Will your child become the next Zuckerberg or Pichai by learning to code?

Coding Education for young children is the current buzzword in the Edtech industry. You often come across ads that show Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and some space next to them suggesting your child could be the next Tech Entrepreneur. These are misleading ads and merely a marketing gimmick.

We generate approximately one million programmers every year, thanks to thousands of engineering colleges that sprang up during the IT boom at the beginning of this century. So, why should your child learn coding at an early age when we already have millions of programmers? Do we want to produce more engineers? Why should they not choose other professions like law, architecture, medicine, music, and photography?

Kids should learn to code because they learn Computational Thinking & Algorithmic Intelligence in the Coding Courses. To put it in simple words – the capacity to break down an issue in an organized way and use diverse faculties like Creativity and Problem Solving to develop the answer.

The second crucial question is “why do our kids need this; we never learned to code?” It is an excellent question from a parent’s standpoint. After all, people come from various walks of life and are successful without learning any sort of Coding. This would be an excellent argument if the world had not changed the way it did in the previous decades with technology advancing with lightning speed.

The world has been and is being transformed by Artificial Intelligence – from Edtech to Foodtech to LegalTech to AgriTech; clever Technology is driving and changing everything. Imagine the world 20 years from now for any professional, be it a lawyer or a doctor or some other professional. Will the courts and legal transactions stay the same as today? No, they will not. We already have simple things like stamp duty and filings moving online. Elderly people or even middle-aged people who are not tech-savvy and lack a certain level of computer literacy struggle to deal with these changes. In the age of AI in the future, a lawyer must know the basics of Computing and how to use AI-driven technologies apart from being an excellent lawyer. Things will not be much different for a medical professional either, or any other professional.

We have witnessed the role played by Information Technology during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the future, nearly all operations from basic activities like writing prescriptions to complicated things like diagnosing severe diseases will be AI-driven. It will be extremely important for doctors to understand AI as much as the human body.

Recently, a music producer based out of Los Angeles spoke about the challenges he faced when he moved to Los Angeles from Mumbai. He said when he graduated from a music school 12 years ago, music would be recorded with vocals in a single setting. These days, music tech is utilized to sync voices, instrumentals, and other audio inputs. He faced great difficulties because he lacked expertise in computational technology and programming skills that could have given him an edge in his music career.

The last and most essential question is “what and how long to learn?” Start with tools like Scratch Junior available for Android and iOS. It is a free tool and a fantastic method to teach your youngster coding. If your child enjoys what he does on Scratch or Blockly, then enroll him in Teacher-Led children’s coding lessons for 12-16 hours on online platforms like GreatSkools. For most youngsters, this exposure combined with an opportunity to tinker with projects will serve as a strong foundation in coding. It’s as excellent as some kids excelling in Mathematics and choosing Non-Mathematics-based jobs and flourishing.

We also have those students who love coding and choose new-age jobs in AI like Machine learning & Game Design. Such kids should enroll in Python or CSS-JavaScript classes, which are foundational courses for Machine Learning and UI development respectively.

An extremely common query is “will my kid get a certificate?” A certificate is simply a document that may be shared with a third party to certify that your child has completed a course and aced a subject. Certification by various institutions, Edtechs to enrolled students is merely a marketing gimmick with no ultimate learning consequences.

Enroll in Courses that allow your kid to be tested on learning outcomes and offer an opportunity to receive a graded certificate by an impartial third party. Go for a platform that will provide your kid with all the essential skills without charging a hefty fee. Khan Academy has videos on various concepts and courses. If you prefer 1:1 personalized attention with a live teacher then GreatSkools charges a minimal fee, has excellent teachers and provides 1:1, 1:2, and 1:3 live classes based on what the student is comfortable with. Their curriculum is tailor-made for every student. Khan Academy is a completely free platform that offers a variety of videos, but since it only provides recorded videos, students might find it difficult to clear doubts. Udemy is a platform that offers courses at low prices, but like the Khan Academy, it only provides recorded videos. Juni Learning offers numerous courses but charges a lot when compared to the aforementioned competitors.

So, you should be careful before investing in any company as your child’s future depends on it. Do good research about Edtech at professional networks such as LinkedIn and take demo classes before you choose. A giant Edtech with thousands of customers may have a good technology platform and infrastructure but may not pay attention to your child’s needs. If you prefer personal attention and customization to your needs then an early stage Edtech should be considered.

About GreatSkools:

GreatSkools, a Delaware USA-based Edtech, provides 1:1 online STEM education in Computer Science, Mathematics, Science & Technology, and English, and is operational in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, India, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.