The incorporation of children into the world of new technologies in general and programming, in particular, is more and more necessary every day in an increasingly digital environment. The emergence of new professions and the transformation of traditional ones make it inevitable that children learn these skills as soon as possible.
Along these lines, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently stated in an interview with MIT Technology Review that “learning to program should be mandatory for any student in public and private schools.” In this sense, there are different initiatives that promote the development of skills in digital and technological matters from an early age. Let’s see some of them.
Aloha Mental Arithmetic, the math won’t be difficult again
The human brain is divided into two parts: the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. Each of the parties processes the information in a different way. Despite its more than 100,000 million neurons, humans only take advantage of 10% of its potential. It weighs approximately 1,360 kg and, on the one hand, the left side thinks in words, and the right side thinks in pictures.
The current lifestyle encourages people to develop more the left hemisphere, however, the right hemisphere hides great potential. Great characters like, for example, Albert Einstein owed their genius to the fact that their right hemisphere had a high level of development.
During the first years of life, the neural connections that determine the configuration of the adult brain are formed. Therefore, the connections that are not strengthened during this important stage will die.
In this context, and in order to favour the creation of a dense neural network, the Aloha Mental Arithmetic program has created a teaching system aimed at students from 5 to 13 years of age .
They use, among other elements, the oldest known calculation instrument: the abacus. Through a rectangular structure, with index cards that slide with the fingers along with columns, children learn to perform arithmetic operations using this ancient instrument. With practice and over time they are able to visualize it in their head and learn to perform the operations mentally. In this way, children learn to solve complex calculations quickly in a fun way.
The Aloha Mental Arithmetic program bases its operation precisely on the fact that all received numerical stimuli are processed directly in the left hemisphere. Most people who have not developed their right hemisphere solve any arithmetic operation on the left hemisphere itself. Instead, a person who has trained her mind with the Aloha Mental Arithmetic program will activate both parts of the brain. Therefore, the individual sends the numerical information from the left hemisphere to the right hemisphere, where the numerical stimulus will be transformed into images. An imaginary abacus will be built with which the arithmetic operation will be performed. The image generated at the end of the operation will return to the left hemisphere where it will be translated back into numerical language.
In addition, and thanks to this system of teaching mathematics, children not only prosper in this subject but also in other disciplines, since it increases their confidence when facing new challenges.
Talentum Schools, training in technological and digital skills for the little ones
Talentum Schools is, on the other hand, Telefónica’s program that offers children and young people free training and exchange of knowledge in digital skills in schools throughout Spain. More than 20,000 students have benefited from the face-to-face courses and online workshops given through the initiative’s platform since its creation in 2013.
Talentum Schools encourages the digital vocation of the youngest through innovative courses in digital skills. Subjects include robotics, mobile apps, programming, augmented reality, design, and electronics.
In addition, and as a differential feature of the program, most of the Talentum Schools mentors are young students and professionals who come from Telefonica’s Talentum program. And they are responsible, and a fundamental key, for the success and good reception that the program has had since its inception among students, parents and educators.