Learning to code and program is a great way in which you can prepare your child for the future and support their current learning at school.
It’s not just the educational and career benefits that coding can bring. If your child learns to code, there is research to suggest that it will help them with other skills such as organization, perseverance, problem solving, and even confidence.
In the past, learning coding was very intimidating. The script a person needed to write required intense focus on making sure every symbol or letter was in the correct place. If it was incorrect, you would have no idea why the program would not run and have to search each line of code to make sure it was exact and try to find an error.
These days, coding is being taught to some of our youngest students via graphical display dashboards (also called Visual Block Platforms) where students move blocks of information around to create their programs. These blocks are an element/object or a task. When placed on the dashboard students can create very simple programs or highly complex ones. This graphical interface technique allows a focus on process and thinking instead of data entry accuracy.
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As students develop increased proficiency with coding, they move on to more sophisticated programs to learn the same coding language they use at Facebook, Google, Amazon, and more.
Why you should support your child as they learn to code:
- Coding helps with Math and Problem Solving by teaching logical reasoning and how to apply abstract thinking.
- Coding helps with Writing Skills and Creativity by teaching them how to plan, organize their thoughts and that there is more than one way to solve a problem.
- Coding helps with Confidence by succeeding in creating increasingly complex tasks and skills.
- Coding helps with Core Soft Skills by improving focus and organizational skills as well as resilience and communication skills.
If you are interested in encouraging your child to code at home, there are a variety of free and paid resources that you could use:
Graphical Display Dashboard type programs:
Text Based programs (for somewhat experienced to advanced developers )
- CodeAcademy (Free)
- Khan Academy (Free)
- Codakid (Paid)
Keep an eye on next months DCDS Happenings for an article on how students at DCDS participated in Hour of Code this year.