When we think about the subjects our children are taught in school, we typically think of core competencies like English, mathematics, science, or art. Chances are very slim that computer programming or coding ever enter our minds. However, for the first time ever, learning to code is an important skill for this current generation of children to master.
Why Coding Skills are Important for Today’s Children
Coding and technology have taken over every part of our lives, including our own homes. From “smart” smoke detectors to voice-controlled speakers, we are constantly surrounded by technology. Computer programmers and engineers have hand-coded these products that have become such a common part of our lives that we don’t even think about them.
In addition to being digital natives who’ve grown up immersed in technology, today’s children and teenagers will be facing a job market that is dependent upon programming, engineering, coding, and computers. From robotics to virtual reality to algorithms, the world has an increasing need for coding skills.
Learning to code can not only help your child secure a stable future career; it also improves creativity, problem-solving, and project management skills. These qualities are useful in any job field, not just computer science. “STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators,” says the Engineering for Kids website. “This innovation and science literacy depends on a solid knowledge base in the STEM areas.”
In his Guardian article titled “Why Every Child Should Learn to Code,” Dan Crow explains, “Computational thinking teaches you how to tackle large problems by breaking them down into a sequence of smaller, more manageable problems.” (Crow would know; as a former Engineering Manager for both Google and Apple, he now continues his work as the CTO of Brooklyn-based concert ticketing database, Songkick.)
How to Teach Your Children to Code
As a parent, it can feel overwhelming trying to decide how to get your child into coding, especially if you don’t personally know anyone with a computer programming background. Sure, it might sound intimidating when trying to find the best educational resources for children, but don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
Luckily, there are several resources available to assist you. For starters, you could begin teaching your child to code using online learning. There are many websites, iPhone apps, and digital technologies these days that focus on teaching children to code. Age isn’t even a factor anymore; thanks to apps like Coding Games For Kids, children as young as 4 or 5 years old can start learning to code!
If your child learns better in an immersive environment surrounded by other children, you might consider enrolling them in a computer coding course or summer camp. Organizations like IDZ Digital Pvt Ltd offer fun learning apps which also include coding games for children. These structured experiences encourage your children to explore possible careers like robotics and web design, and they even balance computer time with time spent outdoors in nature.
Preparing Today’s Children for Tomorrow’s Careers
Education reporter, Sonali Kohli, recently stated that “America is failing its children” by not teaching them to code. According to Kohli, “it’s difficult to find a high-quality computer science class in American high schools, let alone a programming class.” Even if you live in a school district that doesn’t teach coding classes or can’t afford the latest computer technologies, you can still empower your child to learn to code. By using the resources listed above or by searching the web for additional online and offline coding resources, you can help prepare your child for a successful career in our technology-driven world.