How important is it to teach coding to kids?
Aside from having multiple practical uses, coding can be excellent brain training and can greatly improve a child’s ability to problem solve and think critically (and adults too for that matter). These are life skills which will be applicable in all areas of their adult life. It encourages computational thinking, which requires kids to break down large problems into smaller tasks. This has been shown to improve their ability to analyze and organize in later life.
As early as the age of two years old, kids can begin learning the basic concepts of coding.Coding for children is generally taught using content and delivery platforms that are high interest, semi-challenging, and require creative input. Learning to code activates very similar areas in the brain as learning a new language, and the earlier a child starts the easier it will become as they grow.
Coding is a great medium to challenge children and provide them with an immediate sense of accomplishment for their effort. This can be a huge motivator to double down their efforts in order to achieve the desired result, promoting a healthy internal reward system for learning. The process of failing and trying again is inherent in all coding and encourages children to try and fix their mistakes until they produce the result they are looking for.
The most obviously benefiting factor is that a child who has the skills to develop software at any early age will have significantly more employment opportunities in later life, whether they decide to enter the technology sector, retail, health or other. Software is without doubt the future of modern technology and an area of employment growth.
“ A computer is a bicycle for your mind” – Steve Jobs
Although coding is often seen as a hallmark of logic and reason, it is fundamentally a creative effort which requires the developer to use their initiative to solve problems. There is typically a number of ways to solve a coding problem, and the process teaches children to experiment and be creatively confident. Giving a child the chance to design something that is completely their own plays a huge role as a motivator, and seeing the results along the way helps cultivate a positive self image and promote high self esteem.
How important is it to teach coding to kids? Very!