Kids who grow up today live in a technologically advanced world where countless aspects of everyday life take place within a digital format. The internet is not just a place where kids communicate with friends or like-minded people — it’s also where they play and learn.
Introducing young children to core computer concepts like how to code helps set them up in various ways for a lifetime of safety while they surf. Please continue reading to hear more about how learning to code can help protect children online.
Young children are adept learners because their brains are getting used to the structure and sequencing of code. They can soak up new languages through gamification and reward mechanics, and coding itself is a form of language.
Just like children learn how to read and write to safely navigate the offline world, learning how to code is the equivalent underlying skill that makes the digital world easier to understand and therefore safer.
Once they’ve obtained such coding skills, they’re better positioned to understand how the internet works while browsing. The lateral, logical thinking learning to code helps impart will serve them well moving forwards online.
Online safety requires risk assessment, a habit our online coding for kids classes help to develop. We teach kids as young as seven how to use real coding languages like Python. Smartphones and screens are a reality for young kids today, so they may as well learn how they work.
When a coder makes a mistake, they don’t beat themselves up over it. They simply correct it. Coders view mistakes as an inevitable part of the process of getting things right.
In other words, learning to code primes kids for accepting that mistakes happen, and when they do, they need to be corrected. Once they understand right from wrong and what is and isn’t a mistake, they’ll be safer online.
Here are some examples of important lessons knowing how to code teaches:
One reason why learning how to code is life changing is that the lessons and skills it imparts are widely transferrable.
The online world is vast and wonderful, but there are many dark corners controlled by anonymous avatars that can sweep up unsuspecting people if they aren’t careful. Make sure your child isn’t one of them by talking about trolling and explaining why it’s wrong.
Negative, toxic behaviours may get some anonymous users a type of short-lived online dominance in games like Minecraft, but it is terrible for the people who get trolled, and ultimately even for the troll themselves.
Learning how to code gives people the tools to become a force for good online. The term “ethical hackers” refers to those who protect servers and people from malicious users by fixing bugs or writing server scripts to prevent online cheating.
Make a plan for online learning for your child now, while their mind and digital habits are still forming. They need to learn technical ways to use coding for good, but differentiating between right and wrong in an ethical sense is something they can only learn at home from their parents.
When children learn how to code, they need to be in the right teaching environment. RP4K sessions have a maximum of four students per teacher, so there’s never a struggle to get their teacher’s attention.
Plus, we feel it’s important to hire teachers who skew on the younger side, usually Computer Science and Computer Engineering students. There are at least two reasons why we do this.
Young teachers also grew up playing video games as children. Since the RP4K classes revolve around teaching kids how to program their own video games, we think it’s crucial to learn from people who know what gaming in youth is like.
Young teachers are also native to a digital world because they grew up playing video games at home. They have first-hand experience not just in coding but being in online spaces that can be harmful and unsafe, making them well-placed to be good mentors and positive role models for kids.
Plus, young teachers have recent experience learning how to code in high school and beyond. They’ve also navigated the job market, so they can share relevant insights about where coding will take them in the future.
Learning how to be safe online is crucial, as is knowing how to be safe and productive offline, too. Learning how to code at RP4K teaches both. If you need online classes that teach coding for kids in Toronto and the GTA, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We will teach your children how to code, but it’s good practice to ask how the sessions went and unpack what they learned. Reviewing what they’re doing in sessions helps them memorize the content simply by recalling it.
It’s also healthy to talk about other things they’re doing and seeing online. Such conversations can lead to broader talks about online hazards that may be difficult to discuss, such as cyberbullying, sexting, phishing scams, and online predators.
21st-century kids need 21st-century computer skills for school and their eventual entry into the workforce. They don’t have to design video games, but coding abilities can be used in a wide variety of jobs in other sectors. Learning how to code early in life can also shape people in indelible ways, impacting their thought patterns and decision-making abilities.
It’s likely that as time goes on, the world is only going to become more digital. Knowing how to code is like a lodestar you can use to understand the digital world that’s all around you. Put another way, the digital world is akin to the water in which we all swim, and having more control while swimming keeps you safe.