Wonderlane/flickr

Wonderlane/flickr

Coding is being more widely recognized as an essential part of today’s education, even for non-coding professions.

Coding helps to improve understanding of our increasingly technological world, as well as enhancing creativity and brain function, and also strengthens abilities in unrelated fields. The job market for coders today is at a deficit. Many companies cannot find the skills they need, and are requesting more frequently that something be done to improve awareness at the elementary school level.

Filling the app development skills gap is something that could take years. If and when coding is implemented in schools across the board, it will take time to have an impact on the job market.

How Can Education Fill the Gap?

Education can plant the seeds that spark children’s interest in app development and computer programming. Without exposure to it in school, many who would otherwise have been passionate and talented coders will never realize their potential.

Creativity

Learning coding is recognized to have cognitive benefits, much like how learning to read, write, and play music tap into a person’s creative potential. All of these things have been found to speed up cognitive development and learning capacity.

Introducing a new computing and coding curriculum into schools will open up new and potentially unexpected developments in cognitive growth, the benefits of which cannot be overemphasized.

Introducing a New I.T. Curriculum

Schools in America do not currently have widespread adoption of computer programming in their curricula, although there are initiatives in place that are helping to speed that process up.

Code.org runs a program that aims to introduce computer science into every American school. [tweetable alt=”Over 35,000 #teachers have signed up to use @codeorg #app #tutorials in their classrooms.” hashtag=””]Over 35,000 teachers have signed up to teach its tutorials in their classrooms,[/tweetable] as the New York Times reported earlier this year. Code.org runs free professional development workshops for teachers in 60 cities across the U.S.

The youngest kids these courses aim for with are four- to six-year-olds, who learn things like sequences, loops and events, internet safety, and collaboration within a group. Beyond the age of six, the courses begin to introduce algorithms, binary code, conditionals, and nested loops.

This might all sound too good to be true for software development companies in the U.S., but it is looking very likely that coding will be a standard part of the curriculum in American schools soon.

The U.K. has recently adopted a new curriculum to be introduced at the start of the new school year. It replaces the old I.T. course with a computing curriculum that includes coding lessons for students as young as five years old.

The former education secretary for the U.K. Michael Gove said this of the new U.K. schooling curriculum: “Our new curriculum teaches children computer science, information technology, and digital literacy: [tweetable alt=”The new #UK curriculum will teach #children how to #code #apps and #programs, says @MickGove.” hashtag=””]teaching them how to code and how to create their own programs; not just how to work a computer, but how a computer works and how to make it work for you.[/tweetable]”

Estonia long ago placed a priority on increasing computer literacy. It also implemented a program in 2012 that introduced kids to coding from the first grade, which teaches pupils how to code their own computer games.

Learning with Infinite Monkeys

Today, technology is undoubtedly an essential component of daily life–be it at the workplace, at home, or most especially, on the go. People have become highly reliant on mobile technology, especially smartphones and tablets, but most do not understand how it is made or how it works.

Infinite Monkeys operates an easy online app development framework, which can help both children and adults learn the benefits of building their own mobile apps and see the fruits of their labor first-hand. It encourages interest in mobile app coding and offers a glimpse into the education of the future.