To the tech illiterate, coding may seem like a foreign language, and in a way, it is. Coding is communicating to a computer in a language that it understands. But it is not as complicated as you may think!
0s and 1s
While those of us without coding experience may think it involves endless series of 0s and 1s, coding is actually made up of thousands of different programming languages that make it possible for us to create computer software, games, apps, websites, music and more. Instead of writing thousands of lines of 0s and 1s to tell the computer what we want it to do, these languages make coding easier for us to read, write and understand.
For example, one of the earliest tasks to complete when learning to code is telling the computer to say “Hello, world.” Typing is speaking your computer’s language and giving it a command to perform… and this is just the beginning!
Parents and teachers alike are often on an endless hunt for ways to keep their kids or students engaged and involved in 21st century concepts. Recent research suggests that coding could not be more relevant in today’s world and it will be the crux of limitless future careers. So, how do we teach our children to code, and why is this so important?
Coders are Cool
First, we need to get kids interested in coding. Ask a kid if their dream job includes playing games on apps all day or getting to the next level on their favorite video game, or creating beautiful works of art, or conducting experiments, or producing new music. If they answer yes to any of these scenarios, then coding is an absolutely relevant skill to develop for their future. In fact, more and more non-tech jobs are viewing online coding programs as an essential skill. Business, finance, engineering, scientific and even art industries all value online coding as a means to analyze data and solve problems.
Luckily, kids often learn to code program faster than adults because they aren’t daunted by how “difficult” it is supposed to be. Online computer coding classes can be an absolutely fun activity for kids as it allows them to be creative in writing games, creating music, designing websites and making funny gifs. An engaged student who is having fun while learning code has no idea what incredible benefits the process is having on their developing brains.
Code Word: Success
It’s no surprise that educators are constantly emphasizing the importance of STEM learning. After all, the bulk of future careers are leaning in the direction of those four domains: science, technology, engineering and math. Coding combines those plus more and delivers benefits that are truly invaluable.
- Critical thinking: coding forces kids to try something new, fail, and try again. These simple steps send the neurons in their brains into overdrive as they work to apply logic, reasoning and creativity to figure out the missing puzzle piece in their code. Plus, they’re working on a project that is fun and important to them.
- Persistence: think back to the above example of try, fail, and try again. When a child codes and experiences challenges, problem solves, then experiences success, their persistence is reinforced, and they gain the confidence to continue trying. The more confident a kid becomes in their abilities, the more likely they are to grow through the challenges they will face in life.
- Better world understanding: exposure to different languages helps kids better understand the world around them, and coding is a language of its own. Learning how numbers and letters coordinate in code helps kids learn to speak to the technology around them.
- Academic success: learning the foundation of coding requires logic, computational and reasoning skills. Students must access higher cognitive capacities in order to develop these skills and must continually practice to foster that development. These vital skills then translate to higher understanding in other subject areas in school and beyond.
- Teamwork: children often learn to code in a group setting which encourages them to work with others, give and receive feedback and problem-solve as a group. This beautiful mix of technology skills (writing code) and human skills (communicating and cooperating) is essential for the jobs of the future.
Dream Big, Kid
Coding is a unique combination of imagination, creativity, logic and reasoning. Maybe your kid is the one who is daydreaming about the next cool video game or thinking of a smartphone app that would make something in their lives a little easier. Maybe they want to make a movie, or design a new fashion trend, or operate a robot to do their chores. Little dreamers can become successful entrepreneurs by turning their awesome ideas into practical software, and it all begin with learning the 0s and 1s of code. So, what are you waiting for? Book a free coding class for your kid now!