If we were to say ‘Python’, you might respond with a jump, and scream “WHERE?!” And ‘Scratch’? Yeah, we get itchy too from all the mosquito bites. How about Ruby? Lovely name, isn’t it? Well, we can’t fault you for this thinking but for our kids, these words mean something completely different: computers!
As parents, our understanding of digital technology is likely limited, at least in comparison to what our kids are exposed to. I remember my parents marvelling at my ability to set the timer on our VHS machine. Now, it’s the ten agonising minutes spent trying to get them to turn on their phone video on WhatsApp or Skype. For most parents, that’s the extent of our tech ability or maybe just patience! Imagine how our kids must look at us?
Professor Mitch Resnick of the MIT Media Lab, sums it up best: “Coding is the new literacy. To thrive in tomorrow’s society, young people must learn to design, create and express themselves with digital technologies”.
If you’re not convinced that coding (programming) is a life skill, keep reading SchoolViews’ take on five key reasons your kids need learn to code.
1.Creativity and self-confidence
Coding shouldn’t be something scary or daunting. Coding empowers kids by giving them tools and skills to express themselves in really fun and creative ways. Teaching kids to create something like a game or app does more than provide a valuable skill; it promotes self-confidence and a sense of accomplishments.
2. Understanding machines = understanding the world
There’s something to be said for learning how machines work. Technology exists in almost every aspect of our lives: work, school, play, communication, driving, banking, you name it. Students who study coding learn how to communicate with and control the technology around us, as well as building a deep understand of how they actually work .
3. Logic and problem solving
Games and apps with visual programming languages such as ‘Scratch’ teach kids logic and problem solving. Children can apply these analytical skills across academic disciplines like Math and Science, and can confidently draw on them in future professional settings.
4. Attention to detail
Kids who learn to write code develop a keen attention to detail and hone their ability to focus. These skills help them become effective studiers and test takers, which could translate into improved academic performance.
5. Great career opportunities
The world needs more programmers! It’s estimated that over the next 10 years, there will be 1.4 million computer programming jobs, but only 1 million computer science graduates. Clearly, coding skills are (and will be) in demand, and learning them now opens up a number of exciting career paths.
Hearing form the experts
SchoolViews is an education technology company, so it goes without saying that we love coding and computer programming. And, as parents, we want to provide our kids with every opportunity that will help them throughout life. Therefore, we fully support coding and programming curriculums; at schools, camps, or private tuition. We’re also happy to see Mark Zuckerber, Bill Gates, and Jack Dorsey actively promoting similar views, “What Most Schools Don’t Teach You”
We hope this post has helped you understand some of the ways teaching kids to code sets them up for success. The important thing to remember is that learning to code should be a lot of fun, and kids shouldn’t be intimidated by it. Prof Resnick stresses that “Coding isn’t just for computer whizzes, it’s for everyone”. To learn about coding education in Singapore, check out the SchoolViews article, “Three of the Best Coding Schools for Kids in Singapore” . In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this fun demo-filled TED Talk from Prof Resnik outlining the benefits of teaching kids to code: