This past week, students at Divine Savior Academy are experiencing the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is a global initiative by Computer Science Education Week [csedweek.org] and Code.org [code.org] to introduce millions of students to computer science and computer programming. Students across all grade levels worked with different coding platforms to learn some of the basic skills of programming in both text-based and visual languages. From moving a robot through a maze, coding with the popular movie character Moana, or writing code to create a visual snowflake, students enjoyed this exposure to the world of programming.
Many people are scared off by the idea of computer programming because they think it’s an extremely complex task carried out by an elite few. But the reality is that even young children can learn the basics and fundamentals of programming.
Here are three reasons why your child should try out coding:
Coding builds important skills.
Yes, there is certain knowledge needed to learn a programming language. But, no matter what programming method is used, coding will always require:
- Comprehension: understanding what the commands in a language mean
- Planning: deciding how to approach a problem
- Creativity: testing ideas, writing programs, and executing those programs to see results
- Problem Solving: debugging and reasoning to get to a correct solution
- Teamwork: working in teams to arrive at more efficient solutions
Coding develops motivation in other areas.
When kids accomplish one task in code, they often look forward to what they can accomplish next. This curiosity also can transfer to other subjects, like math or science, where students will be motivated to learn new concepts.
Technology is everywhere.
Computers are used daily to make things, share things, and solve problems. Coding is accessible to everyone, regardless of age or gender. And regardless of whether this experience leads to a career in programming, or just another subset of useful knowledge, it certainly is a useful skill.
Occupations in computing make up two-thirds of all projected new jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. That’s why Computer Science is currently one of the most in-demand college degrees. In Florida alone, there are over 20,000 open computing jobs. Employees with programming skills are in high demand, and it’s never too soon to begin learning these skills.
If your child wants to continue their experience with coding, check out one of these resources:
Written By: Michael Babler, Director of Instructional Technology, Divine Savior Academy – Doral