5 Skills Learned from Coding in the Classroom
It’s December, which means it’s the Month of Code! Month of Code is a month dedicated to celebrating and using coding in the classroom.
With the increase of the availability of technology in schools, many teachers are using this access to teach their students how to code. This can prepare students to head into STEM jobs in after graduation.
STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and math, is a fast-growing segment of the United States job market. Studies show that STEM jobs will increase by 8.9% by 2024, compared to 6.4% for non-STEM jobs. A large part of these jobs will be in the computer and math fields. “The largest group of STEM jobs is within the computer and math fields, which account for close to half (49 percent) of all STEM employment,” according to the US Department of Commerce STEM Jobs: 2017 Update.
Coding in the classroom isn’t just for job preparedness. Other than the obvious practical skill of coding, teaching coding in your classroom can help students learn other important skills that will help them be successful lifelong learners.
“The goal of Computer Science education is not to have everyone be a Computer Scientist or software engineer, just as the goal of teaching math isn’t to have everyone become a mathematician. The reason we need to teach Computer Science is simple and broad: because it helps students learn everything else,” Dan Kusan reasons in his blog post, Hour of Code – Why Computer Science Education Matters.
Coding helps to build skills that aren’t easily taught on their own.
5 Skills Learned from Coding in the Classroom:
1. Problem Solving
Coding exercises taught in the classroom help students solve complex problems. “It also consists of some very specific problem solving skills such as the ability to think logically, algorithmically and recursively,” says Computer Science for Fun.
2. Critical Thinking
Coding can help students build this important skill, since they can’t just start working on the problem at hand. “You can’t just wing it when you’re working on a coding problem. You really have to take the time and energy to look at it and understand it at a different level,” says Jennifer Williams. It’s important for students to map out what they’ll do, and the order in which they’ll complete it. This skill can be transferred to other subjects such as reading comprehension.
3. Computational Thinking Skills
According to Computer Science for Fun, computational thinking is a “collection of diverse skills to do with problem solving that result from studying the nature of computation. It includes some obviously important skills that most subjects help develop, like creativity, ability to explain and teamwork.”
In coding, things rarely work the first time. In order to be successful, students learn that it often takes hard work to solve an issue at hand. When they solve the problem, there is an “immediate sense of accomplishment that students realize when they succeed. They’ve overcome a challenge and receive instant acknowledgement and gratification – it’s the same reason many students (and adults) addictively play games,” says Dan Kusan.
5. Courage to Try New Things
Coding helps students gain courage to try new things. A benefit about coding is that students often fail before being successful. This requires them to try out new ideas until one sticks. And “coding has no “right way” or defined path, which allows the freedom for students to succeed on their own time and in their own way,” according to STEMJobs.
Even if you’re not convinced that teaching your students coding is necessary for them to learn future job skills, just trying out simple coding exercises can teach them other skills that can be difficult to teach alone, such as the ones above.
Are you interested in introducing coding to your classroom? Eduro Learning offers 3 different online courses focuses on coding and design.
No matter your experience, there is a coding and design course for you:
Introduction to Coding in the Classroom: Uncover the thinking and learning processes that are inherent in coding as well as explore different resources to help bring computer programming into the classroom. This course is designed for educators K-12, who have little or no previous programming experience.
Coding & Design: Learn several ways of thinking about complex problems and their solutions and create an impact project that incorporates elements of design thinking and/or app design practices. No coding experience is required.
Advanced Coding & Design: Embedding Computational Thinking: Discover a variety of ways to bring elements of coding into the classroom to build the foundational skills and ways of thinking that underpin computational science. No coding experience is required.