Everyday we can notice some small details in our kids showing us that they use a different logic comparing to ours when we were their same age. Nowadays the first instinct of a kid who doesn’t go to school yet is to touch all screens instead of using a small keyboard, as it is what they have seen from the first moment and they think all screens are touchscreens. They are all digital natives, they live surrounded by technology from the moment they arrive to this world and their future is hand in hand with technology, so it is increasingly necessary that they learn how to control it, understand it and take advantage of it.
In this context, learning to code is almost indispensable for the professional future these kids will have to face. However, beyond this professional and long-term needs, learning to code in early years has lots of benefits that help them to develop transversal competences which will be very useful in their lives, whether they follow a STEM career or not. In the short-term, we can notice how kids who learn programming start to think and put their ideas into order in a different way:
First of all, their reasoning skills increase and they start being faster and more efficient when it is time to decompose and solve problems, both in the academic and the personal fields. Also, this ability of relating concepts and finding a logical order for everything helps them to get better at reading or learning a foreign language, for example, two subjects that are not related to science and technology.
Secondly, when kids learn to code they build their own projects from the start and following the path they choose (there is not a unique solution for everything), which boost their imagination and creativity, allows them to have fun and makes them have more and better ideas. These ideas that kids want to accomplish challenge them, so they have to keep working and developing their problem-solving skills.
At the same time, all these challenges solution forces them to make an effort. The problems they have to overcome when they learn how to code have a difficulty level that forces them to be attentive and stay concentrated in the task they are doing. As they progress in their learning and train these skills, their attention and concentration span increase, as well as their memory.
Fourthly, programming helps kids to mould and create in real life their ideas, so they can satisfy the expectations that come up from their own interests: a kid who knows how to code can create its own video-game or improve the idea of a video-game he has played and make it exactly how he wants to be, the same way he can create a website about a subject he loves or he can mould his favourite character through 3D printing.
Moving on, when kids finish to materialize those projects created by themselves, they feel inevitably proud of their work and its results. Thus, learning how to code improves their confidence and self-esteem, as they see their effort has its reward and they realize everything they are capable of doing.
Furthermore, Codelearn centres boost teamwork between students, which adds a social component to programming learning but also helps our students to develop such an important skill as teamwork, something that will always be useful in both their personal and professional lives.
Finally, there are few matters as important in life as having a critical thinking. Kids that learn to code are constantly training their critical thinking, as they always need to find different ways and logics which have to be the most suitable ones in every situation and have to lead them to an effective problem-solving. They don’t stick to the first idea they come up to, but they call it into question, they try to prove it and they analyse its results. Thus, thanks to programming they will also start doubting about anything they are told and they will start thinking twice about it so they can draw their own conclusions.