Technology is all around us, so it is essential that children have an understanding of coding which is basic literacy in our digital world. Learning to code not only helps students understand their digital world, but it also improves communication, creativity, math, writing, and confidence. More so, learning to code provides a solid foundation for your child’s future success both academically and personally.
At the most basic level, coding is a method of communicating with a computer. It uses language that a computer understands to give a computer instructions in order to perform specific functions. Coding allows us to create things such as computer software, websites, apps and video games.
Coding is better when learning begins early because it helps children gain an appreciation for how things work and develops problem-solving skills. These skills are essential for academic achievement and future careers. Learning how to solve problems is a life skill that that is easier to learn young and continues to improve and develop over time. When children face challenges throughout life, they can use their sophisticated problem-solving skills to navigate solutions.
Learning to code is a challenge for kids that teaches them tenacity and success. They begin to understand that when you fail, you can learn from the mistakes, bounce back and begin again. This resilience is an important life skill that will assist with the obstacles and challenges faced throughout life. When kids learn from their mistakes and eventually reach success, they realize that facing obstacles and experimenting leads to success.
Coding helps children learn how to think differently. Students learn more than just typing code into a computer; they learn how to think logically. They will learn how to take a big problem and break it down into smaller pieces until it is solved.
Computer programming is not always connected to creativity but learning how to code helps children understand how to experiment which gives them the confidence to be creative. They get to design something and watch it come to life. They can design games and activities which adds to the fun of coding.
Learning to code is like learning any other language, it is better to start early and improves with consistent and regular classes that get more advanced over time.
It can begin as early as elementary school and progress through middle school and high school. Continuous courses that advance with your child allow them to build skills and gain a more advanced understanding of how to code.
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It seems that everyone is talking about Bitcoin - and with good reason. In the past 2 years, the cryptocurrency has made the news multiple times. However, there still remains some confusion around what exactly Bitcoin is.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency, and secured through the use of cryptography. It is not backed by a government, a government currency (fiat money), or by precious metals.
The creator or creators of Bitcoin remain anonymous today, going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. The original idea behind Bitcoin was to be used as an alternative banking solution during the financial and mortgage crisis of 2009.
Unlike currency, bitcoin isn’t physical. It is a digital currency that exists only on a digital ledger known as a blockchain and in personal digital wallets. Bitcoin is used to purchase goods and services as long as the company accepts it as payment. It can also be traded or held as an investment.
Bitcoin was created as a form of currency that doesn’t rely on banks for transactions or for governments to issue. The intention is for it to be free of the inflationary problems that plague government-backed currencies and make transactions smoother, quicker and cheaper.
What Determines the Value of Bitcoin?
Bitcoin’s value depends on the market demand for it. The more the public accepts it as a legitimate form of currency, the more it has risen in price. However it wasn’t deemed valuable in the early days. In 2010, one Bitcoin was worth $0.08, yet today one Bitcoin is worth $50,000.
Market demand is currently increasing as more businesses and services are accepting Bitcoin as currency. Large corporations are buying Bitcoin and adding it to their balance sheets. And it is becoming easier for anyone to buy it, sell it and send it to others using Bitcoin ATMs.
Bitcoin is a finite product and is limited to only 21 million Bitcoins. Today, there are over 18 million already mined. The last Bitcoin is expected to be mined in 2140.
Bitcoin Mining and the Blockchain
Mining and blockchain are two terms associated with Bitcoin. Bitcoin is mined, but it isn’t the type of mining like digging for gold. Every Bitcoin transaction has to be verified by miners. These miners use powerful computers to solve extremely complicated math problems.
Once a miner verifies a transaction, the nodes on the network will confirm it is valid. Once confirmed, the miners will then be rewarded Bitcoins for their service. And this is how new Bitcoins come into circulation.
Transactions are grouped together in blocks. Once a transaction is verified, the block will be added to the chain of existing blocks, which is where the term blockchain comes from. The blockchain is a digital ledger of all transactions. No one owns or controls the blockchain, and anyone can view it.
How to Buy Bitcoin
Bitcoin is purchased at a cryptocurrency exchange and, in some cases, brokerage firms. Bitcoin is divisible, which means it can be purchased in fractions of one Bitcoin. This is a great way to accumulate Bitcoin or buy just enough to keep in a digital wallet for spending.
Security is important. Choose the exchanges and brokerage firms with the best reputations. Most of these exchanges have a purchase minimum, some as low as $10 worth of Bitcoin.
The Bitcoin Digital Wallet
Most exchanges will give you a digital wallet to hold the Bitcoins. It is important to remember that buying Bitcoin is not like buying stocks. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) protects shareholders if a brokerage firm fails, but cryptocurrencies are not covered. Some cryptocurrency exchanges provide insurance against theft and fraud.
There are two types of digital wallets, cold wallets and hot wallets. Hot wallets connect to the internet, which allows for quick and easy use of Bitcoins. Cold wallets are not connected to the internet. It is common to use both types of digital wallets. It is imperative not to lose the password to a digital wallet. Lost Bitcoins cannot be replaced.
How to Invest or Trade Bitcoin
Investors can buy and hold Bitcoin, expecting it to continue rising in price. Traders can trade Bitcoin and profit from the price movement of the cryptocurrency, up or down. The various methods of trading Bitcoin include:
In addition, the first North American Bitcoin ETF recently hit $1 billion in assets.
Bitcoin can be volatile, with the possibility of it rising and falling 10% or more in a day. If someone buys $100 worth of Bitcoin today, it doesn’t mean they will have $100 in their digital wallet tomorrow. It can be used as a currency where it is accepted, and it can be bought, sold, and transferred to others around the world without having to use a regular bank.
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