1. Making thinking visible
We know that young students are concrete thinkers and are beginning to follow step-by-step directions. These beginning stages of following first one step, then two steps, then multiple steps, are the start of algorithmic thinking in action. While the youngest learners may not understand this abstract concept, we can use computer science to make their thinking visible.
2. Sustaining Creativity
Coding allows students to be creative without being wrong. If something doesn’t work, the student must analyze what isn’t working, ask why isn’t working, and determine how to correct it so that it does work. In essence, coding is the process of continually making mistakes, learning from them, and correcting them.
3. Encouraging Computational Thinking
Coding exposes students to computational thinking, which involves problem-solving using computer science concepts. It enhances a student’s capabilities of Computational Thinking in a highly effective way.
4. Fostering Future-Ready Skills
- The Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) developed a framework describing the “skills, knowledge and expertise students should master to succeed in work and life in the 21st century. These skills, often referred to as the 4 C’s, are critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.
- Creativity and critical thinking can be used with coders of all ages. Coding allows the user to become the creator of the content, rather than just the consumer of content. When we consume content, we are learning about the “What” and the “How”, but when we create content, we have engaged the “Why” of learning.
5. Empowering students to take action
- Coding is about applying skills and creativity to solve problems.
- Coding can be used to create real-world contexts for students.