Imagine if you grew up around people but never learned the language they spoke to each other. Wouldn’t it be absurd? Yet, technology powers almost everything in today’s world and most children have no idea about language it speaks.
This rapid growth of technology requires a rapid pace of education to follow it, but it is pretty clear that schools are far behind. They just take too long to revise their curriculum. In my current Grade 10 computer science course, CDs are considered hi-tech. 😐
This is why I decided to take matters into my own hands and teach students in my school about technology.
I’m a fifteen year old with a strong passion for all things tech, and I’ve been coding for almost 2 years now.
Here are some reasons why teaching every child how to code is important.
1. Technology is becoming increasingly present in our lives
This increasing trend of technology permeating through almost every aspect of our existence — transport, entertainment, productivity, and even education — doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In fact, because of Moore’s Law, it’s speeding up, exponentially.
We should at least have a basic understanding of the systems around us and how they work, and for that, children need to learn programming.
2. It empowers children to be more than consumers
Instead of playing video games and using apps, children can now gain the crucial skills required to make them. Should they find these skills interesting, they can refine them to take it up as a career.
Programming is amazing in the sense that you can create anything using technology that you already have access to — networks, utilities, even whole worlds. You name it.
It’s only by introducing kids to this opportunity that they will understand the possibilities.
3. It teaches them how to think
“Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.” — Steve Jobs
Programming teaches fundamental problem solving skills like breaking things down into small tasks, keeping things simple and modular, and learning from your mistakes.
The skills kids learn from programming can be applied to many areas of their lives.
4. Students become self-sufficient learners
I taught myself how to code. I never had a teacher to tell me how to fix problems. Everything I learned was from hours of debugging and scrolling through Stackoverflow.
I wasn’t too sure my students would replicate this behaviour, but thankfully, they did. Some of them who were really interested in what they were making went out of their way to learn how stuff worked and how they could use it, even outside school.
5. You become better at coding yourself
When teaching someone something, they will constantly ask you the simplest and most basic questions. These are the foundational pillars of your knowledge, and the fact that you will keep reiterating them means that your understanding will become rock solid.
The fact that I had to teach people coding also meant that I had to review lots of knowledge, and had to make sure that I understood it completely before I could explain it.
Even the Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman used to consider that teaching people was the best way to learn, so much so that a method was named after him.
Why you should teach someone how to code, too
Knowledge should not be locked up and stored or remain in a select group of people’s heads. It should spread, and it is your duty as someone with that knowledge to spread it.
If you can code, you understand how fun and fulfilling it can be - when you aren’t debugging of course 😆. You also understand the value of knowing how to code.
So why not pass on the light of knowledge to someone you know?
It could be your friends, your children, maybe even your coworkers. Who knows, they might enjoy it and start learning by themselves.
Thanks for reading. I hope this short post has ignited your passion to contribute by teaching others how to code.
Here’s some other posts I’ve written
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