Last year, like many kids his age, my son discovered Minecraft. His friends were playing online and so he started. Looking at him spending time playing on a phone, I did feel some guilt and was wondering if the time spent gaming was well invested.
Dette gjesteinnlegget er skrevet av Learnlink-kunde Raja Skogland.
I decided to challenge him.
Me: "I suggest that if you want to play more online, you learn to create your own game"
Him: "But I don’t know how to create a game"
Me: "Would you like to learn?"
Him: "Can I make my own games?🤔 How is that possible?"
Me: "You can learn. There are courses you can take and you will be able to"
Him: "Yes! And then I can make my own games and show it to my friends!"
I saw stars in his eyes. He was amazed that one could create their own games! He was discovering a whole new world and level of opportunities that he could create himself. What a nice feeling to feel empowered!
Soon after, I enrolled him in coding courses at Learnlink.
My name is Raja Skogland, I was born in Morocco, raised in Switzerland and now living in Norway. I became a serial entrepreneur, business coach, angel investor in 50+ startups and lecturer in Startup Methodologies at Kristiania University College in Oslo. My passion and work is to help innovative companies achieve their goals. Before that, I used to be in private banking in Geneva (Switzerland).
I am also the mum of 2 young boys. In my opinion, that’s my most important responsibility.
Like most parents, I am doing my best to prepare my kids for the future and give them what I did not get access to as a child. For me, for example, it would have been an asset to learn to code.
The last 7 years, I have been starting, advising and investing in multiple Nordic and international startups. Along the way I have seen that having technical skills within a team is a competitive advantage. Entrepreneurs with a technical background can launch, test and iterate quickly on their product, without having to invest time and money in outsourcing their tech development, to sometimes unreliable and highly expensive software development companies. Investors would also prefer investing in companies with a technical founder onboard, for the same reasons.
Myself, some of my ventures have been slowed down or some even stopped because of the lack of technical skills within my team. I wish I could just code what I had in mind, quickly and efficiently.
I also believe that certain skills can be learned early on. We sometimes underestimate our kids and believe that they can not comprehend certain things such as creating a video game or even a small business.
Problem solving, teamwork and leadership
It has been 5 months now that my son is enjoying learning to code. The weekly group session with other kids and a tutor online, became something that we both look forward to, and it became a shared passion.
Every lesson, I sit next to him to provide help if needed (to login to the platform or help with any technical bug) and observe what they are learning.
It is actually more than coding.
It is building technological competence and soft skills while gaming.
Coding is mainly about problem solving. To be able to progress and move around in the game, they have to implement codes that can help them achieve their goals and reach the next levels.
Coding is about moving forward one step at a time, making sure the foundation is correct, testing several options to find a solution, persevering and collaborating with others to achieve common goals.
It is also fascinating to see these young kids from all around Norway learning the foundation of leadership, teamwork and innovation online.
Should our kids be less exposed to tech?
Some parents from my network expressed their concern about kids being exposed to tech early on. My answer is that they are exposed to it already, with TV, iPads, phones… So what we can do as parents, in my opinion, is to give our kids the opportunity to understand how technology works.
In this fast-paced world, technological advancement is happening at high speed….
Knowledge is power and once we are empowered we can make more rational and objective choices.
Parents and future parents, what do you think our kids should learn to prepare them for the future? Do you think that coding is an asset they should learn early on?