Key points:

K-12 coding sets students up for success during–and after–school

Teaching coding and design can lead to tech literacy

Starting a K-12 classroom drone program

For more news on K-12 coding, visit eSN’s STEM & STEAM page

K-12 coding can completely change learning for students, engaging reluctant learners and activating parts of the brain used for computational thinking, problem solving, and collaboration.

These durable skills are critical for students during their K-12 years, in college, and in the workforce. Let’s take a look at the latest in K-12 coding education:

What are the benefits of teaching coding?

Learning to code can be a game-changer for students, regardless of country. With the hopes of better integrating into the local emerging tech community, Chinese parents prepare their children for code learning before pre-school. And Singapore launched a tailored coding class for primary and secondary school students as early as 2014. India has even introduced coding from class six, based on the country’s new education policy. All of this is based on solid evidence: Computer science students are 17 percent more likely to go to college and have a successful career. Moreover, programming languages such as SQL, Java, JavaScript, C#, and Python are increasingly important to master regardless of profession or industry. The value of learning how to code isn’t only in the skill itself; it’s in the way of thinking, and that transfers to many other subjects. We won’t go into 10 reasons why coding is important, but we will show you why it’s an essential skill.

Why is coding in the K-12 classroom important?

Coding and robotics can help students develop critical skills for success after high school, highlighting the importance of coding in real life. Introducing students to coding and robotics gives them early exposure to STEM in general. This early exposure, according to research, is key to the future of the workforce. Aside from the cool factor K-12 coding and robotics offers, students will learn a number of skills they’ll take with them well into adulthood, including creativity, problem solving, and the ability to fail without quitting. These skills stick around even if students don’t pursue STEM-related study paths or careers later in their lives. Coding and robotics can be introduced in any subject, with a little creativity. Click through for 6 tools to help students develop these valuable STEM skills.

How are student benefited by learning coding?

Coding doesn’t always happen in typical ways. When coding for K-12 merges with storytelling, you have story coding, in which students use computational skills and design thinking as they demonstrate creativity across core curricular areas. Story coding–combining storytelling and coding–helps students develop critical skills. Story coding involves using computer programming to retell stories–students might summarize a story, write original stories, or use programming to create alternative endings to well-known stories. Learn more about how teachers can use story coding to bring history, science, world languages, ELA, and even math into their lessons.

Why is coding important for youth?

Students need programming skills for today and for the future. Many educators believe that all students need to have some programming experience in their life as the world is moving towards more automation. Simply having basic coding fundamentals is going to become more important to these youngsters, and we know that. The gamification of learning is one of many fun ways to learn coding and is a great way to teach technical topics that some students would naturally shy away from. Students cannot wait to show up, start programming, and start solving problems. It’s work, but because it’s fun, it just doesn’t feel like work to them. Here are 5 reasons to start a coding program in your district.    

How can I teach myself basic coding?

Coding is a necessary skill in today’s world, but it is relatively challenging to master, especially for kids. Its complexity is not necessarily because it is incomprehensible, but because it is a new concept for most students. This is especially the case for students in inner-city schools where technology is inevitably scarce due to systemic factors beyond the students’ control. With numerous programming languages available, it can take time to pick a starting point. Educators have found a solution to this problem: gamification. Platforms like CoderZ offer virtual programming services where children can learn code through games. These games make learning code both fun and engaging for kids. Through the CoderZ Robotics curriculum, kids learn to create, manage, and communicate with cyber robots in a virtual setting by inputting code. Block code is used because it is easier for children to understand and execute instead of complex text-based code. Learning is more accessible because virtual robots do not require hardware, space, or other associated costs. Learn more about online coding classes for kids.