Benefits of Teaching Children How to Code

One can never emphasize enough about the importance to code. Since we are now surrounded by machines, it is becoming more and more important to know how to code. In this article, you will understand why it's important to teach your children how to code.

In the digital age, learning how to code should be included in every curriculum. In fact, it's the common thread that will bridge cultures regardless of nationality. However, not even 20 million in the whole world—compared to the 3 billion labor force and the 7.2 billion total global population—know how to code.

Among European countries, Finland takes the lead in institutionalizing coding in primary and secondary schools, although England trail blazed the introduction of computer science in schools. So there's no question that kids should learn how to code. The only question left is how early.

Programming for Kids

The good thing about starting early is that kids are more receptive and curious. Older kids are slightly turned off by STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects because, to be fair, they are more difficult and involve a lot of math.

However, there are programming apps designed specifically to teach kids how to code. The George Lucas Educational Foundation listed seven of the most popular prgramming courses:
  • Gamestar Mechanic
  • Tynker
  • Move The Turtle
  • Scratch
  • Cargo-Bot
  • Daisy The Dinosaur
  • Hopscotch
There is also Scratch Jr. and WeDo, which targets kids as young as five years old. For children who use them, it's not uncommon to learn how to code even before they learn how to spell. Most of these titles are free so schools won't have any problems downloading them into their systems allowing the children to use them on either cell phones or laptops.

Coding Pays Off

There are a few teens who have struck it rich with the apps they developed. They include:

1. Dong Nguyen – A Vietnamese who was 28-years-old and still living with his parents when he developed the phenomenal mobile game, Flappy Bird. Although he pulled the game from stores, he was making $50,000 a day during its peak.

2. Robert Nay – He was just 14 years old when he developed and made Bubble Ball available. The gaming app's popularity exploded and within just a couple of weeks, the system almost broke due to the sheer amount of downloads. Within a two-week span, Nay earned $2 million.

Benefits of Teaching Young Kids to Code

  • They can better understand the world – Certainly, they are more equipped to understand the digital sphere than the current and previous generation. With understanding, they can better position themselves when they grow up and know where they can carve their own space in this new world.

  • They enhance their problem-solving skills – Programming takes a lot of patience, but it also requires some degree of investigational skills when an issue crops up. Kids can develop new ways of thinking outside the box, which is material for their growth.

  • They keep the creative juices flowing– Once kids understand that they can actually create a program through coding, they can then let loose their creativity to create an app for themselves. Who knows? They can even make money from it. Consider 13-year-old coder Ethan Duggan for instance, who already has several apps to his name. Duggan is self-taught, which speaks volumes about kids' capabilities.

  • Promotes critical thinking – People of the previous generation always complain that millennials lack critical thinking. It's the fault of YouTube and Facebook they say, especially in the era of fake news. However, coding will allow kids to digest and dissect problems into several components until they arrive at a solution.

  • IT jobs continue to be in high demand – Although the BLS sees a reduction in programming jobs (a seven percent decline between 2016 and 2026), software developers are in high demand. In fact, by 2026, the industry will expand by 24%, one of the highest growths across various industries. Of course, it doesn't hurt that software development also pays very well (a median of $101,790 per year).

  • Coding presents them with choices – While kids don't have to become programmers in the future, coding early will start their love affair with computers. In fact, they don't have to work for any company but can develop apps on their own. Certainly, the prospect of freelancing is scary enough but it could also be lucrative.

There are a number of apps in the Google Play Store and the Apple app store which helps us in learning several programming languages like Java, Python, Javascript, C# etc. Here are some of the famous apps:
  1. SoloLearn
  2. Programming Hub
  3. Mimo: Learn to Code
  4. Encode
Tech giants such as Facebook and Microsoft sounded the alarm about the widening gap between vacant tech jobs in Europe and the capacities of the labor force to supply them. By 2020, they said that almost a million jobs on the continent will be left vacant if nothing is done. The only hurdle of teaching kids how to code is the archaic mindset of adults who still think that they are too young to understand it.


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