There is no disputing that acquiring skills beyond math and science is essential to face the challenges of today’s job market. As more workplaces become automated, promising jobs are shifting from those who perform the tasks to those who create the devices that perform the tasks. With this revolution has come the critical need for two skills: those who build the devices (engineers) and those who tell the devices what to do (coders).
…promising jobs are shifting from those who perform the tasks to those who create the devices that perform the tasks.
Not too long ago it was deemed important for children to learn additional spoken languages such as Spanish, Mandarin and Russian to succeed globally. That list has shifted in recent years to include different types of languages that are actually easier to learn and apply to a wider range of professions. These include computer languages such as Python, Java, C#, Lua and even MIT’s Scratch. Educational technology organizations like PlanetBravo exist to help children get a jumpstart on learning these languages of tomorrow.
So, what is coding actually?
In a broad sense, it’s the act of telling a digital device (computer, mobile phone, etc.) how to operate if specific conditions are met: “IF I press this button, THEN perform this action.” This ranges from building your own interactive video game to developing a phone app that tells you how to get to the nearest Arby’s. Coding can be done by typing a computer language into a development environment or even graphically clicking commands in a child-friendly tool to make it all happen.
The best part about coding is that it is extremely engaging for kids. Whether it is typing or clicking graphics to code, it is all very easy to pick up since most coding languages are already written in English commands. It’s especially engaging because unlike academic projects that require another human to review your work, code shows you immediate results each time you execute or run your program.
Like any written or spoken language, the more practice one experiences at a young age, the more likely he or she is to master it and use it when needed. Above all, it exercises the mind to think critically and solve problems in a fun, meaningful way.
PlanetBravo’s Techno-tainment Summer Camp has been offered since 2003 and offers 10 summer camp locations, including Burbank at American Lutheran on Hollywood Way. During the school year, you can find PlanetBravo running the technology curriculum at 42 public, private and charter schools throughout California.
Find more information at PlanetBravo.com.