Why Kids Should Learn to Code

By Jennifer Apy

STEM
Why Kids Should Learn to Code_Sylvan Learning_Feature_715x330

Kids today are busy. With school, sports, activities, chores, projects and friends, it’s hard to prioritize and fit everything in. But there’s one thing I’ve made a priority for each of my three school-age kids, regardless of their interests and talents: they each must learn to code.

It’s not that I want them to grow up to be programmers, they’re free to choose their own path. But given the rapid evolution of technology in our world, understanding the language of computers is a helpful skill to have regardless of what path they choose.

There are so many more benefits that learning to code at a young age provides. Here are four reasons:

1. They will be better prepared for a tech-filled future
We live in a world that’s built on technology. In just about every aspect of our lives, we’re surrounded by code, hardware, and programs and our reliance on technology (and the career opportunities that come with it) is only going to increase. Any path kids choose will be likely be influenced by technology, and coding will become the language that the workforce of the future must understand at some level to be successful.

2. Logic and critical thinking skills are important training for the mind
Kids learn so many important skills through coding: how to solve problems, tell a story, communicate with an audience, think algorithmically AND think creatively. Learning to code while building games is particularly powerful because it requires children to use their technical skills (to build the program) in combination with their artistic and visual storytelling skills (to design a program that is compelling and fun), which is so important in the development of “whole brain thinking.”

Young programmers

3. Learning to code gives kids tools to be creative “makers”
The process of creating and making is empowering for kids. Learning to code not only builds a confidence that spills over into other areas in life – it lays the foundation for innovation, ingenuity and leadership because it represents the ability to connect existing ideas with new solutions, approaches and concepts. We owe it to our curious and imaginative kids to give them the tools to be the creative thinkers and problem solvers of the next generation. Who knows what they’ll be able to come up with!

4.  The best reason: kids love it!
Building games that they can play with friends — what could be more fun than that? Kids learn best when they’re motivated and in an environment that instills in them a genuine desire to create. At Tynker we invest so much in our themes and graphics, so that kids can HAVE FUN and explore things that interest them, and we witness this kind of passion, excitement and creative motivation every day.

Braden would wake up early in the morning to log in to Tynker on our home computer then he would attend camp for a full day and as soon as he got home he would get back online to see his work. You could say he was just a tad enthusiastic about the program!” – Jessica C.

“Angie loves Tynker so much, it has become her reward for doing other things! She wants to do it everyday.  It’s fun, she’s not very conscious of learning, she’s just engrossed in the doing. But I can see that she’s really learning with the course.” – Audrey S.

The Tynker platform is used in Sylvan Edge after school and summer camp programs, giving kids the opportunity to create awesome apps, video games and programs of their own.

Stemtacular

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Jennifer Apy worked with thousands of teachers and parents to find and implement innovative technology solutions to meet students’ instructional needs through Tynker.

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