Learning to Think

Until yesterday I’d somehow missed the whole code.org phenomenon. So it was with both surprise and a little pleasure that I came across this video.

My opinion is undoubtably coloured by the fact that coding has been good to me these last 20 years. But even before I began my career I was coding for fun at school, and it’s partly an effect of this style of coding – learning analytical skills – that I think the video promotes best.

Developing the confidence to know that we can tackle any problem, the skill to break it down into manageable processes and the diligence to tackle them one by one through to completion is, I think, something that coding affords young people in a ready-made package.

And while my kids are a bit young to be coding in Java or C or LISP, not long ago we discovered Light Bot 2 (a fullscreen link may also work), in which they can “program” an on-screen robot through a series of mazes, using blocks representing its discrete actions. And surprisingly, at ages 4 and 7, both kids can get quite far through it.

I’m not expecting my kids to become programmers. But showing them a little of how computers work, and making it fun, can only be enabling.



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