According to Steve Jobs, “Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.”
We live in a digital age in which computers are everywhere and have become an essential part of our lives. Every student should have access to technology, whether it be computers, smartphones, or tablets because almost everything we do requires some form of programming.
Why coding instruction should begin as early as possible
Coding or computer programming is writing a set of instructions that a computer understands so it will perform a task. There are several advantages of learning to code in elementary school.
First, learning programming empowers kids. Coding puts children in control of the computer and through experimentation builds mastery in sequencing skills, counting, problem solving, logical thinking, cause and effect, and critical thinking. Additionally, children can express themselves through code and find it cool to create games, apps, and websites and to even control robots.
The earlier we introduce coding to children, the more comfortable they will become with computers and technology and the more successful they will become when presented with more challenging learning opportunities. Children are extremely eager to learn how to code.
Just like learning a foreign language, the language of coding should begin early with vocabulary terms such as program, sequence and algorithm. Developing the basics provides students with the computer skills they will need for any career they choose in the future.
(Next page: More reasons to introduce young students to coding)