Today, computers and software is involved in almost all day to day activities. From Social Media (Read FB, Whatsapp) , communication, education and gaming to banking, online shopping . The list is end less.
Software is not just the websites or mobile apps. There is embedded software inside your car , TV, DVD Player, Washing machine and almost all gadgets that we use.
It is fair to say that software has almost become the language of our world. In few years not knowing this language of computers will be almost like being illiterate.
So if we have subjects like say Geography, biology or mathematics in our school curriculum to understand the world around us then is it not that knowing how software is developed, how websites work or mobile apps are coded is also a need of time?
Am I saying that one needs to learn coding or software so that they can work as software engineers? No, not exactly. Rather learning computers promote computational thinking and will make the kids ready for future.
Lets look at what is computational thinking.
Computational Thinking combines many different skills that work together to solve problems. It ultimately helps in studying computation. Here are few important skills that we can think of.
- Logical Thinking
- Thinking in terms of Algorithm
- Recursive Thinking
- Team work.
- Understanding people.
After all Computational thinking is how software developers solve problems. Naturally it combines mathematics, logic and algorithms and ultimately leads to overall development of person.
This should give idea of the importance and benefits of learning software and coding.
The coding momentum
All over world there are many initiatives taken up to promote coding to kids. See some of the links below to understand the momentum for promotion of coding for kids.
- Hour of Code – The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. (India Specific Link).
- CoderDojo – The global network of free computer programming clubs for young people.
- code.org – Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science
- New York City’s mayor mandates computer science curriculum for public schools
- Recognize Code as Canada’s Third Official Language
- Smith’s STEM Education Act of 2015 Signed into Law
- Kids Spent 8 Hours Coding And Broke A Guinness World Record
- Four Initiatives That Are Getting Nigerian Children Into Tech
Also watch a video of What Barack Obama, President of the United States says on learning computer science.
If you are convinced and thinking of getting started for your kids then the good news is that there are hundreds of websites , software or mobile apps available. Some of them are online only, meaning requires internet connection continuously to use. However many are offline too. The offline ones are useful especially in small towns and villages where internet connectivity may not be available every time. And yes many of them are even FREE!
Most of these learning tools are user friendly, interactive and full of Audio, Videos and animations. So it is fun using these tools and tutorials and most kids or early teenagers will enjoy learning. It is not typical boring stuff like typing code in notepad that usually comes in mind when you think of learning computers or software language.
In fact many of them do not require you to do any typing at all but still develop workable programs, software, mobile apps or even games. Sounds interesting?
I am in the process of preparing a list of such resources, websites and software and will be posting it soon. I will explain how to access those resources, what are the prerequisites for running on your PC, what age group it is suitable for etc. Keep watching this space.
Thank you for reading. Please leave your comments / suggestions and questions on this topic.