The Educational Benefits of Kids Learning to Program

Author : Guest Blogger
Date : April 17, 2017

As a parent, you may wonder how to turn your child’s interest in computers and electronic devices into something productive that benefits them. Most of what the majority of kids do with computers and phones these days can seem quite unproductive.

Some people have even commented that the connectivity of the modern world may be impairing our children in terms of social skills, intellectual development, and even health. Sounds scary, doesn’t it?

Kids-computers

But as with anything, there can be both good and bad. It’s just a matter of how you spend the time. There are a lot of positive things that kids can gain from using computers, as long as the computer is used in a positive way.

Learning to program is an excellent way to allow kids to enjoy using computers in a positive way. Not only can this skill lead to better employment prospects, but it also teaches important life skills including problem solving, logical thinking, design skills, and even communication (understanding concepts like usability and accessibility makes kids better at understanding the basic essentials of good communication).

A Canadian organization called Junior Coders has been established to help teach computer skills, including programming, which is the main focus of the training they provide. These workshop based lessons help children learn the essentials of coding in a safe and fun environment.

Kids-at-computers-Featured

How old should kids be when they first start learning these skills? Children below the age of four years may find it too difficult to grasp the elemental skills. From four years old and up, there do not seem to be many barriers beyond the limits of ordinary intellectual development.

So if your child is at least average in terms of intellectual development, he or she will normally be able to begin learning the same basic skills that are taught in the first year of a university level computer science course, just expressed in much simpler terms and using simpler programming languages. Older kids, of course, will find it even easier to grasp the fundamental skills and should progress more quickly to advanced skills.

computer-science-kid

That may seem difficult to believe, but this has been tried and tested since at least the late 1970s. We know today that all kids with at least average cognitive skills can benefit from this learning, and it will actually improve their cognitive skills as they begin understanding advanced programming concepts, even before they even have the vocabulary to describe them.

 

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