What is the reason behind teaching children how to code?
Computers are capable, and adults can program them, so why do children need to learn these skills? The answer is as simple as you learning to read and write and talk in English so that you can understand this very article.
As Tufts University’s child development expert Marina Umaschi Bers explains, “Coding is a way to achieve literacy in the 21st century, like reading and writing.” Children should be taught how to code so that they can express themselves and apply the skills for their lifetime.
Reasons why children should learn coding:
Professional Development in STEM Fields
An interesting projection for the future says that 85% of the jobs expected by 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. To take the lead on jobs of the future, one must be at the cutting edge and be prepared with the knowledge that will be useful in the future.
STEM, that is science, technology, engineering and math skills are vital to every aspect of modern life. By learning how to code, kids get a head start in professional development, which helps them understand the programming underlying the tools and software they’ll use in their life.
Coding Encourages Creativity
Every child is a creative being, imagining that a toy dinosaur is a real T-Rex or turning boxes and blankets into a fort. Throughout life, the ability to think creatively inspires careers and opportunities. Learning to code helps implant creativity in the brain, where it remains accessible for the rest of your child’s life. Through coding, your child feels free to experiment when presented with a task such as landing a virtual spaceship or making a dragon breathe fire. Your child also builds “whole-brain thinking” that links the artsy right brain with the technology- and logic-oriented left side. Put the two together, and children learn to turn brainstorming into reality.
Coding Requires Logical Thinking
Good coding starts well before numbers and symbols are entered on a keyboard. In coding, computational thinking is a type of critical thinking that involves analyzing even the simplest actions for every step needed to achieve a desired result. Computers simply do as they’re told, and if the instructions are vague the results will be messy. Coding teaches kids to think through an issue step by step — a skill needed for effectiveness in academics and careers. Logical thinking breaks down an action into smaller pieces, making achievement of the goal a matter of managing each segment.
Children Learn Problem-Solving Skills
Problem-solvers are useful people to be. Dilemmas don’t halt them in their tracks. Children who learn to hash through an issue and analyze its components before settling on a solution are better prepared for school and work. As children are learning how to code, they are applying processing skills and math toward a workable solution. In teaching kids to code, we are encouraging them to recognize problems and take the initiative to solve them.
Coding Clubs Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork
Computers are learning to think and perform tasks that were once reserved for humans, but this doesn’t mean that human interaction will become outmoded. More than ever, children need to learn to collaborate and work in teams, because businesses and institutions thrive and grow only if their people generate the most innovative ideas on the planet. Computer coding for kids brings them together to solve problems, share ideas, encourage each other through the failures and cheer for their successes.