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Your Brain on Computer Programming

Published on March 17, 2022 | Posted in  

The human brain is a fascinating thing. The number of synaptic connections firing per second at any one time is impressive and learning how to code computers involves lots of focus and concentration.

A child’s brain develops gradually over the years, and what they do along the way can help or harm this process. Knowing how to code computers is a language skill that also exercises the parts of the brain associated with math, logical problem solving, and more.

Let’s take a closer look at why computer programming is so healthy for children’s mental development.

Math Skills

Parents understand right away that doing math is good for the brain. RP4K was founded by a mathematician, and we’re proud to embed secret math lessons into every class.

Young children will learn to code and program video games at RP4K, which motivates them as nothing else can. They’ll have so much fun that they won’t even realize they’re learning concepts like integers, vectors, and trigonometry.

Writing bug-free code takes good math skills and algorithmic, computational thinking. Learning how to code computers exercises the same mental muscle students need when doing math. Why? Because knowing math is a fundamental requirement to knowing how to code.

Comfort with Mistakes

One of the hardest lessons that students of all ages struggle with is getting comfortable making mistakes. Workers in creative industries tend to let go of the expectations of perfection earlier because they know that art involves choices and that perfection is unattainable.

Mathematicians tend to believe that mistakes are avoidable if you do everything right. This may be true with a specific math problem, but math problems are all undertaken in the service of a particular goal or objective. In a broader sense, computer programmers make all kinds of decisions about what to code, not just how to code it.

Coders must develop an understanding that mistakes are an essential part of the learning process. The point isn’t merely that sometimes mistakes happen and are unavoidable; it’s that they should happen because they provide meaningful data that can’t be ascertained any other way.

Children’s tolerance for mistakes will help them when they take up other disciplines or subjects. Kids shouldn’t beat themselves up over errors. Such acceptance of mistakes helps lay an excellent foundation for their self-esteem.

The subject of how coding improves your mind has to do with measurable criteria but also intangible qualities that escape quantification.

Coding is a Language

Parents often want their kids to learn multiple languages for practical reasons and because it’s good for the brain. You are unlikely to use JavaScript when ordering food in France, though knowing it reinforces and exercises the parts of the mind used for other languages.

At RP4K, we’re proud to teach coding languages that pros use in the field to build the world’s most influential video games, apps, websites, and more. Enroll in our classes to learn coding languages, such as:

  • Python
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • C#
  • C++

Kids must get important secondary language skills that help them in school and beyond. They also need directly transferrable computer skills they’ll need when it’s time to enter the workforce or launch a solo project.

Children will stimulate the language-processing parts of their brain when they learn to code. While coding doesn’t have a vocabulary or alphabet, it has its own system of commands, abbreviations, and ways of arranging text that form the rules for communication.

Memory Improvement

Coding involves trial and error and investigation, but students also learn what worked and what didn’t and put this knowledge to good use. Working memory becomes a crucial cognitive skill that improves how you code.

As you get better at coding, your working memory will improve naturally. Improved memory is associated with various activities requiring brainpower, like playing music, chess, video games, and reading. Coding is right up there with things that force the mental muscles driving memory to break a sweat.

At Real Programming 4 Kids in Toronto, our lessons keep your child’s mind sharp and active.

STEM Skills and the Developer Mind-state

It’s widely believed that learning STEM skills and coding can help children learn to learn, improving their performance in unrelated disciplines. Microsoft founder Bill Gates once said, “learning to write programs stretches your mind and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.”

Group of people around a table with laptops, hard at work

Various findings and research help support this idea. However, while coding may be associated with improvements in other measured skills, evidence suggests the transfer doesn’t just happen automatically. It must be trained into kids in learning environments that are student-centred, cognitively activating, supportive, and where there’s ample time.

Having young teachers with deep expertise in computer science in small groups is the ideal learning scenario, which is why RP4K hires computer science undergraduate students and caps off class sizes at four students per teacher. In such a supportive atmosphere, our online coding for kids courses provide students with all the assistance they need to develop STEM skills and problem solve like an engineer.

Practical Life Questions, Answered

Hiring younger teachers has another significant benefit: they can answer questions about coding beyond high school and how to navigate the job market. Their recent experience in these areas is crucial.

Students are looking to develop their minds and keep them sharp and active. They also need to get practical advice from people with relevant first-hand experience. Keeping the mind active is its own reward, but it’s even better when it can be leveraged to secure a fascinating, high-paying job one day.

People go to the gym to keep their bodies fit while other people do crossword puzzles to do the same thing with their minds. Learning to code helps children’s brains develop and strengthens several cognitive abilities. Even if your child doesn’t ever become a professional coder, software engineer, or some other profession that relies on computers, online coding classes are a safe way to have fun from home.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our programs or answer any questions you may have.

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