With the advancement in technology over the years, the ability to code is becoming increasingly important. There are so many benefits of coding for students that go much beyond the use of a computer.
While many people see coding as a highly technical skill, it is, in fact, another form of literacy, like a new language but for computers. Living in the 21st-century, children are growing up in a digital era, and coding is a skill that can be used every day.
Coding skills are an advantage not only in the workforce but also provides advantages for children and students in life in general. We are going to look at the benefits of learning to code. But first, what is coding?
What is coding
Coding is the primary method for communicating with a computer. It is using a language to give a computer instructions in order to perform specific functions. Coding makes it possible for us to create things such as computer software, websites, apps etc.
There are various types of different code, depending on what you want to develop. And different “computer languages”. But basically, to put it simply, coding is giving instructions to a computer in order to produce a specific result.
For some simple ideas to get started with coding, check out some of our coding activities for kids.
What are the benefits of coding for students?
Knowing how to code has numerous benefits when it comes to efficiently programming a computer. Computer programmers can produce a program or an app that could help us solve an everyday problem, or allow us to learn something new. However, when we look beyond the computer, learning to code has further advantages.
Here are 7 benefits of learning to code for students that go beyond the computer:
1. Computer programming promotes logical thinking
Coding requires logical thinking and teaches children how to tackle complex problems by breaking them down into smaller problems which are easier to manage and solve. This process is called decomposition. Even if children never become a professional computer programmer or software engineer, they will benefit from learning to think this way.
2. Learning to code helps a students’ creativity
Coding allows students to be creators. After all, coding is all about creating something new. How cool would it be to be able to design your own app or video game? With code, kids can create projects that they love. By learning to code students learn to maximize their creativity and learn how to come up with their own ideas in order to solve their problem. This is an essential skill that stretches far beyond a computer.
3. When students learn to code they develop persistence
Perseverance is not an easy trait to teach, especially to a child or student. However, it is an important skill to have in life in general. We don’t want children to just give up when they come across a problem or obstacle, we want them to keep going. Coding teaches children persistence, that in order to solve the problem they have, they must keep going, coming up with different solutions until they have the right one.
4. Coding helps to develop resilience
Resilience is not something you can be taught. As such, kids need to experience in order to develop these skills. A great benefit of learning to code is that children learn to build resilience through troubleshooting. When they hit a wall, they need to find a solution. If the first solution doesn’t work, they try another one. If that one doesn’t work, they try again until the problem is solved. This is called debugging in computer programming. These types of thinking skills are highly sought after.
5. Learning to code can improve a child’s communication skills
Learning to code is like learning a new language. Sure, it may not be Spanish or Italian, but learning to code uses some of the same skills we develop when we learn a new language. When we learn a new language, we become better communicators. Why? We need to know how to break things down to speak simply. This is the same with coding. Computers only understand instructions when they are written in simple easy to follow language that the computer understands. Coding helps to develop that skill.
6. Children improve their structural thinking when learning to code
When students learn to code they develop structural thinking. They learn how to build something large from lots of other smaller pieces put together. This helps kids to understand not just about computer programs but also helps kids to see the big picture when they are given any task made up of small parts.
7. Coding helps children with problem-solving
We all encounter problems on a day to day basis. Some small and easy to solve, and there are some which are larger, more complex, and difficult. Through coding, children learn to think and learn about different situations that are not the norm. They learn to analyze options and have to come up with a way to solve any challenges they come across. These problem-solving skills are a great benefit in their day to day lives and can help them to solve real-life situations.
8. Coding improves students’ math skills
Math skills are necessary when learning to code. This doesn’t mean that students need to be a math genius to learn computer programming. It just means that as they learn to code, they will pick up the skills needed to solve math problems along the way.
Learning through having fun is the best way to learn, and yes, coding can be fun! While coding, children won’t realize the skills they are gaining. Coding requires solving real problems, not doing a worksheet full of maths equations so they gain real experience which in turn then helps them to improve their maths skills.
9. Coding gives students’ satisfaction
Solving a problem is a satisfying feeling. When children learn to code and see results to helps them to become more determined to see more. There is nothing better than seeing a child proud of a particular challenge or project that they have completed.
10. Coding helps kids learn to learn
Generally, when children learn in a classroom, there is a teacher who teaches a particular subject. With coding, children are able to experiment and learn themselves. Experimenting with code allows children to understand that sometimes the answers are not always simple, and sometimes there is more than one answer to a particular problem.
A great benefit of learning to code teaches children that it is ok if their answer is different to someone else’s. It teaches them to learn how to learn and this is important all through life.
As you can see, the benefits of coding for students and children, in general, go well beyond learning how to program a computer. Learning to code gives children the advantage, and is a highly valued skill that can help children throughout their day to day lives.