The world is changing. Countries around the world are introducing code into their curriculum and kids are starting early.
One example is 12-year-old app developer, Thomas Suarez, who gave a TED talk, and has been coding since he was only six! He has designed fun game apps like a Justin Bieber whack-a-mole that he sells on the app store. Because he has found the experience so enriching, he has now started a code club at his school. Other kids like Thomas are developing apps for social purposes, too. Fourteen year old Trisha Prabhu became a finalist in Google Science Fair for designing a Chrome browser plugin designed to prevent cyberbullying.
You might ask yourself: “but what are the benefits of learning how to code beyond the screen?”
Learning how to code prepares kids for the world they live in
We’ve all seen the importance of technology during a pandemic. The way we use technology will only get more and more efficient in the future. So whatever kids end up doing in the future, it will be related to technology in one way or another. Understanding limitations and capabilities of code is essential. They will be also better able to understand what the software they use can do and why, and be less afraid of it.
Learning how to code teaches kids how to think.
Coding essentially is giving instructions to a computer and in order to do this, we need to be able to think clearly and logically. At the core, children learn how to break down a problem into its constituent elements, and create an effective solution. While learning how to code, kids develop computational thinking skills. This is extremely important because having these skills means they can code in any language. And code many uses: designing a game, an app or a website, speeding up a process at work, creating a calculator to simplify decision making…the list goes on.
It gives kids a challenge and builds their resilience
Learning how to code is also challenging and trying different solutions and making mistakes along the way teaches kids to be resilient. They understand the importance of making and learning from mistakes.
Code empowers kids
When kids learn how to code, they discover that they can do so many things with code, they can create and animate their own characters, they can create their own video games and the possibilities are endless. Because of this, they feel empowered and confident that they can build something meaningful. They start making their own and stop being just consumers of technology but also creators.
Kids become self-motivated learners
When creating your own, whether it’s your own app or your own house, you do it with passion, you want to learn everything there is to know about the topic. Learning how to code is the same, kids embark on this journey of making their own game or app or website and they start reading and asking questions. The urge to complete a project can encourage a habit of self-directed learning. This drive can be applied to learning how to do many other things.
At school, we learn alphabets and numbers when we are very young. Coding is a language so why aren’t kids learning how to code sooner?
But what’s stopping us?
The introduction of coding in the school curriculum is slow and kids are only being introduced to code when they are teenagers. Moreover, teachers around the world mostly do not have the skills required to teach programming, and some may not have the aptitude. In the UK, only 15% of teachers judged themselves as “completely computer savvy”. Only 40% had the ability to teach the classes in the UK Computing curriculum. In Mauritius, the stats would be very similar, if not worse.
But there’s a solution.
It’s easier than ever to start with Katapult’s courses. We start as early as 6 years old. Our courses cater for kids and teenagers from 6 to 18 years old. We have introductory courses for kids who have never coded before and we have more advanced courses for kids who have done some coding classes before but would like to learn more. Visit our website www.katapult.mu to learn more and start your free trial today!