Every parent wants their child to lead a successful and happy life. While there isn’t a set way to ensure that your child is successful in the future, there are ways to help provide them with as many opportunities as possible.
One skill that has become incredibly valuable is coding. Not only can coding introduce kids to the amazing possibilities of technology, but it also teaches them an essential skill that can be used in just about any industry.
Having coding classes offered at schools or taking an online coding class are just a few of the many great opportunities for kids to learn to code. Here’s what you should know about coding education so you can figure out which option may be best for your child.
Coding in K-12 Education — And its Limitations
Due to the tremendous growth of the technology sector, more schools have begun to offer coding classes over the last few years. According to a 2020 report from Gallup and Google, more than half of principals surveyed (53 percent) said that their school offers a computer science course. As a frame of reference, the 2015 report found only 25 percent of principals surveyed said their school offered a computer science course.
While it’s great that more schools are offering computer science and coding classes, progress has been fairly slow. A 2019 study from the Kapor Center that looked at computer science education in the state of California, found that low-income schools and rural schools are far less likely to offer computer science courses. As a result, the study found that this disproportionately affects Black, Latinx, and Native American/Alaskan Native students, meaning they may not have the opportunity to learn how to code.
If coding isn’t offered at your child’s school, then it’s important to ask why. Becoming an advocate for a computer science curriculum can pave the way for your child’s success and work toward addressing a much larger issue in education. Teachers and principals also want to make sure your child succeeds, so supporting their efforts can help ensure your child has a great coding program.
Online Coding Classes
If your school doesn’t offer coding classes, then getting your school to incorporate coding into its curriculum may take time. Furthermore, some children may have a unique learning style and may require a different approach, so providing your child with additional material can be helpful so they don’t get frustrated with coding. Thankfully, there are other opportunities to learn to code. An online coding class or course may be an ideal alternative to pursue.
There are many options available online and through apps that are tailored for specific age groups. Online coding classes allow children to learn at their own pace and may present different strategies than a traditional learning environment.
Furthermore, an online coding class can also be a great option if you want your child to learn a specific programming language like Python, HTML, or Java.
Teaching Kids to Be Creative Coders
Whether your child is enrolled in an online class or gets to take part in courses offered by their school, learning about coding shouldn’t end in the classroom. As parents, it’s important to acknowledge what your child is learning and encourage interest.
Many students may not realize the value of coding at first, but research from Google and Gallup has found that if they spend at least an hour a week studying computer science, they are more likely to believe that it’s something worth learning.
Kids need to be reminded that coding isn’t a boring chore, but something creative as well. Coding classes help set the foundation for their tech skills, but kids should also be encouraged to be creative coders. If they’re interested in creating a game or in making a website, then they should be supported in pursuing something that might be out of the box or outside of their curriculum.
Problem-solving and creativity are valuable skills for technology and being able to take a step beyond foundational basics can be exciting for a child. These new projects may also stimulate collaboration between other coders and help them get a sense of community in the technology sector.
Why it’s Important to Learn Coding at a Young Age
Technology continues to evolve and so does our basic understanding of what computers can do. Coding classes can be a great learning opportunity for many children. Whether it’s through an online course or a school coding program, there are many ways kids can learn to code.
If you want your kid to develop an interest in technology — that goes beyond playing gaming apps or watching videos — then coding can be a great skill to learn. Not only does it teach them about how their favorite apps and programs are made, but it can become a lifelong skill that they can use for their future career.
Sophia Acevedo is a journalist based in Southern California. She is a 2020 graduate from California State University, Fullerton, and a proud Daily Titan alum.
This article was published on: 02/24/21 12:01 PM