Monday, 27 January 2020

Coding for Kids 

5 Reasons Why Kids Should Learn to Code

As the world moves towards digitalization, coding or programming will be one of the most important and in demand job skills in the near future. Coding today is not restricted to just the technology domain. Whether it is finance, manufacturing, aviation, healthcare, retail, telecom, pharma, real estate, entertainment, media and social media, there are job openings for programming in all these domains. To prepare your children for this highly valued and lucrative career option and for their holistic development, it is highly recommended that we plan t  Here are 5 reasons why kids should learn to code:
o teach programming for children, right from the school level.

1.       Strengthen their trouble-shooting skills

One of the most important life skills that coding teaches is problem-solving. Sometimes the programming works and at other times it requires corrections to serve the intended purpose. This helps them imbibe the important skill of first understanding and then trouble-shooting issues without getting deterred by challenges. Finding a viable solution to a problem adds a ‘feel good factor’ and helps strengthen their confidence and computational thinking skills.

Tip for Parents: Appreciate and encourage your child’s coding effort and help her/him explore online reference resources about coding for kids (Coding literature/blogs by experts/podcasts/articles/videos) to educate them further.
2.       Enhance creativity
When children write programs, it enhances their ability to think out-of-box and gives a much-needed boost to their creativity. They must think about the end result to be achieved through their coding and reverse engineer the steps accordingly. It helps them to imagine how the entire process will unfold and offer creative solutions to address the problem at hand.

Tip for Parents: Explain the problem to them and guide them in a step-wise manner about solving it through coding.
3.       Encourage logical & algorithmic thinking

Coding encourages your kid’s structural and algorithmic thinking in terms of important concepts like repetition, sequencing and conditional logic. This helps to improve their performance in maths by getting them hooked to the subject, by engaging them in an interesting manner and developing their algorithmic thinking.  This kind of heuristic and structured approach will evolve their perspective of looking at things in a logical way.

Tip for Parents: Use online websites like Code Combat, Tynker, Khan Academy, Code Monster, Thimble, for valuable resources about programming for children, to help your child learn and practice coding in an easy manner.

4.       Inculcate grit and resilience

While coding, your children experiment with the coding. They try, they fail, and continue to try again till they are successful. They learn the valuable life skill of being persistent and resilient at what they do. De-bugging the developed code is one such challenging and exciting task, which often tests their resilience and trains them to continue their efforts even after repeated failed attempts.  

Tip for Parents: Try to encourage and guide the kids to continue their coding efforts even if they face road blocks.  Help them or ask them to take help of their teachers, mentors and friends – anyone with some experience of coding for kids. This will teach them about ‘FINISHING’ the things that they start without ‘GIVING UP’.
5.       Continuous improvement

Coding helps children to learn a valuable life lesson of continuous improvement, which will add value to both their personal and professional lives. For example, if the children are making an app for recycling of paper in their class.  Before they start the coding, a lot of research and background work related to data collation, existing solutions and why they are redundant, the problems that the teacher is facing with the current processes is to be undertaken.  This will help them improve the current processes or design new ones through real-world application of coding, math and logic to provide viable solutions.

Tip for Parents: A key aspect of encouraging programming for kids is to answer all their queries – however insignificant or otherwise - about the subject. Such type of structural thinking will help them to boost their ability to challenge the current ‘solutions’ and come up with better ‘thought provoking’ ideas.

Today’s kids will be facing highly competitive working environments tomorrow. They have to be well prepared and equipped with essential life and job skills to not just survive but thrive amongst tough competition. Coding helps to shape up your kid’s critical personal and professional skills like effective communication, accurate decision making, problem solving, team work, initiative taking, etc. Apart from this, we strongly recommend that taking your children to witness live hackathons and watching others solve coding problems can help in expanding their knowledge about programming.

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