Learning to Code Should be Required in Schools

coding-in-schools

Many years ago, this idea might appear as crazy cause computer programming, was seen as complicated. And well for the uber nerdy. But nowadays with how the world is ever changing and with the fact the computer isn’t limited to a office anymore but instead is found in everything. We have wearables, cell phones, smart cars, smart home, fridges you name it, and it most definitely has a microchip in it.

Now why is this important? Cause someone somewhere had to program that device to do the thing it was meant to do. Now with mankind moving towards a computerization age, coding should be required as a course.

You are probably like..why?

Truth be told, there are many great reasons why.

Coding Teaches Problem Solving Skills.

With coding there is always more than one solution to the problem. The best way to describe what kind of world coding is, imagine you have a math problem. You don’t have an equation but you have an outcome which is the solution. There are many ways to build a problem from scratch to equal the final solution and thats what coding is.

But another way it teaches problem solving skills, is when your code is giving you errors. Well you have to figure out why, which can be hard but with each failed compile, it is a learning experience. Nowadays most schools teach to a test and a set way of thinking. You can’t really have creative problem solvers if you have everyone taking the same test and solving it the same way. This is why coding is important, it allows for more open thinking.

I was inspired a while back by this TED talk led by Mitch Resnick about the benefits of kids learning to code and how it is indeed for everyone.

Coding Will Become The New Norm

Some other countries have started adding coding to the learning environment as the new norm.Finland, Estonia and many others are following suit by adding code to reading, writing and math. Shouldn’t the US follow suit? In some schools coding is a optional class but it shouldn’t be optional it should become part of the primary core curriculum. Coding is both reading and writing as well as math and science. Some countries are seeing this as a necessary thing to learn cause of computers taking and becoming part of everyday life. Also with the fact that more and more coding jobs are becoming vacant in some countries or with the high demand of coding jobs nowadays, countries are seeing this as a driving economic force of the future, having kids learn to code could help push the economy in the right direction.

Yes I know it sounds crazy but what if by the time someone graduates high school they already had years of experience of C++ under their belt and could get a freelancer job or even a part time job at a agency doing some coding work and not working at a place they have no need or want to work at? This also relates to my old blog about entry level. Cause what if years from now, the students fresh out of high school meet those standards of learning without a college degree but decide to self teach and continue learning to code? Wouldn’t this be more beneficial to them cause coding is definitely something you can learn on your own and practice with just a computer.

Coding is also going to become part of every job, everything everywhere. As insane as that sounds, what if you become a biologist and need to build a algorithm that helps calculate something. You have the science experiment but now you gotta take it into a computer and use it to help you understand the complex data. This is where coding comes in, you build the application to help you understand what it is you need. Or what if you become a doctor and you want to build something to help fix or understand all the data for the medical industry. Yes you can leave it to someone else, or you could build it yourself.

Coding Grows The Brain

I said coding does improve problem solving skills, and  other areas of the brain. It has also been tested by Tufts University Article about how computer programming impacts a child’s early development. Cause nowadays, its not just about kids learning facts, but kids learning about facts through technology. I found this great article from the huffington post about why kids need to learn coding. Personally, I know it sounds crazy, yes teaching your kid how to code but when they understand basic coding syntax can translate to math, reading and science. Also it can be self taught, there are so many digital resources out there, khan academy, code academy.

IN CLOSING

I believe schools will eventually require code courses in the future in order to graduate because with mankind going towards computerization and everything having a microchip in it. This could help train a new more tech focused work force, cause it will allow children to be able to understand technology better, build new apps for new devices and give a boost to the workforce. Cause with many other countries trying to get their foot ahead of everyone else, we need to help our children succeed and not be behind anyone else.

 

sources:

TheInstitute.ieee.org

medium.com

The Economist

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