Myths of Coding For Kids, Debunked

Teaching children to code has reached its summit since the digital revolution began. Many websites, applications, manuals, tutorials, etc., teach coding skills to children. Early learning to code helps a kid develop problem-solving skills, enhance imagination and increase his/her focus. In the early ages, there were still some misconceptions and myths about coding for kids. Although it’s important to criticise the learning material & platforms, let’s be open to the concept of coding and the many opportunities it offers. This article debunks some myths and expands learning.

Before focusing on the myths, here’s a brief introduction to coding. Coding is the process of creating instructions for computers using programming languages. By using codes we communicate with computers. Code is used to build apps, websites and other fast-growing technologies and to process data. Basically, Programmers are behind the functioning of electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers and even refrigerators and cars. Thus, being able to communicate in computer languages through coding opens up a lot of opportunities in the future.
We have selected the eight most often discussed common myths are as follows:

Coding isn’t for my child if he or she isn’t already inclined to technology. 

As parents, we want our children to succeed in everything they set their minds to. Regrettably, there is a distinction to be made between natural and acquired abilities. Some people are born with a natural aptitude for technology. This can be developed by early exposure, natural curiosity, or simply organising the structure of their mind. However, if we only encourage children to pursue interests in which they excel, they will only grow in a linear fashion, which isn’t an ideal pattern in 21st-century work skills. Also, with new-age learning methods like Visual Programming, gamified learning, coding has now become increasingly approachable. As your child starts learning to code, you’ll gradually notice the change in their overall personality. You’ll find soft skills such as perseverance, and next-gen skills like critical thinking, problem-solving.

Your Kid has to be a total nerd to gain coding skill

It’s no secret that the tech industry has a reputation for being a haven for the socially inept. To blend in with your potential colleagues, you don’t have to live in your mother’s basement or be a World of Warcraft fan. This perception creates a major block while deciding to approach and keeps students away from an essential skill that also benefits your child’s cognitive development. You can read more about this here, 6 things coding can teach.

Although coding does require some head down focused time, constructing any larger-scale project, such as an app, also involves teamwork and the ability to communicate ideas. 

Scratch and other visual coding languages allow kids to learn the ABCs of coding and bring the various coding constructs (loops, conditional statements, variables) together in increasingly complex projects that teach the reasoning behind building with technology. 

If this foundation has been developed, children will be better prepared to begin creating masterpieces in languages that are ideal for solving the problem they are addressing. They can then start the long process of mastery, including theory, discovery, failure, and eventually learning, similar to reading.

Children do not need to learn to code; instead, they must have digital literacy and proficiency. 

Thanks to the applications and websites, they will bring their ideas to life with minimal coding in the future.
When it comes to coding, this myth is probably one of the most troublesome. There have been website development tools for several years that enable non-technical people to create simple websites. However, users of these sites often realise the inadequacy of that tool a step beyond the template’s limitations. Learning the fundamentals of coding allows limitless learning. It also gives you a better understanding of evolving technologies such as Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, blockchain, constantly evolving and changing technologies that will become commonplace over the next few decades. So, becoming a software developer and learning coding skills at an early age is the need of the hour.

Teaching kids to code is merely a way of lowering potential incomes. 

Although increased competition does put downward wage pressure on employees over time, it is not true that businesses worldwide are conspiring to pay their existing tech workers and software developers less. Instead, it is believed that there is a stark reality that future growth potential is limited unless the number of tech-capable and software developer jobs increases. There will be a need for more jobs, not less, particularly as we consider all of the innovative new technologies that are being created.
For the next 50 years, we will see downward wage pressure for these positions. However, this is based on the premise that the technology-based solution environment will remain static. For example, the rise of blockchain technology was not even on most people’s radars ten years ago.
It is possible to predict that many new technologies will be created, resulting in a higher demand for knowledgeable employees in these fields.

Coding for kids is a niche concept that won’t scale in today’s educational setting. 

Although there are problems within the existing system, we cannot let current shortcomings stand in the way of our children’s potential success. Yes, teaching children to code would need a significant investment in our schools in terms of teacher training, curriculum growth, and creating learning environments that facilitate these skills.

However, we cannot allow these obstacles to prevent us from putting in the hard work needed to move this initiative forward. Teaching students how to use technology to create must become a primary goal in education. Even if they spent only one hour a day in school learning to construct with technology, that would provide your children with the increased exposure, hours of practice, and growth needed to prepare them to solve challenging problems. The recently released New Education Policy allows students to choose Coding from class 6th onwards. Tekie is also helping some of India’s reputed schools introduce coding to their curriculum.

You need to be excellent in math to learn to code

Writing codes does not mean writing mathematical formulas. All that is needed is basic arithmetic concepts that children already study in schools. Coding lets them apply these theoretical math practices to practical use by building real-world solutions. No advanced math concepts are required for coding. Although, in-game development area, basic knowledge of trigonometry and physics is required, there are plugins and libraries to help you figure those out.

Coding is not for women

It is also a common misconception that young girls should not learn to code as it is believed to be a male-dominated field. This myth has led many girls to take different paths in their careers. We cannot stress this fact enough: Women can do equally well as men in any field, including programming. Only because women today make up a small percentage of the coding industry should not deter you from teaching your daughter how to code. This situation is evolving drastically as a growing number of women are choosing Programming as a career.

Coding is not a Creative Field

It is another big mistaken belief that coding is not creative. Though coding seems technical and logical at the start, it also requires creative efforts. It is like poetry for many programmers. Paul Graham in his essay Hackers and Painters’, beautifully highlights the artistry of coding. Coding is a mix of language, math and architecture and using all to create programmes reflects creativity in itself. For a variety of experiments and projects programming involves whole-brain thinking that allows a person to come out with out-of-the-box thinking, enhancing creativity. 

Many of those who agree that all children should be taught to code have good intentions. Some have discovered a fundamental truth about teaching children to code: it’s not about coding; it’s about teaching children to solve problems more effectively. It is essential, however, not to stop there. We assume that the intelligent application of technology can and will solve many of the world’s most challenging problems. And, to do so, the next generation must both learn how to solve problems using technology and accept that they are capable of doing so because they have developed their foundational skills over time.