Featured Image Caption: Benefits of Coding for Kids
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There is a common assumption, not always helped by the technology industry itself that children need to learn to program because we need more computer professionals. Future Software Engineers will be necessary to improve our digital world. Nothing is further from reality.
This is an article that presents much more interesting and convincing arguments about why boys and girls should learn to code, beyond: “Because it is the future” and that will help answer the recurring question:
What happens if my son or daughter doesn’t want to study anything related to computing?
Here are five of the most interesting reasons:
Coding encourages creative expression
Coding for boys and girls is a fundamentally creative process. Like painting or cooking, with coding a child benefits from the satisfaction, even euphoria, that comes from starting with nothing and ending with something, giving them the opportunity to go even further.
Furthermore, in the real world creative acts are often limited by the materials we have at our disposal, such as the ingredients when we cook or the canvas when we paint. The child’s creativity is the sole limit in the unlimited virtual world of programming, however.
Programming demystifies technology
Numerous studies predict that in the coming years, a high percentage of jobs will be completely automated. Meanwhile, forecasts for the number of devices connected as part of the ‘ Internet of Things (IoT) are in the millions and are increasing exponentially every year.
Not considering them ‘black boxes’, understanding that everything that happens on any device happens for a reason, which has a scientific and/or technological basis, and is always supported by the bases of programming, is a priority for our sons and daughters.
They must know why the technological world works the way it does, and only in this way will they be able to move through it and adapt (even anticipate) the adjustments that lie ahead for us.
Children’s programming encourages perseverance and problem-solving
Anyone who has played with code, from beginners to professionals, Aark Learnings will tell you that writing programs can become a challenge: there is not always an immediate solution, there are usually multiple valid answers and in many cases, you have to use the ‘trial and error’ method.
Decomposition into simpler problems helps as a problem-solving strategy. It also encourages learning through lateral thinking when faced with a coding problem: “If A + B didn’t work, then maybe A + C.”
Promotes the maker philosophy and learning by doing
One of the most effective learning methods occurs when students are able to experience, first-hand, the concepts or contents that are being worked on in the different sessions.
The reproducibility capacity of the programs and coding, together with their subsequent integration into educational boards: bit to create robots and small mechanical automation, provides the ideal environment to develop the student’s ability to solve situations, search for answers and discover new challenges. Open solutions, with more than one solution, in which the important thing is not the end, but rather thinking about what you want to do, step by step, before doing it.
They learn to think about thinking
Students must change their thinking routine, and adapt it to new needs and the way computers work. As they begin this new way of reasoning, they embark on an exploration of how they themselves think. The experience can be amazing: thinking about how to think makes you reflect on different points of view (from other people or machines), helps you empathize, and debunks the idea of single thinking.
For us, this is the most exciting argument. More than anything, computational thinking is an incredibly valuable thinking tool, perhaps the thinking tool of the 21st century, and one that can be applied throughout our lives to incredible effect.
In summary, due to the development of the technological world in which we find ourselves, there is a growing demand for the development of artificial intelligence and Big Data, which will make certain jobs, as they are currently understood, become obsolete.
By studying coding and robotics, through the content of subjects such as ICT and STEAM, children and young people are taught to understand what computers can and cannot do, as it is essential to address these new needs.
Ultimately, we have to try to teach boys and girls how to reshape the technological world around them, helping them become creators of the world of tomorrow.