What’s all the fuss about coding?

2019-01-30 06:01

IF your child enters Grade 1 this year, they will matriculate in 2031 and enter into a world that is radically different from the one that we know. It is important that we prepare them for the future by ensuring they keep up with the rapid evolution of technology.

So, what is coding?

Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites. Your browser, your operating software on your cell phone, your favourite apps – they’re all made with code.

Learning the language of code benefits your child’s personal and academic career. It is a way of solving problems, sequential thinking, creating, designing, and working with others. These are all characteristics of a 21st century learner – and skills needed to succeed in today’s technology-driven world.

It is crucial to better prepare students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by exposing them to the language of code through extramural and school holiday programmes, ideally incorporating “the four C’s of coding”. These enable students to make sense of the digital in the world and to develop the critical skills that are essential for the 21st century. Let’s take a closer look at “the four C’s of coding”.

1. Confidence

Encourage students to maintain a “can-do” attitude towards solving difficult problems. One of the coding concepts taught is the term “Debugging”. This is the process of identifying and fixing a bug. Students learn that it takes perseverance to solve a problem and debug their code. When they solve the problem, there is a sense of achievement and the confidence to try new, different ways to solve problems.

2. Creativity

By teaching our students to experiment, make mistakes, explore their ideas and question their assumptions we are developing their questioning mindset — which is where creative thinking begins. Instead of being passive technology users they become active inventors and innovators.

3. Collaboration

Working in teams is an essential life skill. Coding may be seen an independent task but it calls for collaboration. Many projects or apps were designed by teams.

4. Computational thinking

Computational thinking provides children with a new way of thinking that can be used to solve a variety of problems. Computational thinking is a problem-solving process.

There is a lot of hype about the importance of teaching children to code but there is a very important reason behind the hype. According to Code.org, 71% of all new Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) jobs are in computing, yet only eight percent of Stem graduates are in Computer Science. Programmers are in high demand and learning to code will increase your child’s chance of securing a successful and lucrative Stem career.

It is predicted that coding will be the most important skill in the future to have — almost every company today has a presence on the web so having even a basic understanding can give your child the upper hand.

A big push for our country at the moment is entrepreneurship. Learning to code gives children a skill set that can be used to become an entrepreneur by bringing their brilliant ideas to life through developing their own app or website.

Take the first step in preparing your child for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by signing up for one of Think Ahead’s coding programmes. As Steve Jobs once said, “Everybody should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.” — Parent24

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