We recently hosted a "Code Camp" with Animal Jam focused on kids ages 10-13.
Learning to code is much more than just learning about letters and numbers and computers. If you watch kids engage with technology in a way that allows them to create and manipulate it, you can see the lights turn on. Kids feel empowered about what they can do, and what they might be able to do in the future.
In getting ready for the code camp we hosted for Animal Jam, I had my kids help test out some of the "modules" or activities that we would have at the code camp. On the drive out to that meeting, my daughter and her friend were talking about how cool it would be to grow up and be interior designers - which is awesome. My daughter is creative and she would love it.
On the drive home, after learning a little bit about 3D modeling and web design, the conversation changed just a little. "Wouldn't it be cool to be an interior designer AND an architect? We could design the outside AND inside of homes!" In that 2 hours we spent playing with technology, my daughter's mind opened just a little bit more to what the possibilities were for her and what she can do.
Some stats on coding
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- According to The Kapor Center for Social Impact:
108 coding programs were started between 2010 and 2013, 63 of which are focused on women or girls. Since 2005, the number of high schools offering computer science has fallen 35%, and only 5% of high schools offer AP Computer Science. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, computing is one of the fastest growing job markets through 2018.
- A Georgetown University study estimated that from 2005-2018 there will be a 2.2 - 2.6% annual employment increase in computer and mathematical science occupations and 700,000 of the 800,000 new jobs will be for computer specialists.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of coding jobs in America is set to grow by 30% in 2020
Why is coding important for kids?
- Today's world is all digital, it's important for kids to understand the logic behind how things work (smartphones, mobile apps, computer games, etc.)
- Coding is becoming the language of the world; we're living in a digital society where everything is online and dominated by software
- Technology is ever-evolving, and eventually every job will be technical. It's important for kids to be equipped with this coding knowledge now to be more sufficient and prepared for the future
- By learning how to code, a child can learn how to train their mind in a different way, strategize creatively to solve a problem, to design a project or to communicate an idea. They also learn how to build on what others have already created -- which will improve their chances of being employed in the future
Coding helps kids develop logical thinking, creativity, and builds confidence. Ask your school what their technology curriculum entails, look for local summer "code" camps, and inquire with your local university or community college's continuing education programs to see what your community has to offer!
Post Sponsored By Animal Jam
About Animal Jam:
Take on the role of your favorite animal and get ready to Play Wild! Your animal avatar can explore the massive land of Jamaa, from Coral Canyons to the Bahari Bay, while making new friends, participating in fun parties, and customizing its den. Discover awesome facts about the plants, animals, and natural wonders around you. National Geographic Animal Jam is an online virtual playground for children who love animals and the outdoors and is the result of an ongoing creative collaboration between Smart Bomb Interactive and National Geographic. With a goal of providing a fun, exciting, and safe environment for kids to play online, National Geographic Animal Jam also inspires kids to explore and protect the natural world outside their doors.