Do you know why learning to code is important for children? Have you ever wondered how coding has changed our lives and will undoubtedly continue to change those of our future generation? Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
What is Coding?
Simply put, coding is communicating with a computer and having it perform specific functions. Since computers run on the binary number system, coding helps the user communicate with the computer. Although the terms coding and programming are often used interchangeably, coding is not the same as programming but only a subset of it.
Programming entails a much more complex process of software development and includes writing, modifying, and testing codes and scripts, which allow the software to run smoothly on a computer. Coding is the initial step in software development, whereas programming focuses on the final implementation of the written code.
Coding is thus a more straightforward process and entails using programming languages such as Python, Java, and C++ to communicate with the computer. Coding can be considered a form of translation where the user turns information into a language the computer can understand.
Why is Learning to Code Important?
With rapid technological advancements, computer programming is finding its way into almost all spheres of human life. Coding has been used to identify and eliminate DNA that causes genetic disorders. Scientists are also optimistic about its use in developing organisms through genetic reengineering.
Coding is used in a wide range of disciplines, not just the sciences. Companies use coding to run operations and manage digital assets by developing frameworks that increase efficiency. Coding has thus become a necessary skill set with multi-industry applications.
Should Children Learn How to Code?
The short answer is yes, in the age of automation and digital transformation. Coding can help contribute to a child’s education, career, and overall development.3,4,5 Here are some of the reasons coding can be seen as vital for our future generation:
- Learning how to code requires a certain level of self-discipline, focus, and creativity. Learning to code can instill these values in a child from an early age. A child can gain a deeper understanding of technology than the superficial one that comes from hours of unmindful screen time. Coding also encourages resilience, logical reasoning, and computational thinking. Moreover, it can nurture creativity and problem-solving.1
- Coding can also contribute to learning mathematical skills in a fun and engaging way. Since coding does involve math, it encourages the child to understand and solve mathematical problems in a way that is not frustrating or confusing.1
- Coding opens doors to many lucrative career options.6,7 With a child learning to code at an early age, they are likely to gain expertise in the field much earlier than adults learning to code. This can spark your child’s interest in computer programming and can help them have a competitive edge when entering the job market.
- Children who enjoy coding may have a wide range of career options to choose from due to the widespread use of coding in various industries. Someone knowledgeable in programming languages is no longer restricted to the IT sector. They can be involved in various industries such as business analysis, web development and design, scientific and medical research, and environmental analysis.
The basics of coding can be introduced to children as young as 5 years old. Python, Java, and Scratch are three of the easiest coding languages that can be taught to a child. With several options for online classes, games, and interesting offline modes to introduce coding to children, it has become more accessible than ever to teach. There is no reason not to learn how to code!
Children these days are surrounded by technology. We see more and more children spend countless hours in front of screens, whether playing around on a smartphone or watching movies and shows on laptops/TVs. This screen time can now easily be leveraged to hone a new skill that has been, is, and is expected to be in demand for the foreseeable future, owing to technology’s rapid and irrefutable growth.6,7 Besides its many professional and academic benefits, coding can help a child develop confidence, foster organizational skills, improve math and writing, and even develop strong communication skills.2
Want to know how coding can ensure a child’s well-rounded development while bolstering their career prospects in the future? Head over to BYJU’s Future School blog to learn and read more about the importance of coding for children.
- White. (2019, March 20). If Kids Are the Future of Technology, They Should Learn How to Code. Techfunnel. Retrieved December 1, 2022, from https://www.techfunnel.com/information-technology/if-kids-are-the-future-of-technology-they-should-learn-how-to-code/
- How Coding Improves Children’s Later Academic Performance. (2021, September 28). EdTechReview. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://www.edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/how-coding-improves-children-s-later-academic-performance/
- Frontiers | The Impact of Coding Apps to Support Young Children in Computational Thinking and Computational Fluency. A Literature Review. (n.d.). Retrieved December 23, 2022, from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feduc.2021.657895/full
- Jindal, M., Tanishwangoo, M., Sekhon, M. H., & Ojas Jaitely, M. (2021). TEACHING CODING TO YOUNG CHILDREN : A PERCEPTION-BASED STUDY ON INDIAN PARENTS REGARDING CODING EDUCATION AT AN EARLY AGE. Peer Reviewed and Refereed Journal, 10, 4. http://s3-ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/ijmer/pdf/volume10/volume10-issue4(1)/22.pdf
- Exploring children’s learning experience in constructionism-based coding activities through design-based research – ScienceDirect. (n.d.). Retrieved December 23, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563219300184
- The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Getting a Job in Tech. (n.d.).https://ga-core.s3.amazonaws.com/cms/files/files/000/003/816/original/Career-Changers-Playbook.pdf
- The Future of Jobs Report 2020. (2020). https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2020.pdf