Why Should Children Learn Coding?

Publication Date: Aug 07, 2018
Why Should Children Learn Coding?
Article written by Mansur Akbulut, an  Erasmus+ Intern from Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, published on The Sunday Times of Malta on 05.08.2018. Mansur is an intern with eSkills Malta Foundation.

Teaching children how to code is getting more popular day by day. Many public and private enterprises have started to raise awareness on this issue. Well, what are the basic headings that are so special to coding that touches almost all the professions of today and tomorrow? In other words, why should today's children be taught coding?

In an interview, Steve Jobs said that “Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer because it teaches you how to think”. Some famous names such as NBA star Chris Bosh, Facebook's first female engineer Ruchi Sanghv, and Microsoft's founder Bill Gates think the same way, as well. In the future, your children may not want a job related to computer technologies. What does your child's desire to become a basketball player, painter, doctor, or psychologist change? Does learning coding provide doing a better job? Absolutely! We can improve thinking skills, solve a complex problem and think creatively by learning to code.
Some Reasons for Children to Learn Coding

  • Learning to code does not have to be something difficult.  One can learn how to code with simple to learn computer languages like ‘Scratch’ or ‘Python’.  But there are so many coding languages which have been specifically created for beginners to learn how to code.

  • Coding education gives children skills in and put to practice in a fun way mathematics, science, problem-solving, teamwork, project-based thinking, and creative arts if coding an artistic project (e.g. drawing a flower). During coding Children are discovering, first and foremost, how the computer works. Experts call this computational and design-oriented thinking. It is a fact that computational thinking is taught in schools today.

  • Programming is actually like learning a new language. Coding is done using a computer language. According to experts, the earlier age the easier you learn a new language, and this also applies to learn a computer language.

  • About 60% of the new jobs envisaged in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics will be computer-related.

  • Coding prepares children for the life of tomorrow.  Almost all non-ICT jobs in the future will include some type of coding, and those persons who learned simple coding will be more employable. Coding is usable from farming to law and from construction to medicine.

  • Code learning gives children more confidence in technology.

  • Coding is also one of the latest liberal arts. Liberal arts are designed to prepare people for life and help students understand the world around them better. Coding is an area that will become increasingly precious in the world of digitalizing in the name of understanding what is happening in the world.

There are many programming platforms developed for children. Code.org, Kodable, Tynker, Scratch and Codeacademy are only a few examples of them. The teaching of these and similar platforms in schools or at homes will open the way for future generations to better recognize the world in which our children will be living and become individuals who not only consume the technology but also produce it.