Coding is the new language and kids are drawn to it, creating interactive apps and games. If you’re wondering whether you should encourage your kids to learn coding or would just like to learn more about it, these Ted Talks should prove helpful.
Let’s teach kids to code
Should your child learn coding? Mitch Resnick of MIT Media Lab makes a case for it in this Ted Talk, where he talks about making young people fluent in new technologies. This would mean they learn to “write their own computer programs, or code”. From interactive Mother’s Day cards to games, kids are using the online platform to hone their coding skills. This opens the door to other learning opportunities as well. Explains Resnick, “If you learn to code, you can code to learn. Now some of the things you can learn are sort of obvious. You learn more about how computers work. But that’s just where it starts. When you learn to code, it opens up for you to learn many other things.”
A delightful way to teach kids about computers
For programmer and storyteller Linda Liukas, coding started as a way to express her “mad teenage crush” on then US vice president Al Gore through a website she built in fan girl tribute at the age of 14, progressing from crayons to computers. Little girls, she says, are unaware that they’re actually not supposed to like computers, “Little girls are amazing. They are really, really good at concentrating on things and being exact and they ask amazing questions like, ‘What?’ and ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ and ‘What if?’ And they don’t know that they are not supposed to like computers. It’s the parents who do.” Computer science, she reiterates, is not a “weird science discipline that only belongs to the mystery makers”. Coding, she tells us, is the next universal language, just like punk music in the seventies.
A 12-year-old app developer
Twelve-year-old Thomas Suarez taught himself to create iPhone apps like “Bustin Jeiber” and wished to help other kids become developers. In this talk, he tells us how he started an app club at school, sponsored by his teacher. His plan, he shares, is to create more apps, more games and “get into Android programming and development”.