Coding may be overlooked as a core subject, but it is just as essential as Literacy and Numeracy. Hear me out.
If there is anything that we’ve discovered by living through a pandemic, it’s that technology kept kids learning, many adults working, and lots of people safe. It goes without saying that even when the shit hits the fan, technology has the ability to help us ride the pandemic waves and get through somewhat intact.
Venturing back to your own schooling days, you’ll notice a similarity between your experience and your own kids’ experience: Literacy and Numeracy have always been super important. They absolutely always will be, too. However, the duo really needs to make room for Coding. Coding at school may seem overwhelming, scary or way too futuristic for plain, old 2021. What most of us actually need to ask ourselves, though, is: do we actually understand what coding is?
“Most computer code performs a range of tasks in our lives from the mundane to the extraordinary. Code runs our traffic lights and pedestrian signals, the elevators in our buildings, the cell phone towers that transmit our phone signals, and the space ships headed for outer space. We also interact with code on a more personal level, on our phones and computers, and usually to check email or the weather.” – Coding for Dummies – Nikhil Abramham
Coding is the future and we’d be naive to assume our kids won’t benefit from picking up a few skills in coding. Think of coding as technology-literacy. Combined with Literacy and Numeracy, Coding could be part of the ultimate education trifecta.
Coding helps improve other academic skills
Just like literacy being relevant across the board, coding is beneficial in more ways than we even know.
Coding involves knowledge in algebra, arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry and calculus. Beyond those skills, Coding also develops skills in problem solving, functioning and planning. Coding at school would be a form of literacy that is carried across all subjects.
“Having a curriculum that’s designed to meet those ever-growing needs in society through having coding and computational thought imbedded in learning should, at this point, not merely be an elective but a requirement, to ensure students are prepared for and able to be productive members of our future world.”- Cordelia Jean Mackay has a Master of Teaching and specialises in computer science curriculum design and development.
Coding is relevant to their world
Any parent that has witnessed they 2-year-old navigate their way through an iPad knows that kids get technology better than we do. Kids play video games, use laptops and smart phones and engage with social media.
Learning to code teaches them to understand and interact with the technology they use so often.
Exposure to Coding is best at a young age
Just like learning a second language, learning coding is easier in your younger years.
“Learning to write programs stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.” – Bill Gates
Coding at school opens doors for children
Coding at school would open pathways for students to explore STEM careers. On top of that, careers in Coding bring in an average of 40% more earnings than other university graduate positions. Coding has been dubbed a vital skill along the grapevine. So, why aren’t we hearing enough about it?
“Our students need to be future-proofed for jobs that we’re only just touching on in tech at present that require coding and computative thinking.” – Cordelia Jean Mackay
Having knowledge in coding gives students a competitive advantage when applying for work experience, jobs and internships.
“More than 65% of… kids will end up taking up jobs that don’t even exist at present. The majority of new jobs will constitute the use of technology and technical skills and thus, students having at par knowledge of computer science will have a better stand than those who don’t.”– Smile Tutor
“Since coding is basically the knowledge most of us lack, having it on the tip of your hands will automatically provide you an upper hand while getting admission in university and after that, at the time of applying of jobs.”
Coding enhances creativity, perseverance and concentration
Coding enables kids to experiment in creating mobile apps, video games and websites. The creative possibilities are endless. The possibilities of fun are also endless.
Requiring deep concentration and focus, coding is a skill that develops with training. Spending hours working through their code, finding and fixing bugs is part of the art of coding. Learning to keep tinkering with your code is a skill we can all transform into other facets of life and education.
Just like proof-reading a creative story in English, finding misplaced apostrophes, coding requires deep reading to perfect your work. Those skills also translate to skills in patience.
Check out your local library for coding sessions – you’ll be surprised how many libraries run free coding sessions for kids!
Can’t get there? There are thousands of online courses for kids to learn coding from home!
While you’re at it, why not reach out to your children’s school and ask how they are integrating coding into their curriculum?