Here are 6 charts all middle school parents should see. The charts are backed by data from reputed sources like the Brookings Institution, College Board, National Center for Education Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Gallup and more.
All middle school parents will find that these charts collectively reflect the kind of world our kids will be graduating into.
1. Computing jobs are the #1 source of new wages in the United States.
We also see that computing jobs are infiltrating in every field of study. Their growth is projected at twice the rate of all other jobs. This means that we, as parents, need to prepare our children with computing skills.
2. 71% of STEM jobs are in computing, but only 8% of STEM graduates are in computing.
3. The lifetime earnings of a computer science graduate are 40% more than a regular college graduate
With computer science skills permeating in every field of study, this gap will increase further!
4. You want your daughter to start computer science early.
The diversity problem persists over time. This happens is because although 91% of girls are aware of computer science, only 44% say they are willing to try it. This is similar for minorities — 53% of blacks and 54% of Hispanics are open to trying it.
5. Students enjoy computer science more than we think.
Out of several academic disciplines, here we see that students actually enjoy computer science. Surprising?
6. Most middle school parents want their child to learn computer science, but schools don’t teach it yet.
You want your child to learn to code. Your child isn’t that interested. It’s quite common.
Many parents ask us if we have ammunition that they can use to convince their child to learn to code. Something they can show their kids.
That is why we have compiled these videos that will move your child to consider learning to code.
Best way to engage someone is to start with where their current interests lie. That is why this list is organized based on interests.
1. For Everyone!
The video that started the coding for kids revolution. Starring Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, will.i.am, Chris Bosh, Jack Dorsey, Tony Hsieh, Drew Houston, Gabe Newell, Ruchi Sanghvi, Elena Silenok, Vanessa Hurst, and Hadi Partovi. (5 mins)
2. Dance & Code
“For the longest time, code was completely separate from dance. I never really put them together. And they were two completely different worlds until a few years ago when I got the idea to combine code and dance to create iLuminate.”
3. Videogame & Code
“I make a lot of things with code but they all go into one thing, which is a video game. There is more to video games that throwing a football around or driving a fast car. The great thing about making a video game is that it encompasses just about every creative activity that you can imagine.”
4. Animation & Code
“There is a million things you can do with code in animated films. You can use code to make a leaf flutter. You can make a giant head of red curly hair that moves appropriate with the character. You can make water. You can make schools of fish with code. You can have a car drive on a road with code. You can make cloth that moves with the characters. There are so many things you can do with it. It goes on and on and on”.
5. Fashion & Code
“I live in New York and I work at the intersection of fashion and technology. In order to dream big in the field of future fashion, it is essential to know a little bit about code. In the future, clothing will be fully responsive to our bodies. The building blocks of all of these innovations are having an understanding of code. I truly believe that if you get involved with code now you will be able to help build the future of the fashion industry.”
6. Music & Code
“If you want to make beats, I would start off putting loops together. It is sort of like you are building something in legos. You are putting together a whole bunch of things to build one song. I am wondergirl and my music is made with code.”
Kids should learn to code because certain benefits of coding help to build a foundational shift that is much needed in today’s world of technology.
Whether we read our favorite book, make our shopping list (remember our dear Alexa?), or talk to our friends (yes, I mean Whatsapp!), we use software apps. These apps enable us to do everything in a more fun-filled way.
To fully understand the benefits of coding for kids (other than landing a high paying job), we asked many educational leaders one question:
What would you say is the single most important benefit of a child learning to code?
Here is what we learned.
Carol L. Fletcher, Ph.D.,
Deputy Director, Center for STEM Education
The University of Texas @ Austin
“Coding is uniquely beneficial for students because it combines two kinds of learning experiences that are often separate in traditional schooling. Systematic problem solving, logical thinking, and iterative design principles can be paired with creativity and a student ownership when kids use coding to create projects that have meaning to them personally. Coding by its nature forces students to try, fail, and try again, thus helping kids become critical thinkers with the grit and commitment to persevere because they are motivated by the opportunity to create something truly personal and social at the same time.”
Technology Officer for Learning and Systems
Austin Independent School District
“In one word, kids can learn “Empathy”. It might seem counter-intuitive, but coding is very much about cause and effect. It requires an understanding of how others will act, interact, and react to the program that is created. There can be a strong connection to human values.”
Dr. Shawnterra Moore
South San Francisco Unified School District
“It opens other doors for students who know how to code and helps them so they become more comfortable with problem solving and finding new ways to approach and tackle complex problems.”
DIRECTOR, WOMEN IN ENGINEERING PROGRAM
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS @AUSTIN
“Coding can help children learn the power of persistence. When a child codes, experiences challenges or failures, problem solves, tries again, perhaps fails again and again, and then eventually persists and succeeds, she gains confidence in her abilities and is more likely to embrace the growth mindset. Being able to persist through challenges and to believe you can figure it out are critical in STEM…and life!
director of instructional technology
round rock INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
“Students of all ages benefit from learning the foundations of code because the logic, reasoning and computational thinking required translates into better performance in other academic areas. Just like algebraic thinking improves one’s capacity to process and learn new information, the process of assembling code logically to achieve a result requires higher cognitive skills which must be developed with practice. And since most children enjoy apps and games, motivating them to practice these skills is much easier.”
These thoughts from our education experts definitely hammer down one argument – we need to equip our kids with proper coding skills by the time they reach college. But, it’s more important to realize that if kids learn to code, they develop skills that cannot be taught through the traditional education system.
One of the biggest benefits of learning how to code is that kids learn how to blend imagination and creation. Coding allows our little dreamers to be entrepreneurs anywhere in the world. It allows them to bring their ideas into reality by writing the software.
It’s not to say that everyone needs to be an entrepreneur. But being entrepreneurial in attitude and approach to whatever you do, should be the way of life. This is what we need to teach our kids too.
All these essential skills, which are instilled through learning programming at an early age, will ultimately open up more opportunities for our children. They will definitely have the edge to thrive in the future.
If you have been looking for a good coding program for your child, you might be wondering what to look for.
Here are the most important things to look for if your child is to learn meaningful coding skills over time, while enjoying the whole process.
Coding is a hard subject to learn by themselves, unless your child is exceptionally motivated and disciplined. All the self-paced video courses help with the initial few steps, but as soon as your child gets stuck, there is no one to help. And that is when most students get frustrated and give up. If the classes are taught by an experience instructor, they can help answer your child’s question, get them unstuck and keep them moving forward.