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In recent years, the importance of programming has
become a subject of increasing international awareness,
moving from the narrow domain of the “geek” to
the broader world, including the K-12 education space.
President Obama endorsed mandatory computer programming
education in schools. And recently, a viral
video from encouraged students to learn to
code. For those of us in Silicon Valley, it is especially
clear that the ability to code is taking on an unprecedented
level of importance.
Programming hasn’t become this popular by accident.
There is a growing understanding that knowing how to
program is essential, especially for younger generations.
Simply memorizing facts is less and less relevant
in a world where Google can satisfy just about any
question in a matter of milliseconds; it is technical skills
that will enable children to succeed, and that set of skills
must include programming.
Here are a few reasons why learning programming is
1. Programming is a basic literacy in the digital age.
Kids are growing up in a very different world than
that of their parents. Cell phones, computers, YouTube,
Netflix, and Facebook are embedded in their daily lives.
Even toys are digital, and many are programmable,
such as Legos and the new-generation LeapFrogs.
It is one thing to know how to use these technologies.
It’s another, however, to understand the logic behind
them. When learning to program, kids understand and
tinker with the digital world they inhabit. Coding draws
back the seeming “magic” of technology so they can
truly understand the logic and science that controls this
technology – a discovery that is all the more magical.
Our reliance on technology will only increase. The
students of today must be able to not only passively
consume this technology, but also understand and control
it, becoming an active part of this huge digital shift.
2. Programming can change the world.
For the last several centuries, people relied on the
written word to spread ideas. The ability to write was the
ability to create change. Today, writing is not enough:
to enact change, it is crucial to leverage the digital
Consider the Arab Spring. Social media enabled a
revolutionary wave of protests and demonstrations that
changed the course of the Middle East. Writing played a
crucial role in exposing the injustices taking place in the
region, but people also needed a way to organize and
protest. An essay, no matter how well-written, couldn’t
have brought about this change by itself.
We’re seeing all around us that programming is
changing the world!
3. “You have an idea for the next big innovation?
Great. Can you bring it to life?”
Everyone has ideas. Only a select few can make them
happen. The ability to code separates those who merely
have an idea from those who can make their ideas a
If you want your child to be a thinker and innovator
who can bring ideas to life, encourage him or her to
learn how to program. Programming gives children confidence
that they can be designers and builders.
4. Programming doesn’t have to be hard to learn.
In fact, Tynker makes it a straightforward process.
One of Tynker’s most important features is that it gives
immediate feedback, which is crucial for learning programming.
If a child programs an object to move in a
certain way and then immediately sees the results they
wanted, then they know they’ve manipulated the code
correctly. This type of instant positive reinforcement is
an incredibly powerful educational tool.
Learning how to program is like learning any other
language in that the skill must be practiced and tested
out. Just as languages open up the ability to communicate
with worlds of people, programming gives children
the ability to create technologies that impact those
around them. With just a computer, kids can use their
programming skills to build things that could change
the world.
Tynker’s guided learning systems allow kids to choose
their own learning path and transition from block-based
coding to text coding when they’re ready. If your child
likes Minecraft, they’ll love learning to code as they mod
Minecraft. And children with a passion for gaming can
learn to code as they build their own games.
If your kids aren’t already learning to program, now’s
the time to start! For even more great information check
out Take a peek – there’s a whole wonderful
world out there and most of us are just missing it!

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