Why should kids learn to code? Lots of good reasons. Learning to code teaches kids how to think computationally. It helps them break down difficult problems into more manageable pieces and then apply a range of possible solutions to find the most effective one. It trains a logical way of approaching situations. This ability to think computationally will:
- Foster Creativity. Coding is accomplished through experimentation, trying novel ways of approaching a problem. Code frequently fails, but these failures are valuable teaching moments. Kids discover new ways of thinking about problems when they try a solution and it doesn’t work the way they expected. Coding builds resilient, flexible, creative minds.
- Improve Academic Performance. Learning to code involves learning how to think logically. Kids learn how to tenaciously apply themselves to a problem until they find a workable solution. This teaches organizational skills, logic skills, and a host of other competencies that apply equally well to other academic pursuits.
- Improve Math Skills. Math is the universal language that all computational devices speak. In order to code effectively, students learn how to manipulate numbers and other abstract concepts. Coding, as a complement to standard math instruction, can greatly amplify a child’s ability to think mathematically and computationally.
- Build Problem Solving Skills. Computers are dumb. They can only do what a programmer tells them to do. In order for kids to learn to do this effectively, they need to make a plan, write code to execute that plan, and then refine their code when it fails, or when it underperforms. Over time simple programs become elaborate instruction chains, with branching logic and contingent decision points. This sort of methodical thinking is useful everywhere in life.