Updated: Mar 4, 2020
What Other Skills Your Child Will Pick Up With Coding?
Coding has become such a buzzword, but why is it so important for our children to learn how to code. In this article, we make a case for coding for kids.
We actively (and passively) use devices and systems for many hours a day - whether it’s YouTube, Instagram, Netflix, Oyster cards or checkout tills in store. Technology is all around us. It is important for them to understand how the world around them works - this tech works - instead of just being consumers of technology, so that they can influence it positively and use it to solve real-life problems.
From techies to musicians, analysts to designers - here are our top 5 reasons for why coding is important for your child’s development.
1. Build creative problem-solving skills
Learning how to code will help children develop essential problem-solving skills - analysing a problem, breaking it into smaller parts and solving each part by creatively applying past experience. That’s what computational thinking is all about anyway.
2. Build resilience
Even the most advanced coders often have to spend hours improving their own code - fixing issues, researching better solutions and trying new problem-solving techniques. As children learn to code, they build resilience because they will have to constantly overcome difficulties and frustration through experimentation and research.
3. Expansion of creativity
First of all, coding is fundamentally a creative activity where you create ‘digital things’ such as stories, graphics, games, music and animations. Secondly, the flexibility in the many ways of approaching and solving a problem encourages creativity. For example, at Riva Learning, when we introduce children to a new concept, say ‘broadcasting’ in Scratch coding, students come up with their own version of a story with characters, conversations and scene changes that they then code. In our robotics courses, we often pose problems such as “how can you prevent theft or how can you reduce car accidents now that you know about a light sensor, a proximity sensor, a motion sensor and such” - and then students go ahead and build a prototype of their ideas. They are constantly brainstorming, coming up with ideas of how to solve a problem and wading their way through the various constraints to make it real.
4. Coding improves communication and collaboration
Coding (and, more generally, computing) gives children the opportunity to learn how to collaborate with others with differing backgrounds, abilities and ages, but connected by a common interest in technology. Collaboration happens in various forms - working on projects together during camps or classes or sharing ideas, giving and receiving feedback and even through online games such as Minecraft.
5. Skills for a future tech world
As we saw in the introduction of this article, coding itself is an important future skill. But consider this - “85% of jobs only 10 years from now haven’t been invented yet (report by Institute for the Future)”. This means that it’s all the more important to learn how to acquire creative problem-solving skills and always be a student. Coders constantly learn new technologies, programming languages, devices and methods of solving problems. Coding teaches you how to self-learn and become an independent learner, clearly an ever more important skill for the future.