Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Part 1: Why is Teaching Children to Program so Important?

This post is the first in a series of several blog posts about teaching children to program.  The first few posts will discuss why it is important, how it can help children get ready for the future (is it an easy way to get a job?) and what skills it can impart.  I'll then give you some ideas about how you can make a start and tell you how other people are teaching children to program.  I will also discuss how it can be an excellent way to introduce Project Based Learning (PBL) - see our post '10 Benefits of Project Based Learning (PBL)'.  Stay tuned, this post is a bit of a teaser and a short introduction to the posts over the next few weeks.

Image coutesy of Fort Meade on Flickr.

The ability to program has the potential to become another essential 21st century skill that children are said to need to have a successful career in today’s world.  Along with being a 21st century skill in itself, learning to program also imparts other 21st century skills in learners such as systems thinking, logic and problem solving.  To learn more about 21st century skills see our post, '21st Century Skills and Games Based Learning'.

Developer and mentor to aspiring programmers Joe O’Brien believes that programming skills are important even in non-technical jobs.  "Not that we want everyone to go out and create Web programs and write the next Twitter, but I think having a base understanding of what happens behind the curtain can be huge,” he said.  “Even if a CEO never codes for her company, just understanding what is happening is going to be huge for her from a risk standpoint, from an understanding standpoint,” he added. “CEOs need to have a lot of knowledge of a lot of different things and programming is a large part of that.”

According to Maurya Couvares, co-founder of ScriptEd, “Coding will be the key to innovation in the future but many students, but especially low-income students, aren’t exposed to it.”  Bill Gates, Google’s Eric Schmidt and Meg Whitman from Hewlett-Packard along with other tech icons agree.  They have developed Code.org, a non-profit producer of programming videos.  They firmly believe that coding, programming and computer science will be the language of the 21st century.  Code.org’s Hadi Partovi argues, "In a world that's increasingly run on technology, computer science is a liberal art that every student should be exposed to, regardless of their path in life.”

That is why teaching to children to program could be so important.  Check back soon for our article 'Learning to Program: An Easy Way to Get a Job?'  The links below will become active as the posts are uploaded.

Please follow @paulladley on Twitter, games-ED on Pinterest and like games-ED’s Facebook and Google+ pages for blog updates and other interesting games based learning findings.

Pin It


  1. I'm already convinced! I'm using some iOS apps at home to build foundational skills with my Kindergartener and preschooler. There is some interest among other parents at my son's elementary school, so I want to try and run an afterschool class. I look forward to parts 4 and 5, as I need help and suggestions!

    1. That's great! I hope you have read parts 4 and 5, let me know what you think. And keep us updated about how you get on. Thanks for your comment.

  2. We are India packers and movers services providers, we offer world class packing and moving services in all over India. We pack home goods, office goods and company goods. Visit our website below -
    Noida packers and movers
    Delhi packers and movers
    Gurgaon packers and movers
    Faridabad packers and movers
    Ghaziabad packers and movers
    Delhi movers and packers

  3. Thanks for the best blog.it was very useful for me.keep sharing such ideas in the future as well.this was actually what i was looking for,and i am glad to came here!
    five nights at freddy's 3 | five nights at freddy's 2 | fireboy and watergirl 3 | 2048 game online | duck life 3 | fireboy and watergirl 6 | age of war