With the onset of AI, and the increased availability of AI to consumers, many experts have declared the death of traditional computer programming.
In a world of AI, why learn to code at all? I can just ask ChatGPT to generate the codes I need. Easy peasy.
The benefits of learning to code extend way past the ability to build a game, program, or website. Coding teaches us how to think in linear and sequential terms. It teaches us to be revisers, editing our products until they work with repeatable perfection.
Lastly, no matter what language you learn, Java, Python, or even Scratch, coding is just that: a language. Learning another language, particularly one for digital applications, can only benefit your child.
Here are three key benefits of teaching your little learner how to code:
Like any good puzzle of tiny pieces, a code must be organized in a way that creates continuity and alignment. But coding can be so much more than that.
Imagine if you could take that puzzle, and put those pieces together in a new and novel order. Not every order would work, but if you can find one in your own inspiration, you can reuse those pieces to create a near infinite amount of other puzzle images.
Similarly, coding allows programmers to take a finite set of terms or blocks, and assemble them into any action or outcome they can imagine. Build a site or a game, program a robot to perform a simple or complex task. Not all commands will work. Some will surely fail. Your logic must be sound to create the perfect outcome, but that’s part of the journey. That’s where the problem solving comes in.
The process of observing, testing, and revising code is an homage to the scientific method we all grew up learning. Just like a traditional experiment, codes rarely work perfectly in your first test. Perfecting a code and making it consistently successful teaches kids to stay calm, be patient, and work through their frustrations.
The outcome is a feeling of success that is too often lost in our microwave society. Kids transform from sullen and sulky as they work their coding challenges unsuccessfully, to elated and energetic when they finally reach their desired outcome.
Whether it’s getting an avatar in a game they are building to behave the way they envision, seeing their robot successfully trigger a Rube Goldberg machine (think the game Mousetrap), or just seeing ideas come to life on a webpage of their creation, coding offers kids a safe space to try, fail, then try again. Once they succeed, they’ll take those experiences with them wherever they go!
Learning another language at any point in your life can have immense cognitive benefits. According to Harvard research, learning another language can lead to an easier time identifying key information, helps us understand complex tasks, and leads to more goal-oriented thinking. However, a recent study performed at MIT suggests that the critical period to learn languages may end in late adolescence.
Learning to code as a young learner yields the same benefits, while incorporating the digital aspect that our kids are so keen to experience. Instead of only playing a game, learn to code a game on a site like Tynker. Graduated through Scratch? Try again using a more complex coding language like Java or Python. Play your cards right, and you will have a true polyglot on your hands before long.
In today’s world, the opportunities to expose your child to coding are endless. Learn to code a robot. Build a website about their favorite game, sport, or area of interest. Try your hand at creating video games by coding your way through each level - and then testing each one!
While some believe that AI will remove the need for humans to hone these skills, X-ROBOTX knows that the benefits of learning to code go far past the outcomes of a coding project. Reap the benefits of coding by signing your child up for a class today.