We cannot deny it. We live in a world which is constantly changing. Hierarchies become horizontal, children have bigger expectations, and the 4th industrial revolution is entirely related to technology and to these new paradigms we use to connect and interact with each other.
The first thing to accept is the fact that we won’t be able to predict the fascinating ways in which this unknown future will surprise us, our children or our grandchildren. But what we can certainly do, is to provide further generations with the right skill set for them to succeed in the 21st century and to lead tomorrow’s world with the abilities they’ll strengthen today.
When thinking about ways to provide our kids with these numerous -and extremely needed 21st-century skills, coding comes to mind. Coding is much more than just writing a few lines of a weird language to make something do what we want it to do. Coding is the language of the future. Coding is the way in which we’ll interact with technology in the years to come, and not less important, knowing how and what to code will open the doors for our kids to the workforce they are going to face. No matter what industry they’ll be interested in.
But what skills can coding give our children to make them ready for the competitive 21st-century?
Learning how to code a website, program a robot, create the perfect line of code for a voice-controlled device like Alexa, can nurture our kids with more than just computational thinking knowledge and abilities. Let’s go over a few of them.
Read also: Why our kids should know kow to code?
1. Problem-solving abilities
Problem-solving will become even more important in the years to come than what it is today. Through coding, today’s kids can learn about the numerous different ways to solve one problem. It will be clear for kids that the main goal is to solve a certain issue, but the path we walk to achieve that specific goal is open to their own judgment and criteria.
To put it simply, if we want to go out and get to the supermarket, there won’t be only one way to get there. Some roads will be faster than others, but all of the options will be effective if, at the end, we arrive and finally get those vegetables and chocolates we wanted so badly.
With coding is the same, when learning and when applying it, kids will have to solve problems and have a clear goal in mind that will allow them to implement this same mindset in other fields of their everyday life.
2. Teamwork: A great way to face the 21st Century
Contrary to what everybody thinks, coding can teach our kids the importance of teamwork. It will happen more than once that someone won’t see that little bug in the middle of the code and will ask for help, collaboration and cooperation from a team or classmate.
If we think of code as a language, which it is, let’s think that a great book gets re-checked many times before it gets published. Collaborative learning becomes crucial when we think about the tools we’ll need to succeed in the future.
Therefore, looking at programming or coding from an open and collaborative perspective can not only make coding more fun but can also provide our kids with wider and better assets. That is why it is highly recommended to start learning coding in a group class. It enhances the experience.
3. Critical thinking and coding: Walking hand by hand
According to Wikipedia, critical thinking is the objective analysis of facts to form a judgment. As we mentioned in the first point, there are several different definitions and solutions, and all of them can solve -or not- a specific problem. To decide the best option, critical thinking generally involves a rational, proof-based, unbiased analysis or evaluation of concrete and strong evidence.
On the other hand, the U.S. National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as the ” intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
When we grab these two definitions and think about coding, we understand it fits, it completes and the learning process of it, together with its application provides students, kids and senior programmers with conceptualization, objective analysis, synthesizing and way more; making them even more ready to succeed in the 21st century by having the right skills.
4. Analytical skills and fast response to unexpected issues
When we combine the 3 points we discussed until now and accompanied by a good coding lesson, the analytical skills both to code and for every-day life situations will become a natural response and attitude; but it won’t end there.
By knowing the facts, and having developed a strong ability to understand, to work together and to solve problems, the reaction to these potential issues will be fast, efficient and effective.
So, what started with learning how to create a mobile app, how to code a cyber robot or how to program a website, can actually turn into a skill that can save lives and help in situations we
didn’t even think about.
Find out more about things kids can create through coding
5. A bigger usage of the brain: I speak Spanish, English, C++, Chinese and Java
It is a fact, our brain works faster and better when we fluently speak more than 2 languages. Again, coding is a language with many, many variations.
If we speak Spanish, English, and French, for example, we will be able to understand how more people and countries work, think and make decisions. Same with coding, by learning new coding languages we will be able to interact better with various devices that are supposed to make our life easier during this 4th industrial revolution, during the digital-era.
In conclusion, programming and the learning process of Coding will not only open doors for our kids to strongly enter the workforce in the years to come, but it will also provide them with skills and abilities that will enable them to lead important processes and to create significant changes in tomorrow’s world.
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