There hasn’t been this many educators and parents talking about teaching kids to code since the early 1980’s when PC’s and Macs first went mainstream. The difference this time around is that many more people understand that the real goal isn’t learning how to code, it’s learning how to think.
No one who is part of this new movement believes all kids should grow up to be programmers. We believe it would be a beautiful outcome if all kids grew up knowing how to use computers to enhance their natural abilities, whatever those are, and grew up with the confidence to be “makers” instead of just consumers.
Computer programming is ultimately about problem solving and creating. “Thinking like a computer scientist” really means understanding what problem you are facing and breaking down that problem into solvable chunks. The better you get at recognizing the problem the more efficient your solutions become.
New research from institutions like Tufts University reveals learning to code delivers benefits beyond improvements in math and logic skills. For example, a recent study by Professor Marina Bers shows that reading comprehension in kids as young as five improves as students improve in their understanding of sequencing. This type of universal benefit from studying programming make it easy for parents to support the idea of ALL kids learning to code.
I founded my company codeSpark earlier this year as a result of wanting my two young daughters to understand that girls rock at science and engineering. Currently there is a large gender gap in the study of computer science and we aim to close it.
Our first game, The Foos , is a gender inclusive virtual world where kids program cute characters with a 100% visual language. It has strong girl and boy characters and combines curriculum-driven structured play with open ended free play.
We’re excited to be part of this coding wave and no matter what games you choose to play, its time to get coding!
Written by Grant Hosford developer of The Foos
Keep the Hour of Code Going All Year Round!