Monday, February 12, 2018

Benefits Of Coding In The Classroom

Image from Keller Elementary School
Contributed by Ryan Ely of Macro Connect

The concept of coding may be foreign to those who never received an education or even an introduction to the computer sciences. While understanding it may be far-fetched for some, you can be almost certain that you use it everyday in one form or another. The process of coding is what makes things like apps and computer software usable. The world is becoming more and more technology-oriented and therefore understanding the approach behind creative technology is becoming increasingly important.

Some Silicon Valley experts argue that computer science literacy and coding is going to become a fundamental competency in the coming years. The relevancy of all computer based concepts make it important for newer generations to get early access to the information.

Mitch Resnick, an MIT Media Lab professor argues, “roughly two-thirds of grade school students will end up doing work that hasn’t been invented yet.” Consider the growing market for artificial intelligence and the concept of adapting our everyday objects to “smart” objects. Introducing coding to the classroom early on will give students the tools to adapt to be successful in the future job world.

Opportunities for children K-12 are extremely limited when it comes to learning about coding. Resnick also states that computer programming and coding courses are going to be, if not already, equally as important as classes that have been fundamental for generations. One major benefit of coding in the classroom is that all students will experience an interaction with the concept at some point lifetime. While avoiding knocking the importance of biology, classic literature, or geometry, coding is a broad category that carries a large chance of a student actually retaining and using the information later in life.

Incorporating coding in the classroom will help bridge the gender gap when it comes to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Currently, coding is seen as a more male dominant field, with an 80% male enrollment rate in higher level coding courses. Starting at a younger age will encourage and motivate females to journey down the path of coding.

The push for coding and computer science in the classrooms is not based on the goal of creating mass amounts of computer programmers and computer engineers; but to spark interest, allow students to express themselves, practice problem-solving skills, develop teamwork capabilities, and build self-confidence.

Being exposed to coding in the classroom will aid tremendously in entrepreneurship endeavors down the road as well as provide students with the chance to become successful in an industry they otherwise would never know about. American technology companies currently outsource many of their jobs and rely on foreign engineers because of the skill deficit here in America.

Coding in the classroom should be structured as fun for students, while secretly setting a platform for their adult life. Giving students a new way to express themselves, share new ideas, and create things would be majorly beneficial for all participants. Paving the road for higher paying jobs, dominant computational thinking skills, and overall success is why the coding-schooling integration should be adopted everywhere.

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