Five Reasons to Teach Kids to Code



Technology literacy is a necessary skill for our 21st century learners. They must be able to work independently and with others to utilize technology to their advantage, to follow their passions and meet their future needs. Coding is one essential skill all young learners should, at the very least, be exposed to.

 

Reason #1: Coding encourages problem-solving and critical thinking.

Teaching children to think deeply, not just remember facts, is imperative.  Coding provides opportunities for multiple iterations and use of reasoning skills and computational thinking, breaking big problems into a series of smaller steps to solve.  If we can teach children a growth mindset (the understanding that talents can be developed and are not innate gifts), then they will continue to work hard when facing difficult situations. 

 

Reason #2: Coding encourages children to learn and practice essential life skills. 

Many life skills are practiced and learned while coding. Children will need to persevere when facing challenging problems. Hard work eventually pays off and, when learned early, will benefit children.  Teamwork is important, and children will naturally gravitate toward others to collaborate when having trouble. Children show flexibility by knowing when to give up on an idea that is not working. Learning to fail forward when something doesn’t work the way it should is also important for our students. According to Code Ninjas, learning to code teaches kids how to think logically, ask questions and problem solve- skills that will help them on any path they take in life. Kids also learn that they can be more than passive consumers of technology, but can actually understand how it works and help create it.

 

Reason #3: Coding prepares children for the jobs of the future.

According to a White House initiative called US2020, 1.2 million new jobs in science, technology, engineering and math will emerge by 2018, and not enough qualified applicants will exist to fill them. Even if a child is not interested in a technology field, basic computer literacy will be necessary for many jobs.

 

Reason #4: Coding is empowering and builds confidence.

When working through coding challenges, a child feels the thrill of conquering what was stumping him! Finding a bug through trial and error is empowering to students and builds their confidence in their abilities to solve any problem they may have.

 

Reason #5: Coding is fun and stimulates creativity (and promotes producers, rather than just consumers, of information).

When young children first code, they create games, animations and stories that allow their natural creativity and imagination to shine through.  By incorporating art, design and music into coding, many children find their passions addressed.  Early coding often serves as the first time kids are able to express their creativity in a different way!

 

Coding Resources

ipad Coding Apps

  • Daisy the Dinosaur
  • Scratch Jr.
  • Kodable
  • Hopscotch
  • Box Island

Angela Rosheim is a library media specialist in the Liberty Public School district and the mother of 3.

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