1:1 with commercial programming languages such as Python or Java. In other words, you can think of it as a version of a commercial programming language that eliminates English and keyboard input. With the advent of block coding, education that focused on the system itself for giving commands to computers, rather than simply learning commercial programs, became possible.

    Block coding alone can have some educational effects. However, block coding has a limitation in that the results are limited to computer monitors. To alleviate this issue, ‘physical learning aids’ were created. Representative examples include robots, sensor boards, and drones.

    For example, let's assume we are building a car that runs along a lane. If the lane shown on the screen is to the right of the center, you can code to turn the steering wheel to the right, and if the lane is to the left, you can code to turn the steering wheel to the left. However, this process alone cannot be considered as creating a car that runs along the lane, as the above example was simply a simulation rather than actively driving down a road. Therefore, we must build a car, install sensors, and run the motor through a program. In reality, the program does not run perfectly according to the simulation because it does not reflect several variables, such as friction between the wheels and the ground. Children experience trial and error as they create programs and see the results with their own eyes. Throughout this process, children can learn not only coding, but also engineering methods.

    There is also another facet to consider. If you only learn block coding language, most students, except for some students with the right aptitude, may soon lose interest. This is because it is difficult to find a connection to the real world through block coding alone. Therefore, physical learning aids are important devices that stimulate children's interest and enable continued education.


  • 에이럭스 드론의 모습 / 에이럭스 제공


  • ▲ ALUX Drone Appearance / Courtesy of ALUX


    Q. It appears that ALUX recently expanded its business to include drones to secure a more diverse range of physical learning aids. How are drones specifically used as educational tools, and what are their educational effects?

    First, we must look at how drones are used in the field. One of the industries where drones are most actively used is the broadcasting field, and this can be credited to shooting compositions previously only possible with large-scale equipment, such as a Jimmy Jib, now being easily expressed with drones. In addition, we often hear about various cases of drone usage, such as for military purposes, agriculture, or drone delivery. These are all related to ‘drone control.' To operate a drone, you must understand the basic principles of aerodynamics and become familiar with it through repetition and mastery. It’s similar to training for the driver’s license exam. However, drone training does not stop at piloting.

    As mentioned earlier, drone education is linked to coding, so you learn how to control the drone through code. The idea is to make the drone fly automatically from point A to point B without manual control. At this point, when obstacles enter, there are more things to consider. This is the greatest difference between general aircraft training and drone training. Drone training is not just about learning how to pilot a drone, but includes the application of a similar curriculum to building an autonomous car.

    In addition to this, there is training on how to make your personal drone. Although it is impossible to design the motor and fuselage in elementary school, you can try optimal tuning by replacing various parts. In this process, we go through trial and error and improve performance compared to before, learning the engineering aspects.


  • 에이럭스 드론을 구동시키는 어린이의 모습 / 에이럭스 제공


  • ▲ A child running an ALUX drone / Courtesy of ALUX 


    Q. Ultimately, education in Korea comes down to the entrance exam (CSAT). Is coding education linked to entrance exams and does it have a positive impact? 

    Recently, a system called a ‘software-centered university’ was established where students are admitted based solely on programming skills. It is difficult to imagine in other subjects, but it is a system established because there is a severe shortage of software talent in our society. If you are considering a career in computer science, coding education can be directly beneficial to your goals. In addition, coding education can help indirectly in preparing for entrance exams. Coding requires logical thinking. Therefore, the creative problem-solving skills developed through coding education are helpful when presenting a problem and answering how to solve it, such as in an interview or essay.


    Q. Should I learn to code even if I don’t want to become a developer as a career?

    It's a simple question if you broaden your horizons a bit and think about it. Currently, software and artificial intelligence influence all industries and occupations. In fact, according to a research study, approximately 50% of industries are greatly influenced by SW and artificial intelligence, and the remaining 50% are also influenced to some extent.

    For example, who will achieve better results: a scientist who conducts his experiments in a laboratory using a more traditional method or a scientist who retrieves and analyzes massive amounts of data online? Also, who can gain more trust, a doctor who studies and prescribes traditionally or a doctor who uses artificial intelligence technology to analyze the results of all the clinical trials in the world and then prescribe medicine?

    This notion does not only apply to scientists or doctors. It applies to all professions, including artists, lawyers, distributors, and athletes. In the future, workers who cannot apply artificial intelligence technology to their jobs will lose competitiveness. However, this does not mean everyone needs to know how to code at a developer level. You can leave professional areas to the experts. However, you must fully understand how software and artificial intelligence are integrated into your job, as there are parts that developers cannot do due to the specialization of the job. Therefore, it is sufficient to simply understand software and artificial intelligence, and this is the goal of current elementary and middle school coding education.


    Q. Lastly, what would you say to parents considering coding education?

    Because coding education is important, the government has recently been sparing no effort in supporting it. Thanks to this, there are several free programs, and you can experience coding education at a very affordable cost. If you are at a loss for coding education, we recommend that you first look for opportunities that are easily accessible and allow your child to experience it first-hand.

    Coding education aims to develop problem-solving skills through the process of finding problems and solving them on your own, rather than learning how to get the right answer quickly. For this reason, the role of parents who wait, support, and praise children is key in coding education. If your child shows interest in coding education and wants to learn more, it is a good idea to consider a career in the computer science field and consult with an expert.


  • 에이럭스 로고 / 에이럭스 제공


  • ▲ ALUX LOGO / PROVIDED ALUX 


    Meanwhile, ALUX is an edutech company specializing in robots. In addition to producing robots and drones, it also provides software and content for various SW education, such as AI, robots, and coding. Recently, the company expanded its business area to include drones and began developing educational content using drones.

    Kim Jeong-hoon, director of ALUX Education Research Institute, is a graduate of KAIST's Department of Life Science with a Master's degree. He is currently developing and producing educational robots and SW tools at ALUX.




ALUX

CEO Chi-heon Lee, Da-in Lee 


Business License Number  587-81-00224
Business Establishment 

1602-ho, C-dong, Seed Cube Changdong, 61, Madeul-ro 13-gil, Dobong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Service Inquiry  alux@aluxonline.com
Business Partnership Inquiry  02-3665-8956 · Fax 02-3665-8957 

Copyright ALUX, Inc. All Rights Reserved



ALUX

CEO Chi-heon Lee, Da-in Lee


Business License Number  

587-81-00224
Business Establishment  

1602-ho, C-dong, Seed Cube Changdong, 61, Madeul-ro 13-gil, Dobong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Service Inquiry

alux@aluxonline.com
Business Partnership Inquiry 

02-3665-8956

Fax 02-3665-8957 


Copyright ALUX, Inc. All Rights Reserved