The main arguments behind the push for students to learn to code, usually center around preparing students for future jobs. There is a skill shortage in the computer science industry which determines skilled job seekers can walk into lucrative contracts. This trend is predicted to rise.
1. Programming is a basic literacy in the digital age.
Kids are growing up in a very different world than that of their parents. Cellphones, computers, Youtube, Netflix, and Facebook are embedded in their daily lives. It is one thing to know how to use these technologies. It’s another, however, to understand the logic behind them. When learning to program, kids understand and tinker with the digital world they inhabit. Coding draws back the seeming “magic” of technology so they can truly understand the logic and science that controls this technology–a discovery that is all the more magical.
Our reliance on technology will only increase. The students of today must be able to not only passively consume this technology, but also to understand and control it, becoming an active part of this huge digital shift.
2. Learning computer science teaches you about learning and teaching.
Students who are introduced to computer science in school often catch the ‘coding bug’ and want to learn things that aren’t going to be covered in the class content. In Scratch it is common that students want to make their program do something that isn’t being explored in class. These students often teach themselves how to achieve their goal by looking at other programs, watching tutorials, reading or experimenting.
Quickly experts in certain areas arise. A student who has figured out how to create a scrolling screen game suddenly becomes the teacher or is sought after by other students who want to solve a similar problem. This results in the student becoming a teacher and increases a student’s confidence.
3. You can change the world with computer science.
Students can go on to change lives with computer science by working in defense, energy, education or health.
4. Kids learn better and faster when they’re young
Teaching your child how to code when they are still young is important, because kids have an easier time learning skills than adults do – their minds are flexible and open, and learning code is like learning a language, far easier when you are young.
Given the sheer pace of innovation and the growing connectedness of our devices, houses, workplaces and potentially ultimately bodies, it makes sense to take advantage of the natural inclination that children have to learn faster and better when they are younger. I’m not just talking about coding in and of itself, but also logic-based thinking – ‘procedural literacy’, which is an ability to think about and understand processes in the world.