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Technology is constantly changing, innovating and creating new ways of communicating and connecting to the world around us. Your child’s game console, cell phone and even calculators are powered by some form of code, but how does coding work? What does it mean? And why has it become such an important skill? The world of code is still pretty vague to most of us. It’s mysterious and a little intimidating to a lot of people—but Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD is changing that. Here’s everything you need to know about the secret language powering tech, why it’s important and where your kids can learn it.
What is computer coding?
In basic terms, coding is the computer language that develops our devices, software, websites and the millions of apps we use everyday, and it gives instructions about what they should do next. Without coding we wouldn’t have any of the technology we rely so much on today or the platforms that come with it, such as Facebook, Instagram, our favorite blog sites or even the blog themselves—it all runs on code.
Why is it important?
Gives a competitive advantage: Computer programmers are in very high demand, and according to Code.org, they encompass 71% of all new STEM jobs—yet only 8% of graduates major in Computer Science, which causes a major shortage. So teaching your child to learn code early could lead to a competitive advantage by becoming more desirable to employers and college admission officers.
Improves creativity and problem solving: It might not seem obvious, but coding encourages and empowers kids to flex the creative side of their brain. They are not simply consuming technology and digital media anymore—They are creating it and bringing it to life. Through code, they can do more than simply play video games; they can imagine and design their very own game, website or app. Coding also lets kids look at complex problems and break them down. They learn how to create a solution the way a software engineer would do—with rational, insightful and analytical thinking.
Instills persistence: Just like learning any new skill, learning to code is a challenge. Configuring complex problems will have its ups and downs, and mistakes will be made along the way—which can be frustrating for anyone. Coding encourages kids to continue trying and testing their projects by instilling the valuable skill of persistence and helping them understand the gratification of hard work through watching their creations come to life. Imagine how incredible it would feel to create your own video game, app or digital platform. Digital media has proven to be addictive to everyone, especially younger generations who have grown up with it. By working through the challenges of coding, it allows kids to understand the concepts and algorithms behind it and foster a healthier and more forward thinking relationship with it.
What is Command Coding Academy?
Did you know by the year 2020, there will be a one-million-person job gap in the area of computer science? This is why Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD is excited to launch Command Coding Academy beginning in Fall 2019. Although they have already implemented various coding programs in their elementary schools—which even includes an option to learn the basics of coding through playing Minecraft—they wanted to prepare their students for the high-growth rates and high demand for careers of the future. The Command Coding Academy is a Computer Science Immersion School that will make its debut at Davis Elementary, and it will be added to select middle schools in 2021. Students starting in kindergarten will begin acquiring a well-rounded understanding of how to utilize and create technology through being provided the skills necessary to transition from the consumer to the creator.