It’s much easier to teach kids coding with these 7 Tips
How to teach kids coding? Is it difficult?
Well, long story short – it is not. Here we go!
We witness a shift in educating children through the participation of specially invented educational robots that teach the youngest how to program naturally. It is done by using gaming methods and other tricks. It is also a way to learn digital competencies that are getting more and more popular around the entire world.
The American Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by the end of 2020, 1.4 million jobs requiring digital competencies will be created in the United States. Currently, only 30% of citizens have the skills that will be necessary for work. The sooner we start teaching IT skills, robotics, and automation, the better conditions we will provide for the next generations on the labor market.
See below for our choice of 7 helpful tips. It will be much easier to teach kids computer programming from now on!
#1 – Use STEAM methodology. Work 2.0
The use of tools that enable the simple transfer of knowledge will make this process extremely effective. The emphasis on science following the STEAM methodology (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) is the basis of sustainable development.
We can see several leading trends that will be present in the TechEdu world in 2020-2025.
It is an exceptionally effective teaching model. By imparting knowledge in the form of games and creating an understandable reward system, we can achieve amazing results, and science will be perceived as never before – as a form of leisure. Using the ‘level up!’ method with programming skills? It is possible. And highly effective!
- Problem-solving skills
Currently one of the most important ones, the learning of which should be a goal itself.
- By 2030 more than 50% of currently performed work will change to remote work
It is not surprising that the newest educational solutions for children must fulfill several necessary functions. The modern world poses a lot of challenges. How you overcome them will be key to acquiring the skills needed in ‘Work 2.0’.
Each student has their own pace of acquiring information, concluding, and applying the learned material to problem-solving. The use of TechEdu and the variety of possible learning programs are essential. By focusing on the individual, we create ideal conditions for development and learning. The world is going to change very quickly. It has to do with the widespread digitization of our reality.
- Artificial intelligence and augmented reality will change the school space forever
Schools and teachers must adapt to STEAM teaching, in which the student interacts with technology at a higher level.
Should you teach your kids to code? Technically yes. But learning programming is like everything else – not for everyone. However, you should try it. Read on, we will try to help you.
#2 – What will I need?
Anyone can start learning to code. It is not an age or education-related skill. You will need willingness, the ability to search for information, and a well-prepared teacher.
If we want our students to be able to work on their skills also on their own, we should make sure that everyone with them has access to their own computer.
The skills related to its operation will also be useful to him in other areas of education and life. The good news is that most of the available computers meet the requirements of both coding programs and courses as well as surfing the web (and searching for information will come in handy!).
You will also need a permanent and stable internet connection. It is worth mentioning that some programs can also be operated offline, but then we will not be able to use updates and internet search engines.
On the web, we can find many websites whose mission is to help us learn. First, check out code.org. The site supports the Hour of Code initiative and cooperates with many software producers.
Two important things:
- make coding for kids fun
- find a mentor
All programmers learn from each other. It is a helpful community.
You can also prepare a small vocabulary with coding terms. We would recommend familiarizing with words such as
- conditional statements
It is almost certain that the child will sooner or later ask for these words.
#3 – Start with Scratch
You can say nowadays that kids are born with computer skills. They are familiar with smartphones, touchpads, keyboards, and apps. They have a strong interest in technology.
At first glance, the programming world seems like an airtight and complicated place. We can choose from several languages, each of which has its own application. Why not simplify the beginnings: let the youngest start doing it in Scratch.
What is Scratch?
It is a block-based visual language targeted primarily at children 8-16 to help learn code. You can run Scratch in any modern web browser: https://scratch.mit.edu.
Using blocks to visualize how does software works is a great way to explain complex issues.
For older children, Python will already be suitable.
It is distinguished by a quite simple syntax, as well as a huge community of users that will help every beginner. Take a peek here: python.org and learn about Python from the best possible source.
Al Sweigart – the mastermind behind inventwithpython.com said:
“I think 9 or 10 is a fine age to start learning Python. But really, the age that a child is interested in learning is an age that they can start learning to code”.
Kids willing to learn can go with various coding tasks and logical games. Start with something simple. Let us arouse curiosity, prepare the basics, and point out the advantages of the IT skills.
Looking for other coding languages?
Has your child encountered difficulties?
Do not intervene, let your child find a solution for himself by trying different methods. This is the most effective learning process. Making mistakes is fine, but each one of them should be discussed and worked out together.
