Is your child ready to thrive in the real world?

By Drum Digital
02 May 2018

Coding is the new wave – here’s why your child needs to learn this valuable skill

Do you think your child is equipped for the 21st century? As parents, we always wonder if our children are learning all the skills needed to be successful once they leave school. In a time where digital literacy has practically surpassed basic literacy and mathematics, it seems it’s beneficial to bolster the current curriculum and add to their education to ensure your child doesn’t get left behind.

With an ever-increasing digital landscape and new job titles emerging – and let’s not forget the life-like robots that may well replace us – it’s important to keep up with the times. Case in point: coding.

So what’s code anyway?

Code is all around us. It’s basically what we use to communicate with computers and it’s a "language” that has far-reaching benefits. Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, social apps and websites. We use the internet on a daily basis; whether on our mobile phones or computers, all of which use software, so understanding software is a valuable skill.

Benefits of coding

* Coding improves creativity, problem-solving and communication. Instead of merely playing a videogame or app, children have an outlet for expression and think about the workings of the game. They also learn how to approach a problem, which encourages logical thinking and thinking outside the box.

* Ultimately, your child will possess a “hot skill” that many may not have. Coding will provide a competitive advantage when applying for colleges, internships and jobs.

Whether your child wants to be an artist, marketer, engineer, scientist or chief – software will undoubtedly play a big role in their lives in a world powered by code.

How to introduce your child to coding

Much like language development, coding is easier and more naturally acquired at a young age.

* A gradual introduction and immersive play is always a good way to facilitate learning. Encourage edutainment and games that help your child to think like a computer, such as the different steps that go into doing simple activities.

*Try online courses! There are a number of courses available to upskill yourself and your child. One-on-one learning is best for younger learners though.

* You could sign your child up for Think Ahead’s CodeSpace holiday camps/coding -children of all ages can participate.Sign them up for the holiday programme. The one-day workshops teach the basic principles through unplugged and hands-on activities.

More about Think Ahead

Think Ahead Education Solutions works with schools across South Africa. The company’s CodeSpace programme helps schools introduce coding to their classrooms and it also offers extramural clubs and holiday camps for students. With classes for preschool to matric-level learners, from beginners to emerging app developers, everybody can get in on the fun.

For more information, email: codespace@thinkahead.co.za

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