In a world where technology is in every aspect of our lives, children are no exception. The early exposure to gadgets and awareness has made them more inquisitive about the new technologies. With Software and computer programs driving the ubiquitous technologies in our lives, it becomes important that kids learn the driving force behind all this, i.e., the software created by coding. Due to increasing digitalization, learning coding has become important for kids, and WhiteHat Jr, an EdTech Pioneer, prepares kids in the age group of 6-14 years for this new world.
They teach fundamental coding logic, sequence, structure, and algorithmic thinking to enable kids to make something creative like apps and animations. All classes are conducted as one-on-one sessions, and children can learn from the comfort of their homes. The ads all over social media claim that your child could be the next Steve Jobs. This makes us wonder if all this is just a marketing gimmick, or this is ahead of its time online coding learning platform that will benefit the kids in the long run.
With the ongoing pandemic, the EdTech industry has hit a hockey curve in India, both in funding and users. Byju, a unicorn in India’s Edtech startups, acquired WhiteHat Jr. for $300M in an all-cash deal, giving them strong financial backing. WhiteHat Jr. has been into aggressive marketing from ads on Instagram, Facebook to emails to phone calls. Parents are being made to understand that if they are not enrolling in coding classes, the child may be missing out on something that can affect his/her career in the future.
The company offers a free introductory class for all kids who show their interest in the program. After the introductory class, a report is sent to parents with many complimentary words that make parents wonder that their child could also become the next Sunder Pichai or Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates that drives a point that all of them started coding early. Now they are running multi-billion dollar companies. Moreover, in the current scenario, it seems an ideal option for many parents to keep their children engaged and, at the same time, learn something new.
In India, parental ambition trickles inside children. It makes them dream about top institutes from as early as grade 9; three years earlier than they appear for the engineering exam; with technology being everywhere nowadays, learning how to code from as early as 6 years looks like an attractive option for parents. Imagining that their 10 years old will be able to build an app of his/her own is an exciting thought in itself, especially for parents who are not aware of the concept of coding.
However, in an age where the emphasis has to be placed on the joy of learning and letting children be children and not crowded by worldly ambitions of earning money, WhiteHat Jr is advertising that parents can start imagining that by learning to code, their child will be able to develop an app in a couple of years and get funding for it. The endorsement from some of the big Indian celebrities has also created a lot of buzz around WhiteHat Jr.
There is no doubt that by learning to code, children learn about logical rationalization; it helps them explore their creativity. They understand the value of planning and concision. As they write more complicated code, children can develop better focus and organization. Moreover, coding comes debugging, and there is no better way to build resilience and perseverance than working through challenges. It gives them the power to make a difference.
However, the age group that WhiteHat Jr targets are an age when children should enjoy their natural learning process and not run for a race to see who will become a coder with a huge pay packet. We are not saying that kids should not learn to code. It’s a skill that has many benefits but learning how to code is the only way to become potential money-spinners is not setting the right precedent.
Your money your decision; if the money is loose change for you, then go for it. However, we feel that selling a one-app millionaire dream is more of a marketing gimmick.