Coding in the Classroom: An Emerging Skill
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted classroom instruction immensely. Educators of all walks have been forced to embrace technology inside the classroom, and have used the opportunity to develop valuable technology skills in their students.
Coding in the Classroom
Computer coding is the process of writing computer programs. Coders and computer programmers build websites and mobile apps, write video games, and create computer systems. Teaching coding in the classroom is beneficial to students’ development as digital citizens of the 21st-century world. What are some of the top reasons for teaching coding in the classroom?
- Coding teaches students how to solve problems.
The world needs problem solvers, and our students are their answer. Research shows that coding activates multiple regions of the brain, and allows students to practice analysis of a situation, decision-making skills, and communication skills. All of these pieces of practice will teach students how to improve problem-solving skills – through coding! Problem-solving is a critical skill – students need to practice their problem-solving skills to succeed in the classroom, in their social and family life, and when they are employed. Coding can actually help students find success in many different environments through improving their problem-solving skills.
- Coding teaches students 21st-century skills.
Students that are currently enrolled in K-12 schools were born into a world where 21st-century skills are critical. The 21st century has fully embraced the digital world, so coding is becoming a necessary life skill for students. Even kindergarteners use computer software at school, Zoom, Google/Microsoft suites, and more have become the norm for students. Not only will coding help students face technology in the classroom, but the life skills that coding develops will be transferable to both higher education and employment opportunities.
- Coding is a life skill for teens that can aid in self-expression and creativity.
Coding in the classroom is a way for students to express themselves. Even though coding is considered a STEM concept, it actually fosters creativity and gives students a creative outlet. Coding requires students to build something from nothing so they need to get creative to complete a project. Some examples of creative uses of code are building beautiful websites, creating stunning digital art, and designing new games. Also, coding requires the student to decide what is needed to complete a project. coming up with solutions can be a creative process. Finding an outlet for creativity is a life skill, so coding can be helpful!
- Coding is a valuable skill for teens that can translate to real employment.
Coding is a valuable skill for teens to acquire for many reasons, but the world needs computer programmers. Students that learn to code acquire valuable skills that are necessary for a career in computer programming. A position as a computer programmer has a mean salary of $95,460, making computer programming a lucrative career choice for students. Not only is a career as a computer programmer a great choice for students, but coding is present in other career choices too. Website designers, graphic designers, bloggers, and social media managers all need coding skills to be successful.
- The new technological world has led to the creation of endless coding activities.
Thanks to all the time spent indoors over the last eighteen months, tons of new resources for coding activities have popped up online and many of them are free! A simple Google search for “free coding activities for kids” turns up millions of results. The coolest part of coding activities available online is that there are so many ideas for both online and offline learning! Students can practice coding skills even if they do not have their own computer.
We know that the world has made a shift into a digital place, and it is critical for students to learn the proper skills so that they can be successful. Integrating coding activities into the classroom, investing in a coding curriculum, and including online coding classes in education can expose students to a vital skill that can help them out for years to come.