Your children love spending time in front of the computer. But you’re afraid that they’ll have too much screen time, be exposed to too many things on the internet or play too many games which will, perhaps, melt their fragile brains. They may not be that into sports or huge fans of the outdoors (or maybe they are) but you need them to DO SOMETHING with their summer besides sit indoors and obsess about Roblox or Minecraft.

Here’s the solution: send them to computer camp (or STEAM camp if we’re going to use the most current lingo) so they can learn programming. Here’s why: according to Dan Crow over at the Guardian (and probably about a million other sources I’m not listing here), every child should learn how to program a computer. What’s more, learning to program has become FUN (gasp!) through open source pieces of software like Scratch, Tynker, Python, Ruby, etc. Instead of sitting in front of the computer playing other people’s games, they program their own.

Here’s an excerpt for the aforementioned article:

“Software is the language of our world

Software is becoming a critical layer of all our lives. It is the language of our world. In the future, not knowing the language of computers will be as challenging as being illiterate or innumerate are today.

Will every job in the future involve programming? No. But it is still crucial that every child learns to code.

This is not primarily about equipping the next generation to work as software engineers, it is about promoting computational thinking. Computational thinking is how software engineers solve problems. It combines mathematics, logic and algorithms, and teaches you a new way to think about the world.

Computational thinking teaches you how to tackle large problems by breaking them down into a sequence of smaller, more manageable problems. It allows you to tackle complex problems in efficient ways that operate at huge scale. It involves creating models of the real world with a suitable level of abstraction, and focus on the most pertinent aspects. It helps you go from specific solutions to general ones.

The applications of this approach stretch beyond writing software. Fields as diverse as mechanical engineering, fluid mechanics, physics, biology, archeology and music are applying the computational approach. In business we are beginning to understand that markets often follow rules that can be discerned using computational analysis.”

Read the full article from The Guardian HERE.

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