Start them coding young

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 10, 2018

Today’s technology comes with so many features we may never make full use of them all.

In fact, there are settings in your devices that may make your life easier, if you could just find them.

In that regard, have you ever allowed a child to use that same device, only to be surprised that they discovered a feature you never knew was there?

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Now is it possible that children in this age can pick up any electronic device and figure out how to adjust any number of settings without instructions. For some reason their young minds intuitively work out how to get the most of a device’s features.

Need to figure out how to change your background, increase the volume of a certain notification or create a new ringtone?

Hand it to a child, they will show you where that option is in the settings menu.

That’s why a new plan by the Mississippi Department of Education to expose students to computer science is a great idea.

This plan is not to just put tablets or computers into the hands of students, it will actually teach them how to write code, which is the basis for these devices.

When you touch or click on an icon on your device, code tells that device to launch that application and gives direction to how that application works.

Back in college, I took a computer program course, and let me tell you, writing code is not easy.

If you type one thing incorrectly, the entire program will crash or won’t work at all.

But it was interesting to see how complex and at the same time simple programming can be, provided you have the expertise and experience.

If students begin to learn how to write computer programs at a young age, those with the drive and natural ability will not only find a potential career path, they will also understand what drives the devices we have become increasingly reliant on.