Coding for kids seems like an impossible endeavor, right? It’s a lot like—quite literally—learning an entirely new language!
Thus, asking children to envision themselves with the ability to, say, build an app, is a difficult enough task in itself.
We’ve all been there…a blank slate can be a very scary, overwhelming roadblock. “Is coding for me? How am I ever going to get to a point where coding comes easy? When will I be able to use this new skill to complete a finished project?”
Statements like these have stopped many…before they even give themselves the chance to begin.
Think about it—first you have to plan, then you have to learn, then you have to be good enough to create. But before you learn, you have to decide what it is you’re going to learn, and you need to have a great understanding that the thing you’re learning is going to pay some sort of dividend when all is said and done.
There is no way around it. It’s quite the challenge.
But please, keep reading.
Any new task always seems impossible from the start, and is in fact impossible if you don’t take all of the necessary steps—and in the right order—beforehand.
This means that jumping in with two feet could actually lead to more frustration, and even lessen the chance of follow through/success, compared to starting small, taking your time, and achieving small victories along the way.
WHAT IS CODING FOR KIDS?
Coding for kids is the collection of opportunities available for children to get involved in coding. These opportunities aim to be fun and gamified to keep the young mind engaged.
And while it is difficult to imagine a young brain learning something seemingly complex, coding for kids is reality—thanks to the many coding summer camps, websites, coding tutors, after-school programs, and toys, coding can be quite digestible.
Start with the why, outline the benefits, define key terms, study examples, choose a language, and get started!
Wait. What is coding, simply? Coding is how we communicate with computers, and what we use to build and run websites, apps, games, and more.
HOW TO GET YOUR CHILD TO CODE?
It’s an answer that can go a million different directions.
So, let’s start by focusing on moving one direction—forward. It doesn’t have to be a giant leap. In fact, per the above, it should really only be a small step for now.
The important thing is that with each move, your child experiences progress.
WHY SHOULD "EVERY" KID LEARN TO CODE?
Years ago when all of this kids and code chatter started, you could have characterized it has hype because the whole idea was new and novel to the education system. And, while this “learn to code” popularity spike wasn’t unfounded by any means, time was really the only thing that could tell us if it all was going to be a big fat flash in the pan.
Well, here we are.
Time has passed, yet we are still seeing STEM education stats like by 2018, 2.4 million STEM jobs will go unfilled. And others like 71% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing, but only 8% of STEM graduates are in Computer Science. People are still wondering if coding is hard to learn.
We’ve officially moved beyond simply saying “coding is cool, so go do it,” end of story. Instead, we are now saying, “coding is in fact cool, so go do it, but you should also go do it because you’ll be rewarded as a result.”
In other words, there are jobs, lots of them—and jobs that pay very well.
What makes this even better is that it’s not just the jobs or the coolness, either (this would be a much shorter blog post if that were the case). But also the creativity, problem solving, collaboration, communication, and other skills ripe for improvement as byproducts of kids learning to code.
So, kids should learn to code because:
- Coders are in high demand
- Coding provides a competitive advantage
- Coding knowledge allows students better understand the world
- Coding is fun and satisfying
- Coding improves creativity
- Coding improves problem solving
- Coding improves persistence
- Coding improves collaboration
- Coding improves communication