We live in the age of information technology. Modern children from an early age begin to master various computer devices and gadgets. For them it is as natural as learning to read and write. And computer literacy is just as important today as writing and reading skills. Over time, this trend will only intensify. After 20 years, the inability to think logically, understand the structure of the code and write it will be perceived in the same way as the illiteracy and ignorance of mathematics today.
Children growing up in the modern information environment are more and more interested in computer technology, the Internet and programming. On the one hand, this is good, since they have learned from an early age to understand computers and electronic devices, programs and various mobile applications. On the other hand, it’s bad that sometimes they are limited to the role of the consumer, content with the Internet and social networks, not infrequently to the detriment of live communication with peers and adults. But the IT sphere is not limited to computer games, YouTube videos, films and social networks, it is very extensive and multifaceted.
Specialists in this field are engaged in programming of artificial intelligence, development of "smart" technology, automation of various processes, and even creation of computer programs for flights into space. In almost any field, one way or another, one cannot do without programming and one can find application for it. Information technology is a huge world in which children have something to learn, it is a powerful tool for learning and development.
Even if a child is not going to devote his life to programming, there is a number of reasons why this skill may be useful in the future. According to recent studies on the labor market, the demand for IT professionals around the world is not only great but will certainly grow. In America alone, for example, more than 1.5 million job openings related to programming are offered, and only 400,000 graduates of the departments of information technology. 60% of the professions in demand are related to computer technology. According to statistics, 4 out of 10 of the highest paid jobs require programming experience. In addition, the average salary of IT specialists is 2 times higher than that of representatives of other professions. Therefore, it would be nice for children and their parents to think about mastering a profession that is either directly or indirectly related to information technology. And the sooner children begin to learn these skills, that’s better.
At what age should start teaching a child programming? Natural immersion in the information environment in children occurs unknowingly from the first year of life. A child sees how his parents use phones, tablets, laptops and intuitively understands that this is interesting.
From 1-1.5 years old, children themselves already begin to actively use these devices. And here it is important for parents to understand that a similar enthusiasm for information technology can adversely affect the development of children. They use tablets and watch TV, plunge into the virtual world and ignore communication with adults. Delay in development may occur. Indeed, at such an early age, the child needs to be developed with the help of live communication and games, to talk with him, to develop his logic. Therefore, up to 4 years of age, it is not recommended to overload the child’s brain with computer technology. After 4 years, when the child is already talking and there is communication with the outside world and people, you can purposefully build his or her IT training. As you know, children absorb material better than adults, because their brain easily perceives and assimilates new information, any knowledge will be absorbed efficiently. Learning programming is like learning a language, it is much easier to give when you are young. The age from 6 to 10 years is the time when the future career guidance is formed in children. It is important to guide the child correctly, picking up circles, courses, and classes in the company of their passionate like-minded people that meet his interests.
What qualities do children develop through programming?
1. Programming develops logical thinking
One of the most important aspects of programming is that it teaches you to think logically. Learning programming techniques also helps children develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are important not only in computer science, but also in life. This teaches them to break large tasks into smaller and more solvable ones. Children learn to find logical connections that will help them understand how to properly analyze different situations. This skill will be useful to everyone, not just those who want to develop software in the future.
2. Programming helps to understand the essence of computer technology.
In the process of writing code themselves, children will learn how sites, applications, and any other programs are arranged. This helps them not only to learn to understand high-quality and low-quality code, but also to better understand the world around everyday technologies, for example, for what reasons this or that device does not work.
3. Programming is applicable in any field of human activity.
Programming is far from a highly specialized skill. The programmer can develop websites, create mobile applications or video games. In addition, various software is used in areas such as social networks, banking, television, the automotive industry, technologies for smart homes, online shopping and many others. The ability to write code can be in demand in almost any area of our lives.
4. Programming contributes to the development of horizons
Learning to write programs broadens the horizons of children, forms a special way of thinking, which allows children to be successful in learning and other areas of their activities.
5. Programming is creativity and the possibility of self-expression
All people need self-fulfillment. It is vital for children to create and programming helps them to discover creative abilities. Learning how to write code, they will be able to create their own games, applications, websites and other projects. This develops their self-confidence, reveals creativity and provides tools for creating your own world with limitless possibilities.
6. Programming teaches you to work in a team and learn from the experience of others.
Joint work on the project teaches children to understand how their activities affect other people in the team, and how to find a common language with others. And the need to adapt the ready-made code for your tasks helps not only to learn the experience of other programmers, but also to bring something of your own.
7. Programming Expands Employment Opportunities
Today, programmers are in great demand in the labor market. Even if the child does not want to build a career in programming, basic development skills will be useful to him in life. As well as knowledge of a foreign language, knowledge of the basics of programming in the digital age is an indicator of the education of a potential employee for the employer.
In conclusion, we can say that most parents want their children to not only know how to use a smartphone or tablet - this is no longer enough, they need something more to succeed in the future. Programming is an important skill that not only contributes to the full development of the child, but also gives him or her a endless opportunities in life.