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Call it a lifestyle, a hobby, or whatever you want, but there is good reason to believe that coding is for everyone. There are people who may not be the biggest fan of excessive technology, but there’s no getting away from the fact that we live in the twenty-first century, and therefore computational language is a foundational toolkit that every child needs for our digital future.
There seems to be a misconception that learning coding as a skill naturally leads to a future as a software engineer or data scientist, but this pigeonholing is misinformed. Instead of putting one into a box, this skill set actually opens the box for various opportunities, unlocking new frontiers, and disrupting traditional industries. We spoke to Caprikon Education on why every child should learn how to code, and why they’re such big advocates of this important modern tool.
There is no doubt that developing critical thinking and emotional resilience sets children up for long-term success. For digital natives—the generations starting from millennials who were born with the internet and computers—computational thinking is really a key tenet of cognitive development in twenty-first-century learners.
In addition to its approach and fostering of habits integral to solving complex problems, computational thinking enhances pattern recognition and conceptual thinking. These methods help children think logically and analytically, reinforce problem-solving, and model a way of thinking that kids can incorporate into their growth. When children learn this early on, it is not only a certain set of knowledge, but a mentality that they end up taking on.
Once children visualise their learning through computational thinking, the learning itself becomes a tangible process, and children become motivated to take risks, keep trying, and not be afraid to fail. Needless to say, these are all mindsets and skills that will prove extremely useful to their futures, whatever their eventual career paths.
As digital natives in the modern world, most kids see technology as “just the ways things are.” However, learning how to code will reveal the layers underneath in an opportunity for kids to understand how applications are created. Once they start to process the inner workings of websites and mobile apps, they can then reimagine how these parts interact with one another to create an online ecosystem.
There is increasingly prevalent anxiety about the spread of artificial intelligence and its potential to replace workers. But when the younger generation gains an understanding of the computer’s abilities and limitations, it sets them on a path where they can eventually take matters into their own hands, designing and redefining artificial intelligence ethically and creatively. It is empowering to be able to shift a consumerist attitude to a creator’s view, where anyone can be an inventor of tools that will help build a better world.
67 percent of all new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics jobs are in computing, yet only 10 percent of STEM graduates are in Computer Science. Computing jobs are the number one source of new wages in the US and are projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs. Even in Hong Kong, 40 percent of employers say they can’t find the skills they need, and STEM professionals are among the top three most difficult groups to hire for.
It is evident that computing talent is experiencing a serious gap worldwide. It is even harder to find women in the tech field, with females holding only 25 percent of all computing industry roles. Though it may seem far away, starting coding early presents an opportunity for kids to get a head start in life, building a repertoire of projects and applications that can start bridging this talent gap.
Coding can also reinforce learning in the subjects of English and Mathematics. While kids learn grammar, vocabulary, and structure in English lessons, they are also writing syntax and stringing structures together—just as in coding. Continually writing computer commands to complete game-based learning levels reinforces children’s English skills.
Mathematics is involved in more subtle ways; cognitive functions such as logic and problem-solving are used when learning algebra and algorithms. Coding helps reinforce logic through what educators call “procedural literacy.” It is quickly becoming a basic, common knowledge base for digital natives. These building blocks are vital to strengthening such soft and hard skills that will serve kids for life.
Technology is a powerful tool that can be applied to all aspects of life. From cooking to space exploration, technology can be built to disrupt industries and change the way things are done.
Whether your child is interested in ocean conservation or the physics of playing football, there are tools and applications that will support, enable, and empower their areas of enthusiasm. As children develop, they will be able to use these skills in any field they choose to pursue.
Every student is innately creative and, when presented with the appropriate tools to enable the furthering of their own interests, can really make their creativity flourish. Even at an early age, children’s strengths and imaginations can be fostered through coding.
We’ve found just the place to get your little one started. Caprikon Education’s free coding fundamentals trial class was created specifically for families affected by the recent period of school closures. If you’re running out of ways to entertain a child who is turning increasingly rabid with cabin fever, why not have them learn a fun new skill?
It doesn’t matter if your child has already done a bit of block programming before or is a complete beginner, Caprikon Education still presents a great way to start coding. They offer game-based learning, set to individuals’ own paces; students will also get immediate feedback, build confidence in computational thinking, and have fun at the same time!
Take part in Caprikon Education’s trial webinar lesson for free now, available until the end of April, and begin equipping your children with the perfect toolkit they need to succeed in our digital future!