We all want our kids to succeed in school, right? But, how much do we believe that they’re profiting from their school curriculum and getting introduced to different perspectives and skills that the world out there is hungry for? If you’re also one of these parents or early childhood development teachers that believe that the current school curriculum should include additional classes, we’ve got your back.
In that spirit, we will be talking about the benefits of coding in schools, more precisely, the benefits of coding in the classroom. Come along!
Why Is Coding Important for Students?
Let’s start by showing you why coding is important for students of all ages, not only for those that have chosen computer science and information technology for their future major and career. First things first, coding is becoming one of the essential literacy skills for current and future generations. Why is that? Mostly because technology is all around us, and since the computers and other devices can’t interact with us through our language, we need to interact with them by using the machine code in binary or hexadecimal that they understand.
When Should Kids Start Learning to Code?
We’re living in a world where children no older than five are technology-savvy thanks to the use of electronics from a very young age. While there isn’t a particular age that one can say is the most appropriate age for children to start learning how to code, they can do so from the age of seven. Why exactly from this age? Well, because that’s when students start first grade.
It’s around the age of seven that children can be capable of grasping the basic coding concepts. Through different games and fun activities, they start learning how to code. With each school year that passes, the more they know and the more capable at coding they become.
Benefits of Coding for Students
It’s very common that when thinking of developing a new skill, one immediately wants to know what the benefits of doing that thing are or if there are any. When it comes to coding, there are plenty of benefits, and we’re going to be talking about them in no time.
Their creativity levels increase
It’s argued that coding is a form of art in itself. One can follow multiple routes to find a solution for the problems they’re encountering in coding. The more room you have to experiment, the more confident in your solutions you become, increasing your creativity levels.
When learning to code, you have to get familiar with a particular programming language. Just like any other language you might learn, you get to express yourself in that language. You’ll never look at a website in the same way. Most importantly, you won’t be just a media consumer anymore, but you’ll be one of those who create and add personal touches to it.
They will grasp mathematics more easily
We’re sure that most of us were intimidated by math at some point, and this fear wasn’t entirely unfounded. Some of us didn’t like the mingling between the numbers and letters, and some just couldn’t understand a thing despite how much we would dedicate to learning it.
Children who learn coding can’t relate to us at all. While it’s normal to struggle with something while learning math, those who learn coding at a young age won’t struggle as much as we did. On the contrary, they can build their math skills. Thanks to coding, many mathematical abstract concepts come to life, making it easier for students to visualize them.
Not only that, the kids get to see for themselves the real-world applications of math concepts and overall make math more fun.
Their collaboration is encouraged
Collaboration is one of the qualities that is required from almost all employers. As such, this quality should get nurtured from a very young age. With coding, the skill of teamwork starts to develop from the moment one dedicates themselves to it.
Even though programming seems like an independent occupation, it calls for collaboration far more often than one would expect. The programming projects which require multiple-person efforts make coding a collective endeavor. Each member of the group focuses on a different aspect of the project. One of them is the head coder, one of them takes care of the visuals, and one other focuses on another thing, and in turn, the project is finished on time and with no one left behind.
They will learn how to think
Margaret Mead, an American anthropologist, once said: “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” And this is precisely what coding promotes. It stimulates logical and critical thinking. Computer programming isn’t all about writing some lines of coding, and that’s it. Instead, it teaches children to take a complex issue and break it down into smaller, digestible pieces and then step by step fixing the problem altogether—a skill applicable in almost every part of our lives.
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Coding helps students develop a way of thinking that tells them that there’s always a way to fix issues. If the first solution doesn’t work, then maybe the second or the third will. Coding students will learn to try and try until the solution is found.
They become problem-solvers
There’s a tendency for people to give up once an obstacle is on the way. Well, that does not apply to coders. They see those situations as a problem to correct, not a stop sign. By having this kind of perspective, they won’t fear failure but instead will only look out for quick fixes.
While many of us needed time to develop this kind of mentality, young coders won’t have to. They’ll develop it alongside learning how to code.
They get prepared for the future
Without a doubt, code is the language that is characterizing this modern world. Considering the fact that all the devices we use daily need instructions in code to function properly and more devices and codes are underway to become more digitally sophisticated, one will have to “learn to code or get coded” as the Guardian puts it.
In a way, by learning how programming works, you’re a step ahead of others. The coding won’t only prepare you for the future in the programming field, but also will give you the skills (i.e., critical thinking, problem-solving skills) that will open you up to a multitude of career opportunities.
How to Teach Coding for Students?
We established the fact that coding is a very beneficial skill to have in the modern world of technology; that is why it should be integrated into the curriculum and coding concepts taught in the classroom.
Teaching any subject to students, especially younger students, can be challenging. Teaching coding is no exception. For a teacher to be as successful and effective in teaching coding, they should be well-prepared, organized, and use innovative methods to grab the students’ attention and develop a love for coding. A helpful tip to keep in mind before you start teaching coding is setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself and your students.
Setting achievable goals will help you develop the right plan when it comes to what and how to teach certain coding languages.
Moreover, do not forget to be a creative teacher and not limit yourself! You can do so by finding ways to make coding fun by relating it to other subjects and by tailoring it to your students’ different learning styles. This way, every student gets an equal chance to learn.
As simple as these tips sound, they require a lot of work to be implemented successfully. So, be patient and determined in your learning objectives, and you will be able to teach coding effectively to your students.
Coding is a skill much needed in the world that we’re living in. While people can learn it at any age, it’s argued that it’s better if one starts at an early age as it will come along with numerous benefits. We believe that obtaining these skills from a young age will only benefit the individuals, what about you?
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