Technology is now such a fundamental part of our lives. Many children will grow up to work in industries that require them to have some knowledge of coding. So doesn’t it seem intuitive that schools would be teaching this from an early age? reported in 2020 that 46 per cent of schools in the US teach computer science. While this is a start, it’s important that more schools feel empowered to teach kids the skill of coding.

Finding practical tools that teach coding to kids is a useful way for schools to engage them. There are loads of tools out there to help them do this. Programs like Tynker can be beneficial, as can a mini computer such as the micro:bit.

So, what exactly is coding and how will it benefit kids to learn this exciting skill?

What is Coding?

A simple way to explain coding to kids is that it is the way humans talk with computers. Coding transforms ideas and instructions into the language a computer can understand. This is binary code.

What is it Used for?

We can learn a variety of programming languages to bridge this communication gap. Examples include JavaScript, Java, Python and C/C++.

Programming languages define how we write computer code. We can’t use English because it is overly nuanced and complicated, so we use a more concise programming language to tell the computer what to do.

For those that grow up and choose to specialize in a career involving computer science, there are many types of code they can specialise in. With CC+, they can create and develop video games, with Python, they can build websites and software programs, and with Swift, they can create new apps.

The Benefits of Coding in School

• It prepares kids for the future jobs market. By teaching kids to code, we increase our chances of being able to fill the jobs that this growing market is creating. The US market already accounts for 35% of the total global tech market, and it’s only going to keep growing. The US’s tech market was projected to grow by 6.7% in 2022 alone.

• It instills problem-solving skills. Coding teaches kids to solve problems methodically. It shows that complex problems are usually a series of smaller problems. This is a useful life skill and also one that can be transferred over into other scientific disciplines.

• It helps make maths more fun. Coding is a practical way to engage kids and it encourages learning by doing. This makes it the perfect companion to maths, which has traditionally been more of a sedentary class. When coding, kids will see how they can apply maths skills in a hands-on way, picking up new maths skills while hardly noticing.

Coding isn’t just for the kids that love maths and science. Whether or not they go into a STEM career, ultimately the benefits of learning to code will stay with a child for the rest of their life.

StudentsandScholarship Team.

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