Most adults don’t think kids should learn how to code.
The worry stems from their computer experiences. For them, computers emerged in the middle of their lives. The machines were new and strange, learning their use was a complexity they did not want to hear. These parents believe the same will apply to their children.
There are a few factors these well-meaning parents forget, though.
First, unlike them, their children are growing up with technology all around them. Their parents had these gadgets introduced later in their lives. The kids had access to them from the very start. Early exposure builds familiarity, comfort.
Second, these parents are neglecting the potential benefits of learning computer code.
Some jobs use the code directly. Web designers, robotics engineers, software developers, and even some science-related jobs all require direct interaction with code. Learning the principles earlier in life can give them an advantage in these professions.
Yes, these careers aren’t as spectacular as doctors or as traditionally favourable as lawyers. However, while they’re not in the spotlight, they are still stable jobs with plenty of options.
Code also helps the kids understand the world.
The world has more connections now than ever before, tied to computer systems and information networks. If the child knows these relationships, they gain a better idea of how the world itself operates behind the scenes.
In many ways, teaching kids how computer code works is no different from lessons in biology or physics.
Learning computer code is like learning a foreign language. The learning stimulates certain parts of the brain that can be hugely beneficial in the long-term.
Of course, the younger you teach a kid how to code, the better they grasp it. The brain is much more absorbent at an early age, so the lessons “stick” better than the experience gained later in life.
Kids and math usually don’t get along, but computer code can help fix that.
Computational thinking uses ideas that parallel those who you see in algebra and trigonometry. By being exposed to these basic concepts early on, the kid may find them easier to process. The child may not necessarily understand the exact terms, but they will understand the ideas behind them.
Coding can also be great fun for kids. Think of all the enjoyment you got with Legos, and just imagine the building blocks as digital rather than tangible.
Finally, kids love computers. Eventually, the smart ones will pick up a thing or two about coding.
With so much exposure to technology and an abundance of creativity inherent to the child’s brain, it’s safe to guess that coding isn’t too far off. Kids who love games will eventually think about making their own, and figure out how to do that.
You might as well get them started early.