In recent years, programming or “coding” has become a common part of parent’s and educator’s vernacular. The term has moved from the relatively small domain of a “geek” to the chatty classrooms in schools all over the world. This hasn’t happened by accident. In fact, learning facts and figures is growing less important in an environment where Google can provide answers in a matter of milliseconds.
Code powers our digital world. Every website, smartphone, computer and microwave relies on code to operate. Even toasters and refrigerators are becoming code-dependent and our reliance on technology is only going to increase. The kids of today will not only be consumers of it but will also need to know how to manipulate and control it. Through coding they will be the builders and architects of the future.
Not convinced yet? Still wondering why coding is important? Here are just a few reasons:
1. Coding: A Basic Literacy In The Digital Age
Our children are growing up in a very different world than we did. Phones, tablets, YouTube, Netflix et. al are embedded into their daily lives. Even toys are digital and many are even programmable!
Knowing how to use these things is one thing. To truly understand the logic behind their operation is quite another. Learning to programme is a process that helps kids understand, fidget and mess about with the digital world of which they are a part. Coding unveils the apparent magic of technology so that a kid can truly understand the logic and science that controls this technology. Now that is very magical!
2. Programming Can Change The World
Historically, people relied on the written word to spread ideas and opinions. Being able to write meant that you were able to instigate change. In order to change behaviour today, it is crucial to utilise the digital medium.
Consider the recent US Presidential Election. Both candidates utilised social media and the web to put forth their policies and ideas for change; to connect with the world.
Look at the Arab Spring. Again, technology enabled a revolutionary wave of protests and demonstrations that changed the course of the Middle East. Writing played a crucial role in exposing the injustices that were present and through online resources such as Facebook and Twitter, sweeping change was introduced. Technology, complimented by writing, brought about this change. We are seeing everywhere that the products of programming are changing the world.
3. Do You Have The Tools To Bring Your Ideas to Life?
Unless you have the tools, an idea will remain just that – an idea. The ability the code separates the thinkers from the doers.
If you want your child to be a thinker and an innovator who can bring ideas to life, encourage them to learn how to program. Programming builds confidence and confidence fosters character. Through learning to code they can become tomorrow’s designers and builders.