Over the past few years, coding has become less of a ‘geek’ thing, but more of an necessary day-to-day tool. Coding (also called programming or developing) is telling a computer, app, phone or website what you want it to do. Coding hasn’t become this popular by accident. There is a growing understanding that knowing how to program is essential, especially for younger generations. In a world where almost everything can be answered with a quick Google search, it’s skills that will enable kids to succeed, and one of these skills has to be coding.
So, why is learning to code so important? Here are a few reasons:
1. It’s basic literacy in the digital age.
Kids are growing up in a very different world than that of their parents. They’re exposed to iPhones, iPads, computers, YouTube, Netflix, and social media on a daily basis. Even toys are digital, and programmable these days.
It is one thing to know how to use tech. It’s another to understand the logic behind it. When learning to code, kids understand and play with the digital world they live in. Coding helps children see the logic and science of it all, so they not only passively consume it, but also know how to control it, becoming an active part of this huge digital shift.
2. Coding can change the world.
We used to rely on the written word to spread ideas. Today, writing is just not enough. To change behaviour, you have to leverage media. Computing is involved in almost all aspects of our lives, from communications and education to social media, banking, information, security and shopping. Networked computers are capable of controlling our homes’ thermostats and lighting, our cars and our health records. If children are taught biology and math to understand the world around them, then knowing the basics of how computers communicate—and how to engage with them—is a given.
3. It brings ideas to life.
Everyone has ideas, but only a select few can make them happen. The ability to code separates those who merely have an idea from those who can make their ideas a reality. If you want your child to be a thinker and innovator who can bring ideas to life, encourage them to learn how to code. It gives children confidence that they can be designers, builders and innovators.
4. Learning to code develops problem solving and thinking skills.
The skills that come with computer programming help kids develop new ways of thinking and foster problem-solving techniques that can positively affect other aspects of their lives. Computational thinking allows kids to grasp concepts like algorithms, recursion and heuristics—even if they don’t understand the terms, they’ll learn the basic concepts.
5. Programming doesn’t have to be hard to learn.
In fact, Swift Playgrounds makes it a pretty easy, and fun too. Swift Playgrounds is a revolutionary new app for iPad. It lets you solve puzzles to master the basics using Swift — a powerful programming language created by Apple and used by the pros to build many of today’s most popular apps.
Swift Playgrounds is perfect for students just starting out, but also provides a unique way for seasoned developers to quickly bring ideas to life. And because it’s built to take full advantage of iPad, it’s a first-of-its-kind learning experience.
Learning how to code is like learning any other language in that the skill must be practiced and tested out. Just as languages open up the ability to communicate with worlds of people, coding gives children the ability to create technologies that impact those around them. With just a computer, kids can use their coding skills to build things that could change the world.