Over the last few years it has started to become more commonplace to hear of elementary-aged children learning computer programming. The “Hour of Code” was promoted by Code.org in December and continues to draw interest and focus on this topic, encouraging children to code for an hour. I do believe that learning to code is a new practical life skill that upper elementary children ought to have, or at the very least a concept to which they have had have some exposure.
But why? Is programming really necessary to get by in the world? I would venture to say that learning how software and hardware are designed, created, and tested are certainly not bad skills for children to spend their time learning. Children in this generation have grown up with computers, mobile devices, and online access and don’t know a world without it. It certainly makes sense to me that they have a fundamental understanding of how technology works and how it’s created.
Programming also helps develop logical reason and problem solving skills, which can be applied to other areas, and are certainly practical life skills! Plus, many children might just discover that coding is fun (not to mention that having developed programming skills may quite possible lead to employment opportunities down the road).
Here are few resources that can help you get started if you’d like to introduce your students to programming:
Have your students had experience coding?