“When you don’t create things, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. your tastes only narrow & exclude people. so create.” ― Why The Lucky Stiff
I learned to code when I was 19. I was in my second year at college in New York. I was a B.Sc Chemistry student who took a lot of math courses because she desired to become a Chemical Engineer. My Iranian Math Professor who was also the Head of the Math Department went on and on about the relevance of programming (what coding was called back then.) So I took C++ courses there in college. Then I moved onto to Java and Oracle in graduate school at Syracuse University.
It was hard work but it taught me valuable lessons about the power of language and everything being in the right place.
My teacher was correct ultimately, Coding is has become an important skill because it allows you to explore and experience the digital world in its entirety. Learning computer science benefited me in my career- I learned problem solving, critical thinking etc to name a few skills. She was on point because all spheres are connected to computer programming especially in the age that we are in. Technology has infiltrated our lives and industries tremendously that it really is of great advantage to those who code.
There is need to prepare our African students to experience the digital world completely. In his TED Talk Mitchel Resnick from MIT spoke about the common fallacy of us labelling our young ones as digital natives. He states that majority of young people are mainly consumers of technology, not creators of technology. They are seasoned users but not creators. He makes the analogy of students being able to read but not write. Teaching students to code arms them with the skills to fully utilize the technologies of the digital age.
In the digital age everybody is a writer/author, with social media, but not a maker of the actual technology. Previously writers were the elites; their power was their controlling the media. Currently, coders are powerful. Teaching students how to code provides them with the ability to become instrumental world changers.
Major industries like healthcare, the military, education, marketing, business, banking, fitness and pretty much any other industry are heavily affected by technology. This establishes that students who have get clarity about coding but don’t pursue STEM careers benefit. A doctor, a teacher, a banker or a scientist who can code is significantly advantaged. They can apply coding to their careers. Coders who work in other industries develop applications that have the capacity to transfigure their industry.
Future of work
Learning to code centers around preparing students for future work. There is an acute shortage in the computer science industry; this means that skilled job seekers make demands on what they desire.
I have stated seven reasons why children should learn to code.
In summary they are:
1. Learning to code teaches children life lessons.
2. Learning coding helps children to become better problem solvers.
3. Applications of school subjects and the real world is easier for students.
4. Coding expands creativity.
5. Coding prepares students for success.
6. Children can change the world with coding.
7. Children can appear to have superpowers when they program.
Adetola Salau; Educator / Speaker / Author/ Social Entrepreneur / Innovator
She is an Advocate of STEM Education and is Passionate about Education reform. She is an innovative thinker and strives for our society & continent as a whole to reclaim it’s greatness. She runs an educational foundation with the mission to transform education.