Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it important for kids to learn coding?
In 2006, Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Jeannette Wing coined the phrase computational thinking as a “universally applicable attitude and skill set for everyone, not just computer scientists”. Everyday life situations, from giving driving directions to a friend, to looking up a name in a telephone directory, to deciding which line to use in a grocery checkout, involve conceptualizing algorithmic solutions to problems. By learning coding, kids are exposed to fundamental skills of abstraction, logical thinking, and problem decomposition. These skills will serve them well in many career choices, not just as programmers.
How is kodeclik different from other coding websites?
Coding websites are manifold in their approaches and philosophies. Some existing sites focus on imparting only a few basic computational concepts (e.g., loops and conditionals would be the highest level of sophistication), while others teach more advanced computing concepts. Some websites teach coding in a “storytelling” fashion (i.e., using cartoons to retain student interest) while others feature a more traditional academic curriculum. Some websites are focused on “instant gratification” in an attempt to retain student interest while others are less openly so.
We believe (and have witnessed, through our in-person camps) kids and teens to be capable of learning and applying abstract concepts from a very early age without the need for any “props” (stories, cartoons). Thus, a common theme across kodeclik courses is the encouragement of abstraction as a problem solving strategy. This avoids the “dumbing down” of computer science and develops inquisitive and thoughtful learners. As a result, the kodeclik approach takes even our youngest participants into advanced territory (e.g., concurrent programming and event-based programming) early.
Does kodeclik have its own programming environment?
We believe that students should be exposed to real programming environments with all their attendant complexities. Accordingly, we do not feature our own platform or language and, when possible, use open source or publicly available tools. Moreover, in real life, programmers are expected to demonstrate proficiency or mastery of multiple languages and environments, and kodeclik’s curriculum reinforces this need.
As a parent, do I need to know how to code?
It is not necessary for parents to know coding. We are proud to have trained several first-in-their-family coders! Our videos are self-contained and organized in digestable chunks that build up to more complex concepts.
What is kodeclik’s philosophy to teaching programming?
One typical way to teach programming is to show students a completely formed program and explain how it works. In such an approach, students are encouraged to perhaps modify some parts and observe the effects of their actions. This type of teaching sometimes misleads students into thinking they understand more than they do.
Kodeclick’s philosophy, on the other hand, emphasizes design. In all our video lessons, students begin with an empty workspace (“a clean slate”) and incrementally build complex programs. Such an approach enables us to impart many practical lessons.
First, by starting from an empty workspace each time, we reinforce that coding is not magic or otherwise incomprehensible. It significantly lowers the barriers (e.g., “stage fright”) that some kids and teens face when exposed to real programming environments.
Second, real programmers develop programs in trial-and-error fashion: writing small pieces of code, testing them, noticing errors, fixing mistakes in code, and repeating. Our lessons echo this practice consistently and uniformly. By the time students complete our curriculum, such incremental program development is so ingrained in their coding practice that it becomes second nature to them. As a result, kodeclik students are not bogged down by program complexity and exhibit good reasoning and debugging skills. We have seen students build beyond our curriculum to create more complex creations, which has been a rewarding experience for us.
Finally, the design approach emphasizes that coding is as much a creative activity as, say, building a train from Lego blocks by highlighting all the areas where a student can exercise their individual thinking. As a result, students feel more pride and ownership in their creations and this, in turn, fosters, more learning.
Does your approach work?
Yes! The kodeclik curriculum has been field tested in a variety of formats (e.g., one day and one week formats); hundreds of students in multiple locations across Northern Virginia have successfully completed our in-person classes and summer camps. The online curriculum represent our best distillation of lessons learned from our in-person camps.
What level of proficiency with computers do you expect from students?
The introductory courses at kodeclik require just the ability to use a computer (keyboard and mouse). Other courses build upon these foundational courses. Most kids and teens today have the necessary skills since they are adept at playing games, web browsing, and creating documents.
Does my child need to be gifted in math to become good in coding?
Math skills are complementary to computing skills. While they can reinforce each other, the applications of computing are far more vast. Students trained in computing apply their skills in a range of disciplines, from science to engineering to history to journalism.
What type of computer and software do I need to get started?
In most cases, a regular Windows, Mac, or Linux laptop or desktop will suffice. Software for most of our courses is either free or available for purchase for a small fee. See individual courses for hardware and software needs. Please pay careful attention to version numbers and (any) installation instructions.
Can two or more children share an account?
We do not recommend it. The site tracks students’ progress as they make their way through the video lessons and quizzes.
How many children can I enroll?
As a parent, your dashboard will enable you to purchase access for as many children as you like, each of whom will then have their account login and passwords. The children then access the site using their individual accounts.
How many courses do I have access to as part of my kodeclik subscription?
A kodeclik subscription gives you access to all our courses. You do not need to pay for each course separately.
How often can I watch the video lectures?
You have unlimited opportunities to watch and re-watch video lectures.
How is my learning evaluated at kodeclik?
Kodeclik’s curriculum features regular periodic quizzes at important junctures to assess student learning and test understanding of foundational concepts. The quizzes require critical thinking skills and do not merely test the ability to regurgitate the video lessons. There are also DIY projects that encourage the student to take a problem statement and build programs from scratch.
What if I am already familiar with what is covered in a particular lesson?
You are welcome to skip it (mark it completed) but you will have to complete the quizzes to obtain your course completion badge/certificate.
How long does it take to complete a course?
Kodeclik’s curriculum is intended to be self-paced and different students prefer different timelines. Some students devour our material at approximately 20-30 minutes per day and complete a course in a week or less. Others prefer a more relaxed pace and take 3-4 weeks to complete a course.
Are there pre-requisites for the courses?
Introductory kodeclik courses (e.g., “Scratch 101 – Movement”) do not have any pre-requisites. Some courses have other kodeclik courses as pre-requisites. All pertinent information about pre-requisites are given in the respective course page(s).
Can I retake the quizzes?
Yes, students are allowed to retake the quizzes. We encourage you to re-attempt a quiz only after exploring the material in detail again.
Will you feature my creations on your gallery page?
Definitely! Please send us your programs/videos/creations to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are there events that kodeclik runs?
We conduct periodic camps as well as prize competitions. Stay tuned to our website and FB page for more details!
How do I get in touch with other kodeclik-ers?
Our Facebook page is a great way to share your thoughts about kodeclik and meet other like minded people.
How do I join kodeclik?
We recommend that a parent first create an account on our website using the “Register” link on the homepage. Once you login to this account, you have the ability to add/purchase accounts for children and set their subscription levels. Each child receives his/her own login where they can learn and participate in quizzes.
When do I get billed?
Depending on the subscription plan you opt in to, you will get billed at monthly, quarterly, or annual intervals.
How do I cancel my subscription?
We are sorry you wish to cancel your subscription! We would love to hear feedback from you at email@example.com. You can cancel your subscription at any time and you will not be billed for the next billing cycle. To cancel/modify your subscription, login to your parent account and explore the options at your dashboard.
Do you have a family plan?
We do offer special plans for families with three or more children. For more details, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.