⭐ Texas educators: our K-5 Tech Apps curriculum is a state-approved instructional material. Learn More.
Attention all tech enthusiasts! Do you have interest in computer science but thought it’s just about learning to code? Well, think again! While coding is a crucial aspect of computer science, it’s not the only reason to pursue this field.
From understanding how technology impacts our daily lives to developing innovative solutions for global challenges, there’s more to computer science than meets the eye. Here are the top four benefits of studying computer science that don’t include coding.
[Download this list as a printable PDF.]
There are many opportunities for cross-curricular connections as students learn to be creators and not just passive consumers of technology. Computational thinking happens in almost all academic settings. It happens when we recognize and define problems through decomposition, use pattern recognition or develop abstractions, and when we think of solutions to problems as algorithms or computational steps. These skills are common in math, science, and other subject areas.
For example, the Engineering Design Process is a framework that students can use to solve a problem. In the steps “Ask”, “Imagine”, “Plan”, “Create”, and “Improve”, students learn to work through problems, learn from mistakes, and collaborate with peers. This framework is used not only in computer science, but also English (writing a paper) and science (performing an experiment).
Introducing computer science in the K-12 experience opens doors for students to pursue computer science majors in college. Beyond the obvious concentration in computer science, there are many related areas of study like computer information systems, information technology, data science, and computer systems networking. Even non-CS majors, like business, biology, and English use technology constantly to communicate ideas.
Through computer science, we can expand students’ understanding of what a STEM career is. Firefighters, pilots, 3D printers, and AR engineers all use computer science in their day-to-day lives. In the future, students will pursue jobs that don’t even exist yet. This is the importance of computer science in education – giving students the crucial foundation to succeed in this new career landscape.
Parents, employers, and other stakeholders have come to understand that students need more than an encyclopedic list of facts to succeed in building strong relationships and navigating school and careers. Thus, social-emotional learning and 21st Century skills are pervasive in educational settings.
As technology continues to touch every aspect of our day, social-emotional learning and 21st century skills can be practiced through digital citizenship. Digital citizenship topics span from beyond just internet usage; they explore everything from digital etiquette to online health and wellness. Computer science students gain a deep understanding of the impact technology has on society and the ethical considerations that come with it.
Studying computer science provides the foundation for imaginative and inventive thinking. From developing new apps to creating virtual reality experiences, the opportunities are endless. Practicing creativity in computer science has many benefits for students.
First, being creative helps us deal with uncertainty. It gives us confidence going into new situations, knowing you can solve problems. Next, it helps us see the big picture. When we are creative, we are not getting bogged down in details; we can take a step back and assess the larger situation. Finally, creativity encourages us to learn and interact with others. The more knowledge we share with one another, the more we can draw upon to develop new ideas.
In computer science, this can show up when students are designing websites, debugging their code, or working on a group project.
Why is computer science important for our K-12 students? In summary, here are the four reasons we’ve outlined in this blog:
So don’t limit your vision to just coding; explore the vast opportunities in this field and discover the impact you can make!
If you want more specifics about some topics you might encounter in a computer science course, download a free lesson from Codelicious. This particular lesson is called Treasure Map Coordinates – it introduces students to use of the coordinate system in block coding. Start those cross-curricular connections between computer science and math with this free PDF!