4 Reasons Your Child Should Learn to Code
There has been a bit of debate lately over the merits of children learning computer programming. For me, the advantages are clear and I see no real downside to at least dipping all children’s toes in the binary wading pool. After all, if we are still teaching kids to write in cursive despite no real world use (besides a signature that could become irrelevant), why not let the little whipper-snappers learn a thing or two about how software works?
Computer programming is, at its core, about solving problems.It is, after all, driving practically every change happening in the world around us. And despite the excellent career options available to kids who enter the field, there are five less obvious reasons I believe every child should learn the basics of writing code. Andrew and I discuss this further in a recent podcast.
Successfully Navigate the Digital Future
Technology is everywhere. It’s in our phones and our cars. It’s at our jobs and the places we shop. Heck, even farming now relies heavily on the use of computer algorithms and high tech gadgets. Nearly every aspect of our lives is in some way dependent on the use of technology. And that’s a trend that will only increase in the years ahead. Learning some fundamental concepts early will go a long way toward making sense of a rapidly changing world.
Learn to Solve Complex Problems
Computer programming is, at its core, about solving problems. Take a big hairy problem and break it down into its far less scary, smaller little cousins. Then each part can be solved individually and packaged back together with an answer to the original challenge. This is a skill that will prove invaluable, especially when learned at a young age.
Bring New Ideas to Life
Innovation is the currency of the future. The world is moving at a breakneck pace and it isn’t waiting for anyone. Learning to write code is at its core, an exercise in creative expression. Children are able to watch their ideas come to life inspiring them to tackle bigger ideas as they grow in both age and skill. And its the collaboration among the collection of these many ideas that is most exciting about the future.
Never Been a Better Time to Learn
One of the biggest advantages to such rapidly changing technology is its impact on the act itself of learning code. This is a hugely important idea and definitely one whose time has come. There are countless resources available now for kids to learn how to program like no other time in history. From software like Scratch to full on organized not for profit ideas like what they’re doing over at Code.org the resources at your fingertips are amazing. There’s also this handy guide to get you started. And the list is growing and getting better every day.
The great thing about all this is that you don’t have to be an expert anymore to teach your kids about coding. The technology at our fingertips is handling that for you. Now all we have to do is inspire them to engage.