5 Skills Coding improves in Children
Technology has become more and more ubiquitous in recent years, causing coding to turn into a requirement for basic literacy. Knowing how to use a smartphone or tablet is not enough anymore.
You may think coding is just for the future software engineers and computer programmers, but it’s actually a skill that can be beneficial to everyone, even at a young age. The UK Key Stage 1 curriculum now states that pupils should be taught to “create and debug simple programs”, and that’s not without good reason. There are so many added benefits to having even just a little bit of coding know-how.
Who said that programming can’t start until a certain age? Learning to code at an early age doesn’t necessarily mean that you will grow to know all programming languages. It just means learning how to process your thoughts logically as you grow comfortable with the ideas behind programming.
Kids can learn to code before they can read thanks to websites that make the learning process easy and fun. If you spend some time searching for activities to help boost logical thinking and alternative methodologies, you will find all kinds of resources. For example, most kids adore playing with train sets. That’s why LEGO Education created Coding Express: to help kids understand programming concepts through playful learning.
It’s not just about learning to program lines of code or becoming a computer programmer. Even if your child never becomes a software engineer, they will benefit from knowing how to solve problems.
Scratch is one platform that is ideal for kids to begin learning code. Scratch programming is popular for kids because instead of using lines of code, youth users learn though colourful command blocks and cartoon sprites. This means that without typing a single line of code, kids can get their feet wet with programming statements and computational ideas and begin to test their limits of creative thinking in order to problem-solve.
Solutions such as LEGO Education’s WeDo 2.0 can also be used with Scratch. Meaning that they can continue to learn programming on a platform they will be familiar with.
Coding can improve many skills which are key in a child’s development, including:
When you learn a language, you use it to express yourself. The same is true with code. Coding empowers kids to not only consume digital media and technology, but to create it. Instead of simply playing a video game or using an app, they can imagine making their own video game, or envision what their own website, or app might look like—and they’ll have the outlet for expression.
When kids code, they take complex problems and break them down into smaller parts.
Kids learn what it’s like to approach a problem the way a software engineer does, with logical, computational thinking.
This logical thinking is a powerful tool in school, work, and life.
Learning to code, like any new discipline, is a challenge. Thus, tackling complex problems—and making mistakes along the way—can be very frustrating.
Coding teaches the valuable skill of persistence in the face of such challenges. Learning how to problem solve and look for solutions through research and collaboration builds this highly desirable skill.
Anyone can learn how to code—kids can learn alongside others of every race, gender, or background. Kids meet and learn how to collaborate with all kinds of peers, all joined by a common interest in technology.
Classrooms and other in-person environments, bring kids together for face-to-face collaboration. Kids learning online can also grow, asking each other questions, and working to solve problems and create things together.
Communication is an absolutely essential skill throughout school, work, and life. People who can clearly communicate complex ideas in simple terms tend to be successful in different industries and walks of life.
When kids learn how to code, they learn how to communicate with the most simple-minded audience imaginable: computers. As mentioned, coding teaches kids how to break down complex ideas and arrange them in a way that computers can understand.