Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Jason. Jason Wonders, “How does coding work?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Jason!
Do you get too much screen time each day? This is a complaint many kids hear from parents and teachers on a regular basis.
What are they talking about? They're concerned with the amount of time you spend staring at a screen each day, whether it's a phone screen, a computer screen, or a television screen.
Adults are right to be concerned with screen time. However, it's also a fact of life in our modern times that so much of what we do involves the Internet.
If you're reading Wonderopolis on a computer at school, you're reading it on a computer screen. If you're responding to a text from a friend or family member, you're looking at a phone screen. If you're playing your favorite video game, you're again staring at a television or computer screen.
While it's good to get away from screens frequently and on a regular basis (there's nothing like a walk in the woods to relax and refresh you!), there's a good chance that one day your job will have you looking at one or more screens on a regular basis.
The websites, smartphone apps, video games, and computer software programs we use frequently have become ingrained in our daily lives. Technology is very much a major part of many professions today. When you get old enough to have a job, you'll probably depend upon various types of technology every day.
All those pieces of software, games, apps, and websites are made with the same thing: computer code. At their most basic level, all these digital creations are made up of nothing more than 0s and 1s, which is known as binary code.
Most coding today, however, doesn't consist of creating binary code. Instead, coders use one or more of thousands of programming languages that make it easier to generate code to build the types of products you desire.
Do you know how to code? In the past, coding was often seen as something that only computer science professionals or career coders needed to know. Many experts today, though, think that everyone should know how to code, given the prevalence of technology in our society.
Why should you learn to code? You could create your own website. You could design a new app or video game. You could start a technology company or even become a career coder.
At the least, learning to code helps you to understand more fully how all the technology around you works. Some experts believe the single best skill learned through coding is empowerment. Learning to code empowers you to see technology in a new light and do a wide variety of things you wouldn't otherwise be able to do.
Many schools and organizations now participate in the annual Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week. The Hour of Code gives students a one-hour introduction to coding basics. This brief introduction to computer science helps students to understand that anyone can learn to code and why it's important.
If you want to go beyond an Hour of Code to learn more, there are numerous websites that kids can use to learn to code in a variety of programming languages. Even if you don't grow up to become a programmer, the thinking skills you develop when learning to code will benefit you the rest of your life!