Technology surrounds us. It is deeply rooted in all our everyday activities. From paying the bills, ordering products, booking hotels to finishing all the business-related work – heck we don’t even write with our own hand anymore. Life without it is unimaginable, right?
Even though we are surrounded by technology, not everyone is an IT genius when it comes to operating a computer. That being so, we are often surprised that today’s children are more tech-savvy than most of us. If you hand a 5-year-old an iPad with a few kid-friendly apps, will you be surprised by their knowledge about the device and how to use it?
Today’s kids are growing up using the newest technology and it is a part of their daily learning experience in school and at home. Let’s face it – they are clueless about the way the world looked like before the Internet and all the smart devices we today have. Since technology is always changing and becoming better and more complex every day, it is slowly becoming imperative to learn as much as we can about it.
What’s a Computer Learning Month?
Falling every October, the idea behind Computer Learning Month is to give people the opportunity to up their game using the marvels of tech. During these 31 days, people are encouraged to use computers to improve their skills as they’re becoming increasingly vital in the walks of life.
Organizations and more skilled individuals across the world organize various events where they put emphasis on transferring knowledge about computer learning. These events are usually free of charge and teach children different skills that will come in handy later on. Some of the examples include learning new programming languages, helping out those who might need assistance in learning tech skills or just giving a hand in learning how to cope with the challenges the new tech era brings.
Why Should Your Child Learn to Code?
Can you remember what were your aspirations for your future career when you were a child? We bet a doctor, a lawyer or even an astronaut were some of the common picks at that time. Children these days have some other ideas. We bet it’s more likely that you are going to hear your child speak about becoming a gamer, YouTuber, game developer instead. As a parent, we are inclined to protect our children, motivate them to conquer their dreams, but at times subconsciously push them towards what we perceive as good choices. With technologies changing at a faster rate than at any point in our history, new professions are being formed. Now, more than ever before we can let our kids dream the impossible. Inspiring them and guiding them through the learning process with adequate tools is vital. Test their curiosity and see how far their imagination of the technology goes. Here are a few reasons why.
Technology is All Around Us
Technology is our past, our present and our future. It’s the fastest revolution we had in the entire human history – we went from the gigantic box-like computer that fitted the whole room to the gadgets that can easily be fit in our pockets. And it doesn’t stop there. Some people, even now, are making the migration to having computers actually placed in and on them. Imagine what it’s going to be like in the next few years. Just how literacy was once reserved for the elite layers of the society, and not necessary for an average person, coding is perceived to suit only those who want to become developers. But the truth might lie further than that. Coding literacy is bound to become a necessary skill in life. By teaching kids developing skills, we will undoubtedly help them better navigate this increasingly technological world.
Active Over Passive Engagement
No wonder kids like new tech – it’s fun to just watch videos on Youtube or play games. You might have noticed that parents give iPads or smartphones to their kids while in a restaurant to calm them down and entertain them just to be able to have a peaceful moment for themselves. The interesting thing is that this doesn’t have to be just passive gameplay. Kids can definitely create content too! We have recently written about the basics of content creation for youth. Combine this with coding platforms for kids, and you put your child in a position to play an active role in the future of entertainment. Who knows, maybe one day they might end up creating a platform that millions of people use. 🙂
New Job Opportunities
One simple job search on LinkedIn, for example, will be enough for you to see the growing amount of the positions requiring tech knowledge. Imagine what the future will be like in just a few years from now – we gather that tech and problem-solving skills will be even more in demand. Imagine the salaries of people who will be able to simplify and automatize all the daily routines for example or those who will know how to use Big Data for Social Good or just for the regular businesses.
Different Way of Thinking
We can all agree that problem-solving is the meta-skill. We all face problems. Big or small, they are part of our everyday lives. How we deal with them is sometimes, well… random. Learning how to code will help your child develop a more effective way of problem-solving. This will not only help with various life situations but it will give your child a solid foundation for entrepreneurship. This mindset focuses on facing a challenge, daring, learning from failure and trying again. The goal is to come up with wild ideas and then try them. And since coding is messy and complex, it formes the perfect environment for youngsters to foster the entrepreneurial mindset. An entrepreneurial trial and error approach will enable your child to use these skills to turn an idea into something of value.
What Can You Do to Help?
Nurturing children’s creativity, helping them develop their skills, and preparing them for their future is key to their success. The Internet creates a wide scope of areas children can explore and learn from, and this process of learning new things doesn’t have to be boring or even tiring. Game-based learning can help motivate them to want to learn. Provide your child with enough play opportunities, and within that play support different kinds of learning styles. From listening and visual learning to sorting and sequencing – there is so much that you can do.
There are tons of learning resources specifically designed for children, as well as simplified programming languages that they can explore, have fun and ultimately learn these valuable skills. In fact, there are so many of them that it’s easy to get lost into the sea of available choices. In order to simplify your search, we’ve made our selection of the most interesting platforms that will help your child easily learn to code and design and will guarantee lots of fun along the way.
Now, if you are like most parents, it’s likely that you might be a bit too achievement-oriented and focused on the future. Of course, you want what’s best for your child. But in that process you might push too hard, demand to learn too quickly or place way too much emphasis on the accomplishments. Don’t fall into that trap. Make sure to set aside your ambitions and high expectations. Instead, focus on where your child is at the present moment and build on your child’s natural interests. As Kohn says, “If your goal is to foster a love of learning, it’s far better to take an interest in what your child is doing rather than how well she’s doing it. Your continued interest in her activities is the best motivator.” Be patient. The improvement never comes overnight. But don’t underestimate your child either. Be confident that your child will accomplish the goals you have set together.
The blessing of the era we are living in, lies in the fact that dozens of websites, great online courses, and books are just a few clicks away. It has never been easier to learn then it is now. The only important thing is to have a will to invest time and energy into it. Though for us, grownups, this might be a conscious decision, the story is a bit different for our young digital natives. They start using gadgets right from diapers, and though all tech related things are natural to them, we do have a responsibility to help them navigate this ever-changing world of tech and help them be more successful in their lives. In doing so, remember that you are basically your child’s coach. Yes, you should ignite that spark in them and give direction, but know when you need to stay on the sidelines and let your child play the game. Help your child develop their computer learning skills, and don’t proactive only during this time of the year. Take a charge in bridging your child’s passion for technology all year round.:)