2018/03 See Jack Code. See Jane Code. Code Kids Code!

We are moving soon to another state; one which has Latin in the school curriculum. Our son is quite good with languages, already speaking English, German, and Russian – but he is a bit worried about Latin (“Where do they speak Latin?”). No one would disagree that Education is good, but we could argue about what an Education is good FOR.  What do we teach children, and why? 

Children were once given a basic schooling so they could read, write, and do math.  Higher up the ladder perhaps a Classical Education, or a Liberal Arts Education, which concerned itself with languages, literature, and with “understanding the universal principals which are the condition of the possibility of the existence of anything and everything.” (wikipedia) As our lives become more Digital, learning to code would probably be very helpful if children are to understand the universal principals of the 21st century.

We live in a tech saturated world.  Most children under the age of ten probably don’t know life without digital devices of some sort.  I am old enough to remember a time without computers in the home, but even in highschool we had Intellivision and a Tandy home computer from Radio Shack.  Interacting with a computer in the home is not a new phenomenon, but the speed in which tech has developed in the last ten years along with how we interact certainly a is.   As I wrote in 2016/01 To Code or Not to Code… computers aren’t going away any time soon. Smartphones will one day be replaced with AI and non-screen interfaces. How do they work? How will the apps in our clothing operate? What is behind the info we are scrolling through? How does the AI in Alexa work?

To prosper in our digital world, to participate in its development, coding skills will be of great importance.  Not every child will become a scientist or a writer – but we accept the need to learn writing and math.  We should accept and encourage children to learn to code – even if not all of them will become programmers.  

Coding fosters many skills – creativity, connectiveness, communication, persistence, collaboration, problem solving … not to mention the thrill of typing in some code onto a screen, and WOW my code does something!  Whether a child makes a website, a game, or an app for monitoring homework – access to, understanding of, and mastering digital tools will add to the skills and confidence they will need as adult participants in an everchanging world.

Many free and family-friendly websites are available that give access to online learning and sources of further information.  Check them out!

StudioWeb – Interactive JavaScript, PHP, HTML and CSS video training for the k-12 classroom
PIXEL MEETS MINECRAFT Hier werden Kids zu App-Entwicklern
https://www.codecademy.com/ learn to code for freern to code for free
https://www.tynker.com/ coding courses in English
https://code.org/ Multilanguage information on coding courses
https://www.hacker-school.de/ Hamburg based computer courses for kids
https://www.kidscodecs.com beanz online kids computer magazine in English
https://repl.it/ free programming environments
https://www.idtech.com/ summer tech campus in USA