Today, many of our children are exposed to digital technology at a very young age. This will become a key part of their lives later on. We have to differentiate between good screen time and bad screen time. Bad screen time happens when your child mindlessly play games or watch videos with no educational value. Whereas good screen time educates your child by stimulating their brains. Coding requires your child to think – they first have to creatively think of an idea, break down the idea into smaller blocks and finally apply logical thinking to develop clear instruction steps to control the computer.
Logical thinking will benefit your child in all subjects at school, as they will learn how to structure their answers and think through the problems in an organized way. Your child may find that what they have learnt at coding class can be easily applied to Science and Math. Coding and mathematics are very closely linked, and children who have difficulties understanding or who are advanced and simply want to learn more will find that coding is very useful in understanding key mathematical concepts.
Using code to create their own apps enable concepts such as fractions, time, algebra and angles to come to life for your child and hones their mathematical capabilities. This will help them to develop a solid mathematical background which not only helps them at school, but also in coding.
Coding teaches one to think logically and can also help develop creativity. By planning out the actions step-by-step, one needs to think through the process and make it most efficient to achieve the final results. Most importantly, almost all technology that we interact with today are a result of coding. Love your iphone? The iOs operating system, the Apps and games that you love (Eg. Angry Birds, Flappy Bird) are all a result of coding. Your commands in code will apply to the different game components, such as the actions your characters will take with the different keys pressed, as well as the graphics and animation that are involved in making the characters look nice.
Coding is the ability to instruct the computer to work as you please by translating lines of text into actions. In order to communicate with the computer, you must learn to use a language that the computer can understand. Just as how English or Mandarin can be languages that we use daily to communicate with our teachers, friends and family, the language that the computer uses is coding.
There are many different coding languages, (Eg. C++, Java, Python, Perl, PhP) and each language has its niche in different industries. For example, Objective C is used to develop iOS apps, and a similar app on the android phone is programmed using Java. C# is used to build Windows applications while PHP is used in many web applications. You can take a look at this infographic which explains the use of different languages in a fun way. However, the fundamentals are all the same. What is most important is the ability to break down the problem in to smaller pieces (Decomposition), think logically and give step-by-step instructions (Algorithmic thinking) to the computer, regardless of which coding language is used.