There is almost universal agreement that in a technology-driven era, school children should be learning coding at an early age.
The benefits of learning coding extend beyond the technical skills of learning the language of computers. It also helps students gain a better understanding of the technology surrounding them, as well as expanding their creativity by teaching them how to use technology in their own way.
Fresno Pacific University offers a professional development course on teaching coding as one of its many continuing education courses for teachers. Learning the best practices for teaching coding is an important facet of any teacher’s job.
Those benefits go beyond the coding skills themselves. Here are some ways that learning coding can help improve a student’s overall performance.
Learning to code helps students understand how to apply math to actual challenges, as well as giving them a better understanding of abstract concepts. Students learn how math works in problem solving, and how to approach issues using logic and sequencing.
As with any language, once students learn coding, they learn how to express themselves with it. They will never look at a video game or website in the same way. Rather than simply consuming media, they learn to create it and how to add their own personal touches.
Much like math and science, coding levels the playing field in a way most subjects do not. There is nothing subjective about coding. It allows students from every background to work together on projects for learning coding, using the same language and operating with the same rules and principles.
Students who may struggle in some subjects will find that they excel at learning coding. Once they have mastered the basics, they can then build on those skills to create more complex software systems. This can prove a big confidence-builder for many students.
Learning how to code is something that will serve students well. As the basic language of computers, coding is central to every type of technology surrounding students. It’s also an in-demand skill for down the road when they transition for school into the workplace.
Learning Coding Apps
For teachers looking for better ways to introduce coding into the classroom, there are many apps available at a relatively low cost or even for free. These apps can help teachers guide students through the process of learning coding.
Some of the major apps include Gamestar Mechanic, which focuses on video game design, and Scratch, an app created by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that is specifically designed for students between the ages of six and 16. Scratch is free, as is Tynker, which focuses more on teaching programming and coding.
Coding is a great skill for kids to learn. Even if teachers find themselves in school systems that are not supporting the teaching of coding, there are ways for them to introduce students to these skills and the advantages it brings.