How coding can make your kids safer online

“In schools across the country, students are now learning digital citizenship along with how to play nice on the playground,” Sarah Brown writes for Intego. “Cursive is being traded out for keyboarding, and coding is becoming as much a second language as Spanish or French.”

“All this emphasis on childhood coding may seem like overkill, but it can actually be one of the best ways to help children become responsible digital citizens,” Brown writes. “With youngsters getting online as early as three years old, parents can no longer ignore the importance of providing children with the tools they need to navigate the online world safely.”

“Learning how to code helps children better understand the digital world in which they live. Just as reading and writing are crucial skills that enable your children to navigate the offline world safely and effectively, coding similarly provides the skills necessary to traverse the cyber world with greater savvy and security,” Brown writes. “Children will also learn vital digital skills like proper online etiquette, how to protect their identity online, and how to identify potential cyber threats like malware or viruses. And, perhaps best of all, kids must comply with explicit community and privacy policies in most educational coding communities, which primes them to adopt healthy online habits from the start.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Teach the kids to code!

And, teach them cursive, too!

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    1. Of course it can. The more they code and understand how much computers and programmers can do, the more they will realize how easily information can be taken, used, stored and manipulated for fun or for less honourable or ethical reason. This is true for anyone who learns to code and they sooner a person learns the better.

      1. That is based on the assumption that they will have the desire/interest/proclivity to code in the first place and that just isn’t reality. You can’t think like yourself a programmer, you have to actually put yourself in their shoes. Your modality of thinking is precisely what led to UIs being mostly inconsistent poop in the 90s due to the fact that engineers envision usage very differently from everyday users. They do not possess your contextual understanding, and many never will. They must still utilize these tools. therein lies your challenge, and it will be a quick trip to bankruptcy if you insist others reorient themselves to you in this regard. It doesn’t matter how hard it is pushed or even if it is codified into law (this is why the feds need to get the F out of education, but that’s another topic), it isn’t going to fly.

        1. I agree that not everyone has the desire to code. But not everyone has the desire to learn mathematics or science either. But even those who are a bit more reluctant to learn those subjects still walk away with a better understanding of the subject matter.
          We aren’t expecting master coders and software engineers to appear everywhere, just as we don’t expect mathematicians and physicists to appear everywhere just by making science and math required courses from an early age.
          The attempt is to raise the average person knowledge in the material even by a little bit to make society as a whole safer and smarter.
          So this will help even if the average persons intelligence in the subject matter raises by only a little bit, everyone can benefit.

          And even if you don’t agree with what I have just said above, what is the harm in trying to increase a students knowledge base.

  1. All right everyone, prepare yourselves for the expected wave of white and black hat script kiddies. Hopefully, ethics will play a big part in the “responsible digital citizens” education they receive.

  2. At some point we are just going to have to accept that not everyone wants to learn to code (nor does everyone possess the proficiency to). These coding initiatives are the most ridiculous nonsense I’ve ever seen in education. Offer it as a math elective, sure, but requiring every student to learn it is absurd. Tim Cook’s plea to the president made me respect him even less as it reveals just how much he is lacking in depth of understanding about these things. Let’s start with technological literacy, shall we? The majority of people that use technology (shockingly, the youngest and hyped as 21st century genius ‘natives’ are the most ignorant of all in this regard) don’t actually have any idea how to use it in the first place. Not everyone is destined to be an engineer, and boy is Tim Cook no Steve Jobs.

    1. Sorry to double up but I forgot: you know what else makes your kids safe online? Actually TAKING THE TIME TO EDUCATE THEM AND CREATING REPERCUSSIONS FOR THE TIMES THEY DON’T RESPECT YOUR RULES. 😛 😛

    2. In its most abstract form ‘coding’ is a method of breaking problems down in to small manageable steps and putting them into an order that allows others (or machines) to perform a process or action. I think everyone benefits from learning the process at an early age. Sort of like teaching the “scientific method”. Creating a recipe, listing directions to go from point A to point B, and composing music are all examples of ‘coding’ in the abstract.

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