There is fear, an overpowering fear of loss, of being left out or becoming marginalized in this pandemic. Reason and logic are in short supply, which is understandable. One can choose not to act, and wait for science to help humanity.
We have to become humans again. Most of us still remain the consumer that we have turned ourselves into. And the consumer is gullible – waiting to be exploited. First to exploit us was the news production industry. Then came the entertainment sector. Now is the time of a few half-baked Edutech firms.
While the households were trying to make sense of online education to keep children engaged in productive ventures and giving a sense of value in the education process, some companies are masquerading as do-gooders.
One has been seeing advertisements on coding. It is being offered as education for young children. Some ads spoke of the coding courses as a money-making skill which lured parents in. Just because children have been exposed to tech through online education, the process of learning coding should not be sold as an extension of the inevitable – the online education.
Computer language coding is not for everyone. It is a choice and not a compulsion like online education.
Coding is the process of using a programming language to get a computer to behave how you want it to. Every line of code tells the computer to do something, and a document full of lines of code is called a script. Each script is designed to carry out a job.
Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program to accomplish a specific computing result or to perform a specific task.
There is an argument that when children learn to code, it helps them to develop essential skills such as problem solving, logic and critical thinking. But these qualities of life should be learnt in the real world, through individual experiences and through interaction with society.
Children are naturally curious and creative. But coding is not the answer to enhance these gifts. Coding education is like monoculture. It will destroy diversity.
Parents are being sucked into this not so necessary skill learning because of the fear of being left out of technological revolution. Mobile apps are just interfaces. They are means to a solution. We should not be in the illusion that technology will provide answers to our problems.
Use children’s curiosity and creativity in resolving issues before they become problems. Coding is like a box with limited options. Children have to be free and should think creatively, innovatively, and expansively in an unstructured manner.
Our children already spend too much time in front of computer screens, and coding classes add additional screen time that takes away from other more beneficial activities.
On a lighter note, we can say that programming languages aren’t necessarily going to help them get a job in 10 years because they will probably not be the hot stuff down the lane, in a decade. On a serious note, we would like to emphasize that a coding class should teach concepts and develop intuition about how computers solve problems. That’s a skill a child should learn and they will thank you later for teaching them the same.