kids and computer coding

Amy Mathers, at 14,  named European Digital Girl of the Year in 2013

 This BBC article brought attention to something that we have been talking about in our family lately. When I was in my 20's I was into computer coding, it's quite fun and it's like figuring out a puzzle. Today I certainly wish I would have stuck with it. It can be very rewarding for kids, they write the code and can see the results immediately! (no parental oversight necessary) They are learning a useful tool and you never know where it will take them in the future.

After reading the book "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell it was brought to my attention the story of Bill Gates (you will have to get the book to get the whole story.. it's a terrific book, very interesting for parents) and his early love of coding, which obviously led to his success. I think that the mystery and the 'game' of coding is great for kids and can take their love of apps and games and actually do something with it!

The BBC story talks about a "Manchester Coder Dojo" that, when it opened in 2009, had eight young kids turn up (all boys), today that same class is boasting 150 teenagers, a full house and it's free. "Many bring their own laptop, or their Rasberry Pi - a relatively simple computer for coding. And the parents who used to drop off their kids, and come back later, now often stay to see what is going on. The averarge age is about 10-and-a-half, but we have six-year-olds coming along" says Steven Flower who runs the group.

I have a friend who's 12 year old updates her website. He does a fantastic job and is already making money for himself!

I think it's exciting and I don't know about you... I would rather my kids are "building" something, rather than just playing games on their iTouch.

I'm sure you all have comments... so let's hear them!!