Children Learning to Code

You've probably heard people talking about coding and what an important skill it is for children to learn. If coding is unfamiliar to you or you're not sure why it's so important then read along.

In simple terms, coding, also called programming or developing, is used to create websites, apps, games, etc. by telling the website, etc. what you want to happen. Why is it important that kids learn how to code? Knowing how to code makes the difference between following the change that technology is presenting to us or being part of the change. In other words, knowing how to code empowers children to become creators, not just consumers, of the technology.

Learning to code prepares children both for the world we live in today and for what the world will become in the future. There are numerous occupations that use code directly, such as web designers, software developers, and robotics engineers and even more jobs where coding knowledge is a huge asset. As the world becomes highly digitalized, there will be an increasing number of employment opportunities that are directly related to coding—jobs in manufacturing, nanotechnology, or information sciences. However, the benefits for learning to code run much deeper than just career preparation. Learning coding techniques also helps children to develop critical thinking skills and problem solving processes that are not only important in computer science, but also in life. It teaches them how to look at the bigger picture and make logical connections, which will help children learn how to properly analyze different situations.

That being said, you can help your child prepare for the future and be more successful in a digital world. There are free resources available that can be used to teach kids to code in a fun and easy way. Here are some suggested free sites that you and your child can use to have fun while learning to code:

Start with Scratch Jr for children ages 5-7 and MIT Scratch for children in grades K-12. These can be used in most browsers and are fun and totally free!
Scratch Jr
MIT Scratch
Made to Code: Enticing projects and inspiring videos offer anyone an introduction to coding. For children in grades 4-12.

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