It is no secret that learning to code provides students with a wealth of unique opportunities, both in their present lives and in the future. Whether we consider the many doors that coding opens for students, the deeper understanding of technology they gain, or the many ways the brain and personality are developed when learning how to code, the many advantages are quite clear. Let’s dig in to how coding helps all learners.
Coding for the Future
As our world is now advancing at a faster pace than we have ever seen, it is essential that students learn how to adapt to these rapid changes. Learning to code happens to promote some of the most needed skills for young people today. Learning to code helps students prepare to meet the world’s demands, and prepare to contribute to the development of our world now, and in the future.
Future Workforce and Opportunities for Success
Modern society is dependent on tech now more than ever before and that trend is only accelerating. Preparing students for a tech-centric future not only gives them a competitive advantage in the workforce they will face upon leaving school, but it may also mean the difference between success versus survival. As time goes on, this discrepancy between tech-capable and incapable will only become more pronounced.
Today’s learners are preparing for a world filled with an increasingly complex system of technologies including artificial intelligence and virtual and augmented reality. Developing coding literacy helps learners understand how their digital worlds operate.
Effects of Coding on Cognitive and Personality Development
Coding helps learners build a variety of skills that assist them in their everyday lives. These skills also help them learn how to learn more effectively by encouraging and developing the confidence required to think on their own and to cultivate unique solutions to complex problems.
Whether we look at the ability of learners to solve problems, to think creatively, or to see possibilities that no one else can see, a student with coding skills will be more confident in the social contexts in which they find themselves.
Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Social Skills
Creativity levels are enhanced when students are confronted with new tasks and challenges. When learners are given the right set of tools, specific parameters to operate within (such as the processes learned from coding instruction), and a problem to work through, they learn to look at problems in new ways.
This is especially true with coding instruction that uses a gamified approach or an unplugged one. Using a coding mindset to work through challenges creates a learning atmosphere that promotes higher order thinking skills.
Among the many skills derived from problem solving and ‘thinking outside the box’ is increased imagination, more persistence in the face of challenging situations, better planning, collaboration, and communication.
Children who experience coding education hone their abilities for computational and critical thinking, making them more adept at solving new problems on their own.
Teaching With Coding
No matter what the age level is that you are teaching, getting learners to understand complex coding languages doesn’t need to be difficult. While the natural complexity of the coding languages may suggest otherwise, there are many proven approaches to introducing the various coding skills in tiered steps with which students can feel comfortable.
One such resource is Codemancer, an innovative video game that teaches the "magic" behind coding. Designed with features for children who have a wide range of abilities, Codemancer engages even students not interested in programming or technology. It teaches computational thinking, planning, problem solving, resilience, and basic coding functions. Teachers can use it with a single student or a whole class.
For younger learners, specifically at the primary and middle school ages, a gamified approach is one of the most effective ways to overcome perceived difficulties in teaching coding to young kids.
All Children (And Teachers) Benefit from Coding
No matter where we look for the benefits of teaching children how to code, whether it is for their own personal growth or their prospects for future success, it is obvious that there are many crucial and diverse benefits that come with a coding program at school.
We can use coding instruction to help students develop as learners and as people. We can teach processes and thinking techniques that help learners figure out the complexities of their worlds, and we can help instill feelings of success and confidence. Perhaps the best part is that it is possible to access many of these benefits through processes that are simple to implement.