12 Reasons Why Children Should Learn Coding In Schools
In the past few years, there has been a lot of buzz around the importance of teaching children to learn coding. Now you may be wondering, "What's all this noise about getting children into code?” But let's start by saying that this isn't about hype, but rather allowing a school-going child have a scope to acquire a new skill.
Years ago when the conversation about "getting children to learn code" had begun, you could have categorized the thought as hype because the idea of coding was relatively new in our education system back then. Now with the various innovations out there that can provide the answer to every complex assignment, it’s safe to say that education isn’t merely limited to pages of the textbooks. Today more and more parents are encouraging their children to acquire the skills of coding and making sure the children understand the significance of learning how to code.
What makes this significant for the children is not only because of the career prospects that it offers later in life or the necessity of learning a new skill. But it’s also essential for enhancing the creativity, collaboration, problem solving abilities, communication, and other skills that are crucial byproducts of a child’s overall growth and development.
So, what is coding?
For the uninitiated, coding, on the most generic level, is how we communicate by using computers, and what we apply to develop and run websites, video games, apps, and more. Learning to code can be compared to learning to speak and write in a new and specific language which is used to communicate with the computers and other technological devices.
There are many esoteric terms and phrases in the realm of coding like HTML, CSS etc. Now all this may seem overwhelming in the beginning, but starting early and taking it slow will do the trick. Once the child starts taking interest in coding, things will automatically come easily to him/her. But for now, let’s delve into the reasons why schools should push young students to take up coding.
1. There’s an increasing demand for programmers
Learning this skill will increase a child’s chances of having a lucrative career, especially in the area of information technology or computer science. Coding has emerged as an essential skill for the children to acquire for better prospects in their careers ahead.
2. Have an edge when applying to colleges, internships, and jobs
If you possess the ability that none of the peers has, i.e. the ability to code, this allows the college admissions officers and employers to consider you over the rest of the applicants. It’s as simple as that.
3. Understand the world around them better.
Most of us have very little idea about how our laptops, smartphones, other gadgets, and even social media networks, and video games function. Learning the basic programming skills can vastly alter the way we interact with the technologies that we need on a daily basis, and can be aware of the infinite possibilities that coding has to offer.
4. Programming or coding can be extremely engaging.
While coding intrinsically depends on logic, it can also be considered as a creative process. If you understand codes, you get one-step closer to developing various apps, games, websites and so on.
Those who indulge in coding, consider the process to be a challenge and the reward of watching their code come to life later on following a good debugging session. With the right kind of knowledge, coding can really come across as easy and fun.
5. Coding boosts creativity.
The whole idea of learning a new language is that you can use it to express yourself. The same idea applies to coding as well. Coding enables students to not only familiarize themselves with the technology and digital media but also help to develop it. Rather than being satisfied with playing a video game or using an app, with the proper knowledge of coding, you can attempt to develop your own video game or an app, or create a website. And, this way you will get a chance to present your creative expression.
6. Coding sharpens problem solving skills.
When students learn to code, they will be required to deal with complex problems and divide those problems into small parts. This way the students learn the proper approach to a problem exactly how a software engineer does, with logic and critical thinking.
The ability to think critically enables you to gain an understanding of how you can handle large problems by categorising them into a sequence of smaller, more manageable problems. This ability to think logically is an asset that’s extremely useful in school, work, and life.
7. Coding develops persistence in students.
As mentioned earlier, acquiring the knowledge of coding is a challenge. Thus, dealing with and solving the problems, and making mistakes in the process can be quite irksome.
Coding allows students to master skill of persistence while dealing with such challenges. Learning how to solve crucial problems and search for solutions through research nurtures this highly valuable skill.
8. Coding fosters collaboration.
Anyone can learn the skill of coding, and children too can learn this skill alongside adults. Coding in schools allows the students to meet and know how to work in collaboration with their peers, as they’re all united by a common interest in technology. Children can also learn this skill online, by asking questions in an expert forum for students. Many PC games also provide a bevy of educational advantages because they too require the knowledge coding, collaboration, and participation, with peers from different parts of the world.
9. Coding improves communication.
Communication is a skill that’s useful at every stage, be it in school, work, or life. People who can coherently communicate intricate ideas in simplistic terms tend to achieve great success in whichever career they choose.
When children learn coding, they also become familiar with how to communicate with the audience that possesses a simple mindset, i.e. computers. As stated before, coding allows the students to know how to simplify the intricate language and organize them in a manner that is intelligible to the computers.
10. Coding isn’t as difficult as it seems
Often people have this common perception that coding is for students pursuing higher studies, because of the complexities that are associated with the activity. Today, schools and online tutoring portals have made the process of learning the skill a lot easier for the school-going children. Now the coding that college students indulge in would obviously be more advanced from what a school going child usually learns. Younger children are taught the basics so that it gets easier for them to adapt and move on to more complex problems in the later stages of their academic career. Children can learn both text-based and block-based coding.
11. Children learn faster and better when they’re young
Teaching your child how to code when they are still young is important because for children it's easier to absorb a new skill as compared to an adult, their minds are open to process any information, and learning to code is like learning a language, which becomes far easier when you are young.
Given the growing pace of innovation and the ease of connectivity through the devices, across various areas, it’s justified to take advantage of the fact that children are blessed with the ability to learn faster when they are younger. And, this isn't just applicable to coding but is also concerned with logical thinking, and ‘procedural literacy’ which requires the ability to understand the processes in the world.
12. The skills of storytelling through codes
Knowing how to code also helps children to develop certain familiarity. Coding follows a sequence and is similar to narrating a story, where you need to know how to develop the story and why one thing leads to the other in a specific order. Most programming languages for children normally make use of games to teach them how to learn coding, and this needs them to stick to a particular storyline or sequence as they play the game and code.
There are online tools that provide fair amount of control and also focus on the elements of storytelling and creativity, with a rich visual appeal that children tend to appreciate.
These online platforms allow the children to both influence and control the world around them in delightful and innovative ways, all of which are extremely helpful for teaching how interesting coding can be as an activity.
To sum it all up, it must be pointed out that the parents or teachers shouldn’t only be content with their children just learning how to use a tablet or a smartphone. In today's times, it isn't enough anymore, and they’ll need more skills to innovate, thrive, and create as they age. Coding is a vital activity that should be introduced in schools, and more young children should start taking an interest in the endless possibilities that come with the skill.
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