There will be time to learn object programming, SQL databases, HTTP protocols, or recursion. Knowing the basics will then be much easier. Until at some point in time our students will be able to say: I am a programmer!
#4 – It can be fun!
Kids love computer games. They also love the competition and have a great time competing. The use of play while learning is an old mechanism. It has also long been part of the world of studying and science.
Do you know Minecraft?
As of 2020, the game has 126 million active users monthly. It got simple graphics, lots of replayability, a crafting system, and more. It has been called by many ‘the greatest video game of all time’. Could there be a better tool to ignite the love for coding by children? Now you can learn computer programming for kids as a part of Minecraft’s lore.
What is more, even older kids can develop their skills by using gamification. Because games (and coding) are fun! You can also check this list of 49 small games with simple play mechanics.
Many top-selling games – Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, Minecraft – started as an idea. Software design skills were essential to bring them to life.
#5 – Computer programming for kids via Udemy courses
Free courses are an exceptionally good way to start your adventure with coding and to expand your knowledge.
On the Internet, we can find a whole range of websites that aggregate these lessons. When it comes to professionals, they primarily recommend the Udemy platform. There you will find a wide selection of all kinds of online courses, and most importantly, the selection of programming lessons for kids is equally rich. Just type the phrase ‘coding for kids’ and you’ll find a whole new world of online studies.
Let’s check the best options – starting from the free course How to Make Coding Fun.
You can also find specific lessons about different coding languages. Here are our recommendations:
- The Scratch Academy – Entry Level
- Create Fun Games and School Presentations Using Scratch 2.0
HTML & CSS:
- Code Your First Website with HTML & CSS for Kids & Beginners
Courses for teachers:
#6 – Doing classes on YouTube
YouTube’s popularity cannot be denied. It is one of the most popular online video portals. Children are checking YouTube in search of entertainment, opinions from influential people, but also for knowledge. It is worth using valuable channels on YouTube to improve learning programming for children.
Parents and teachers need to conduct proper research to find substantive creators on the mentioned video platforms. It is best to check the
- number of plays of a given video
- number of subscriptions
- comment section
You also need to watch some of the films to assess their usefulness. After taking these actions, you will be able to find creators who can help with the lessons.
We can advise you on a few keywords that may help browse YouTube and search for relevant content. Use of phrases such as:
- kids computer programming
- coding for kids
- educational coding
- scratch language
- why kids should learn how to code
- introduction to coding
- python (or another language) for kids
- programming DIY
- coding with Minecraft
- top coding lessons
- programming robots for kids
and so on.
Also, look at the videos we suggest:
Today we have opportunities to improve the way children learn programming in the best possible way. Also, by working with a real robot. Look at the next paragraph.
#7 – Educational robot: a response to the needs of the modern world
Teaching through interaction with a robot is slowly entering the markets of Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. Experts agree: the TechEdu industry will be one of the most important branches of education. Of course, this does not mean that the classical school model will disappear. These two teaching methodologies will complement each other as working with an experienced educator is the cornerstone of the learning process.
It is worth noting that robot-based education does not have to be limited to the youngest students. Teaching automatics in secondary schools and schools preparing for technical professions, as well as in implementation for specific workplaces, are becoming common.
The IT industry has proven resistant to COVID-19. It also showed its necessity, also in the case of creating conditions for the implementation of learning and systematic processing of school material. At a time when both students, their parents, and teachers had to adapt to new conditions, begin to learn about remote work tools and adapt the education process to the capabilities of students, it is worth going a step forward.
Let us introduce TechEdu on a larger scale because the first step is already behind us. The answer to the resulting demand appeared: Photon Robot For Education. The interdisciplinary robot continues the path of its working predecessors. It extends and simplifies a particularly important job: educating the youngest generations.
Photon is a very clever way of making computer programming for kids an easier way to enroll. Enriched with dedicated educational materials and applications, Photon is intended for use in educational facilities as a didactic tool for teachers and educators. It can be applicable at every stage of education and serve as a teacher’s assistant in building interest in computer science and STEAM subjects.
The robot, as an academic tool, works with both general early-education classes as well as specialized technical subjects and computer science. Separate applications and lesson plans were prepared for kindergarten and primary school high school. All Photon teaching materials are available free of charge online via a dedicated site.
After the pandemic is over, we will wake up in a different world. In a world where digital competences will be key. Let us teach them effectively. Let’s teach with Photon!