When former President of US, Barack Obama shared that, “Computers are going to be a big part of our future…and that future is yours to shape”; I am sure he would have said so taking multiple factors into consideration. Technology is now easily accessible and the world is putting efforts in making it even more affordable.
It is a fact that until one has knowledge in a certain field, the power of exploration shrinks. Domain knowledge allows one to think from multiple aspects and thus discover new facets on a certain field with confidence. The statement of Marc Andreessen’s that Software is literally ‘eating the world’ has turned out really true at the present time. But are there enough seasoned programmers who are developing new and innovative programs?
In order that the horizon of software and Apps technologies widens, interest in coding among students has to be sparked. This encouragement has to be a deliberate attempt because society is already witnessing a paradigm shift in which tech dominates. Application technology is managing everything in our lives both in the personal and professional front. Hence, the ability to sharpen the skill to build Apps has never been a more desirable and critical skill until now.
Apart from the above mentioned fact, students must learn to code because the impact of such knowledge is far beyond simply creating software and websites. No matter whatever career the student’s take-up or what their future career goals are, learning to code can benefit them in many other areas. Apart from the fact that computer science is becoming an essential aspect in today’s world, it is also considered as an important ladder of national competitiveness; where coding is the new literacy.
It is through this power of coding literacy that some curious software engineers had discovered a perfect program to improve Boston’s safety when the city was struck by heavy snowstorm. The engineers were in Boston for some other reason but their knowledge of computer programming helped them create a program called- Adopt a Hydrant that helped firefighters take up steady steps to ensure safety in events of a fire. Click here to read more on it.
Secondly, learning to code helps to foster problem solving skills in kids which is considered as a vital 21’st Century skills. In all scientific discovery, there is a close connection between the psychologies of problem solving. But, before children can identify problems and start to resolve them with coding, they need to identify problems and need to learn how computers work and why coding is used. They learn computational thinking.
Before any solution to a problem is proposed, the programmer designs the solution in his mind. They then simply communicate that solution with the computer in the form of instructions, written in programming language. So, spotting the problem and designing the solution would only come from learning to code. Thus, it is important to develop basic computational thinking skills which encourages a certain way of thinking that will help children in resolving problem in every area of life.
When students first learn programming, they encounter many difficulties that includes understanding the technical language, learning how to specify and test programs using tools, formality of the programming language and structuring. But the more they face such challenges, the more likelihood of critical thinking emerges in student’s mind. They step into solving problems with logical thinking and question one’s own steps while solving any problem. As experts rightly tells, “Coding is the language of critical thought as one literally make use of syntax and semantics to speak through problems and makes ideas real.” So it is not simply about solving problems while programming but thinking about everyday problem and how students can think out of innovative solutions which helps resolve those problems.
Last but not the least, learning how to code is a great exercise for the brain muscles. Learning to tackle complex skills to develop programs or create new websites, a person remains cognitively charged up. They immerse completely into something that ultimately turns out to be a discovery of something worthwhile. The entire process is a great stimulator for brain function and can help fight dementia. Further, a person’s brain are forming neural connections while strengthening the existing ones each time they practice.
So what, are your views about learning to code to help students discover? And before you leave, we would like to share a tweet by a teacher who is helping students to learn how to retell weekend stories using Scratch Jr. Take a look at it!