|▲ CEP Kang Moon-suk|
The 4th Industrial Revolution and AI are the two most frequently appearing keywords of today. Some of the advanced countries have already included ‘coding’ in the regular course of school while South Korea lacks number of AI specialists. Experts predict that around 7,000 AI specialists will be needed by 2022. ‘Coding’ is a computer language that gives orders through ‘codes’ for a computer to implement the given orders; if the so called C language is difficult to read for many ordinary people, coding makes the language easier for everybody, especially children, to learn. The US, UK, Finland and Sweden introduced coding as a formal course of school and South Korea also introduced a yearly 17 hour coding education for 5th and 6th grade elementary students. Yet, the manpower to teach coding at school lacks significantly. <Power Korea> met smart coding specialist Kang Moon-suk, CEO of Smart Coding.
Coding empowers creative, logic and problem solving abilities
“The process of coding is more important than doing coding because it raises the learner’s abilities in creation, logical thinking and problem solving” says Kang. “This is the reason that those advanced countries have made it compulsory in their children’s education and it is closely associated with almost all industries driven by IT today.”
Located in Sinseo-dong, Dong District, Daegu Metropolitan City, Smart Codling runs easy-to-understand and customized coding courses for students and adults. Scratch and Entry (free coding training software made by KAIST), for example, are used for elementary students while basics of computer and internet are customized for adults with no previous knowledge. Each class has no more than 6 persons to maximize the effect.
CEO Kang majored in computer engineering at Keimyung University and worked as a big data specialist for an affiliate of a large IT company in Seoul. After marriage, he went down to Daegu near Gumi where his wife’s family live and worked for the National Information Society Agency. He heard the news that the government was to introduce compulsory coding education to school. This awakened Kang to have a vision in the field and he decided to join the wagon. He opened Smart Coding in August 2017 and got a position as a computer teacher at Daegu S elementary school, teaching students every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Until everyone knows how easy it is to use computer and coding
“I have this sense of duty that nobody should be neglected because they do not know how to use computer. So my job is to show them how easy it can be to use computer and coding” says Kang.
Knowing his passion and years of expertise in the field, as well as the fact that coding education has become compulsory since February this year in Korea, inquiries from parents are flooding into Kang’s office. Although he is busy enough to keep up the current schedule, he opened a Youtube channel for children who live remote areas so that they can also learn the basics of scratch coding online; in his spare time, he updates his lecture on a regular basis.
“I’m drawing a big picture. Firstly, I would like to grow my business as a hub of fostering talented future IT manpower. Secondly, I would like to open a coding academy in Vietnam. For this, I’m working hard on building better, easier and more effective coding education methods and I will keep pushing forward my passion until everyone knows how easy it is to use computer and coding” says Kang.
Smart Coding is collaborating with counseling psychologist Kim Young-eun: Kim plays the role of giving counseling to those who are addicted to internet or games while Kang makes the most of their interests and talents in internet and games to turn them into creative contents creators; thus creating synergy effect.
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