Should Kids Learn How to Code?
There is a debate going around in the tech sphere about whether kids should learn to code. One faction believes that kids couldn’t possibly comprehend the complexity of coding at such an early age, and hence trying to learn would be a waste of time. The other side believes that coding is a fundamental skill that kids especially need to learn to excel in the 21st century. At Coder Academy, we are firm believers of the latter. We believe that learning to code for children has become almost as important, if not more important, as learning any other skill. There are numerous benefits your kids can get from learning to code at an early age. Here are a few of them:
Make Them Future Ready
We can already see that every aspect of our lives in the future is going to be reliant on technology. While the older generations are adjusting to new technologies, our children will grow up with them. In a future dominated by various technologies, does it not make sense to teach our kids how to innovate, communicate with, and control these technologies? Even in education, the focus is changing from simply teaching kids how to interact with technology, to teaching them how to create technology.
Learn Logical Thinking
“Learning to write programs stretches your mind and helps you think better. It creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.”
These are the words of Bill Gates. What he is talking about is the logical thinking that learning programming instills in children. Being able to code requires a person to be able to think in structures, find relationships between various elements, and come up with a solution that makes sense. This ability to think logically, as Bill Gates puts it, will come in handy when dealing with vague and complex concepts in life. If your child learns complex problem solving skills, then he/she has an instant edge over other kids.
Learn How to Learn
Probably one of the best things you can learn from coding is how to learn. What we mean by this is being able to do exploratory learning. It is quite common in the coding world that you do not know a lot of things, and you have to explore the depths of the internet to find resources that help you. This will be the same case for kids learning how to code. By being able to learn through exploration, children can run various trails of the code, and be able to grasp the concept rather than just memorise it.
Enhance Their Creativity
Coding, like learning any other language, facilitates creative expression. The most significant difference is that being expressive through coding allows you to create things like games, apps, robots, and so many other exciting technologies. Imagine a single line of code as a Lego brick, and you will be able to imagine the extent of things you can do with coding. There are various coding languages for kids like Stencyl, Gamefroot, and Blockly that allows your kids to make anything they want. If you think about it in terms of future career prospects, being able to think creatively using code is pretty promising for your child’s future.
Teach Collaboration and Teamwork
One of the most overlooked aspects of coding is the amount of teamwork and collaboration that goes into the creation of a piece of software. It is very rare that one person codes everything. You usually will have to communicate regularly with your teammates to make sure everyone is working towards the same goal. Most of the coding courses online or face-to-face stress on this aspect too. For instance, if your kid is learning how to make a robot move, then generally one person will be responsible for moving the legs, another the body, and another the head. This emphasis on collaboration in coding might very well instil this crucial trait in your child.
Originally published at coderacademy.edu.au.