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Reasons Why It's Cool if Your Children Learn to Code

coding digital citizens Feb 04, 2018

Okay so first let's address the big elephant in the room.  No, I do not know how to code.

No, I'm not a programmer, but I do know my way around Wordpress (nod to Alannah Moore, DIY website building guru). No, I don't think coding is CRUCIAL to become a good digital citizen, but I like the following comparison:

I don't know how a car runs, but I can drive one rather well.  And when I was a young girl, my father made sure that I knew how to drive a stick-shift, change a tire and check the oil.

So while I don't think your children need to know how a computer works, I think it would be dandy if they had a few pointers.  And just like you exposed them to piano, judo, art classes, ballet and so on, why not expose them to a coding class or two? It may become a life passion or it may become a useful tool - like knowing how to drive a stick-shift.

Coding is for everyone.

Boys and girls are encouraged to begin coding as the world is becoming more and digital and it pays to understand the basics. The United Nations (via the ITU – Information Technology Union) has even stepped in to make sure that girls around the globe are thinking about technology. Check out the fun things that Toronto does for women and girls.

Coding is at any age.

Obviously, I’m not talking about babies, but if you have a 5 year old ready to go, then an app like Kodable may be just what you’re looking for. With a tagline like “learn to code before you read,” you can definitely feel the enthusiasm. If that’s a bit much for you, you can wait until a more reasonable 7 years old and try Tynker. I personally love Scratch and really dig the info put out by MIT Media Lab for parents.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have coding for seniors. (BTW, just an aside, here in France, I've heard that a senior is over 45 - ouch and hoping it's urban legend.) Learn Code offers tutorials for beginners aged 4-104.

Coding is for politicians too.

I couldn’t resist, as Obama became the first president to write a computer program.

You’ll be doing your civic duty.

See this video where Obama asks America to learn computer science.

Coding is fun.

And perhaps more importantly, creating something is just plain fun. Whether you are coding or creating or assembling technology, the idea is to have fun. One last fun coding tip is Kano, the computer you can make yourself. Kano is heralded as the “DIY computer kit designed to help people of all ages assemble a computer from scratch and learn basic coding skills.” It’s relatively inexpensive and is as easy to put together as Legos.

So there you have it, 5 simple reasons why you should check out a coding class.  Please let me know how it goes at [email protected]. I would be really pleased to hear from you!

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