The world of technology has indeed revolutionized the world. Now, the gigantic growth of the IT industry has paved the way for so many opportunities for people all over the world. Now, with the uncertainty that the pandemic has brought, technology fortunately is providing innovative ways to deal with it, for people to somehow go on with their daily activities, and to learn to cope with it.
When it comes to kids, school is out, not only for spring break, not only for summer, but is out definitely. There are of course alternatives imposed by governments worldwide, including online classes. Kids still need to be stimulated, they still have to learn, and hours to be filled.
These days, parents are also teachers, educators to their own kids. A great way for children to continue learning is coding, or computer programming, which is rapidly growing in popularity. In mobile and software development, coding for beginners has become a trend.
Learning to code at a very young age surely could set up your child for future success. You do not have to worry even if they don’t go into the computer science field or any other related field, it would always give them an edge in just about any modern industry.
Teaching Kids to Code
Parents need not have an extensive programming background to teach kids how to code. Check out some tips and additional resources to help your kid get started with coding.
Coding for beginners could start as early as seven years of age. Kids could start to learn the principles of programming and how it works via the use of apps, games, interactive websites that teach, boot camps, and classes with lessons to cater to children. Even the younger ones could learn coding principles from playing with board games and educational toys.
Talk to kids about coding languages.
Minecraft, a popular interactive game was built in Java, and with Java skills, your children could learn how to create and integrate their own Minecraft mods. Lua is another great language for game programmers. If your child is more on Roblox than Minecraft, Lua is used for coding it, and used for creating a Roblox game.
Get children interested learning how to code
Connect coding to things that children already enjoy. Lua and Roblox, Java and Minecraft, and other pairings such as AI and Python, LEGO, visual coding, augmented reality, and C#. I bet that your children will be interested in one of these at the very least.
Even if your kid is into technology or otherwise, coding has a hand in numerous things, which make it easy for parents to connect their interests into coding power. Get kids to start learning something, anything, such coding basics, preferably. Have them started on some light reading, watch a brief video, or learn the basics.
Get them to tell a family member or friend about coding. It gives them a chance to recall what the child has learned already, while learning something new by listening. Begin small and get them a feel for programming via a program like Scratch, before plunging into the learning process.
Ease children into coding
Get your children to go hands-on with introductory coding platforms, such as the following:
A visual programming language, but an online learning platform as well, and a community for beginners as well. In it, kids could build games, stories, and animations and share the creations with same-minded peers anywhere in the world.
For several self-paced coding learning options, Code.org features several opportunities for computer science for, in the form of full-length courses, and one one-hour tutorials. What Code.org offers is rooted in things such as Minecraft, Angry Birds, or coding a dance party with Ed Sheeran, and others for instance.
Coding should be tangible
Any parent is aware of the various learning needs and styles of kids. Some could absorb all that is written on the screen or a book, while others are just better at watching or listening to a video. Some simply are better in grasping concepts with a hands-on experience.
For this kind of learner, specific objects and ‘toys’ could be great options to introduce the various concepts of coding for beginners.
It is a small programmable computer for a different twist. Although it is only half the size of a credit card, it is packed with features, including a radio to connect with other smartphones, as well as an accelerometer that detects rotation and movement.
Familiarity with coding terms
In any software development or mobile app development process, there are so many coding vocabularies to be familiar with, especially when trying to explain to kids. Variables are similar to boxes; they hold critical data or information. A variable could hold various types of data, like words or numbers.
Consider it like a chest where you could store things inside and give it a name to help you remember the things you put inside it. A conditional statement helps in directing the program flow by having several code portions run only under certain scenarios. Loops enable you to repeat a code block several times.
In times when a block of code should be run on a non-specific or uncertain time, a while loop is used. Lastly, functions enable coders to do several actions, instead of writing every separate statement again and again.
Finding a Mentor
Many developers love volunteering. It may surprise you just how many are willing to mentor children both online and face-to-face. Whether it is a professional tutor, teacher, colleague, or a friend, it could indeed make a difference in coding for beginners. Interaction with an experienced developer is invaluable and could be done by Skype or other video conferencing tools.
There are companies that offer this service specifically, thus if you have no one in your personal circle, consider researching some additional alternatives.
The popularity of coding for kids is escalating, as a lot of families see computing as a new literacy that’s as important as science and math in the job market of the future. The most important thing to keep in mind is to make it fun.
Coding need not be boring. Even if it demands patience and persistence, if children know the payout is a game, or an app or project that they love, they would no doubt be enthusiastic about it.