Kids and Coding: Why Learn?

BYOD toddler

If you hear anything about kids and technology, there’s a good chance it involves coding. There are tons of computer games designed for preschoolers, grade school kids, teens, and everything in between to help them learn how to code. These games have even come to include favorite cartoon characters, like Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” or the gang from “Star Wars.” Kids and coding are a hot trend right now, and rightfully so.

Why are we pushing kids to code? Simply because the younger you learn, the better. When many of us think about code, we think of websites, digital design, and UI/UX. What we’re not realizing though is that code is a language. A common statistic is that languages should be learned before the age of six because it allows for the best retention. The Telegraph takes that a step further to say that children should begin learning language at the age of three. Getting kids coding younger allows them to grow up with code as a second language, which could prove to be extremely beneficial in the future.

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At this moment, over 25,000 computing jobs are available in Illinois. This is four times higher than the average state, and the demand for coders will only increase as technology progresses. By giving our kids the tools they need to succeed–or at minimum, add résumé boosters before the first grade–we are putting our children in a great place to pursue whatever field they choose with useful, marketable skills.

Coding also provides kids with another outlet to learn about and express themselves. Allowing kids to code gives them not only the knowledge of how to use technology but the empowerment of creating something, independence, and  the desire to problem solve. A child with a passion for language may grow up to be a writer, using words to tell stories, express ideas, and inspire others. A child with a passion for coding can use those skills in a future career in technology. This child can use this knowledge to enhance user experiences, improve upon automation, or perhaps better other parts of the world that have not even been created or imagined yet.

Kids & Coding: Rube Goldberg

Flickr: Jeff Kubina

Coding is like a Rube Goldberg machine: Sometimes the simplest of tasks require a lot of preparatory work. Encouraging the learning of code can do wonders for our world that we do not even realize. If we desire a world with continued growth, enhancements, and innovation, then it is necessary to inspire a generation of coders to arise.

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