Why should children learn to code?

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An article on Edvocate from Matthew Lynch talks about the next big thing in education – Coding! While coding today is trending and a sought after skill do all children need to code?

Introducing coding at school has had the nod from many school administrators. Today schools, teachers and parents all over the globe are keen to teach children to code. While programmes are yet too nascent to measure the effectiveness of this pedagogy in terms of future employability, it certainly has some clear up-front benefits.

The article highlights the benefits of coding, giving teachers practical suggestions around how it can be effectively taught in the classroom.

Here is a snippet from the article:

“Coding is the new literacy. To be successful in the future, people will need to be fluent in basic technologies. New workers will be expected to express themselves and create new possibilities using digital technologies. Coding will be necessary because its possibilities go far beyond creating websites and apps.

Here is an example: In 2014, several software engineers found themselves stuck in Boston during a blizzard and quickly figured out that they could use their knowledge of coding to improve the cities safety. They figured out that one issue was that firefighters spent a lot of time finding and digging out fire hydrants.

When a fire emergency occurs, firefighters simply do not have the time to find and dig out a fire hydrant. In response, these enterprising engineers created an app that cataloged all of the fire hydrants in Boston. They then used this information to create a website called Adopt-a-Hydrant.

By visiting this site, Boston residents could volunteer to clear off hydrants in their neighborhood during snow emergencies. Now, the streets of Boston are a little safer during snow season”. 

What I’d be keen to find out is how this pedagogy will be useful for all students irrespective of their interests and strengths. Will this really help in employablility? Maybe its early to make predictions, but I’d be happy to hear from anyone who has given it some serious thought.

At EduTECH Asia we will be hosting a hands-on workshop on coding for Lower school and High School. This workshop will make you learn key fundamentals about how code works, how it is constructed, and develop an understanding of how quickly you can start building websites, apps and programmes. The moderators will also address the the benefit of coding in the classroom.

Write to me if you’d like to talk about it further at preeti.varadarajan@terrapinn.com or call [65] 6322 2729. I’m always looking for interesting new ideas in edtech.

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