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What is Coding for Kids?

In recent years, there has been a push to get kids coding at younger and younger ages. Code.org reports that within the last five years, 43 states have adopted policies to support computer science education in elementary, middle, or high schools. But what is coding, and why is it becoming so important? This blog post will explore those questions and more.

What is coding?

Coding is the process of creating a set of instructions for a computer to follow. Those instructions can be anything from powering a simple website to running an international space station. For kids, coding can be a way to bring their ideas to life. It's also a great way of developing problem-solving skills and learning how to think creatively.

Why is coding important?

In our increasingly digital world, coding has become an essential skill. It's estimated that by 2025, there will be one million more jobs in computer science than there are graduates with the necessary skills to fill them. So, by teaching kids to code, we're not only giving them the opportunity to build amazing things; we're also helping them prepare for successful futures.

Who should learn coding?

Coding has become such an essential skill in the modern information age. Gone are the days when coding was considered an esoteric skill and a select few who were interested were pursuing it. Today, coding is prevalent across all segments of industry and a good background in programming will serve you well irrespective of the career you choose for yourself.

What languages can kids learn to code in?

Some coding environments, such as Scratch, TinkerCAD, Thunkable feature a visual programming language where coding comprises composing blocks on a palette, not dissimilar to playing with LEGO blocks. Scratch is considered a very good first programming language suitable for kids as young as 5 or 6 years old. TinkerCAD is a language where kids can learn about basic geometry including adding and subtracting 3D objects to create new objects. Thunkable is an app creation tool which features a very similar interface to Scratch.
Some coding environments, such as Scratch, TinkerCAD, Thunkable feature a visual programming language where coding comprises composing blocks on a palette, not dissimilar to playing with LEGO blocks. Scratch is considered a very good first programming language suitable for kids as young as 5 or 6 years old. TinkerCAD is a language where kids can learn about basic geometry including adding and subtracting 3D objects to create new objects. Thunkable is an app creation tool which features a very similar interface to Scratch.

What does coding mean?

Coding is simply the art of programming of giving instructions to automated objects. Consider your Alexa voice assistant or your Roomba vacuum device. Think about how you give instructions to these devices. Learning to code is thus learning how to communicate what you would like in a language that the device can understand. Low-level programming languages such as assembly language or byte-level machine code are difficult for humans to understand but are the primary language that automated devices understand. To bridge this gap, we have created high-level languages such as Python, Javascript, Java. For even higher-level abstractions there are graphical programming languages such as Scratch, which even kids and teens are adept in.

Do I need to install something to begin coding?

Usually you install a code editor (where you write your program or instructions) and a code compiler or interpreter (that runs/executes your program). Many people still do this but today these capabilities come bundled in websites such as repl.it. With such websites, you do not have to install anything. As long as you have a working Internet connection, you can begin coding!

What are the advantages of learning to code?

1. Coding is applicable in many areas, not just computer science. As a result students who have both domain expertise plus coding skills are in high demand and thus these skills will give a competitive advantage as you go out into the real world.
2. Coding exposes students to a new skill that is often complementary to what you learn in Math and Science and other subjects in school.
3. Coding is not just for STEM professions (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) but also for highly creative professions such as art, graphics, photography, and movie making.
4. The process of writing and getting your programs to work teaches you many other skills, e.g., problem decomposition, debugging, and testing.
5. Finally, coding is fun! You can combine your passions such as gaming, drones, animation, 3d modeling, in your coding experiences. For every topic of interest there is a coding language or environment for you!

How can I motivate my kids to learn coding?

Point your kids to the real world and get them to notice instances of automation and programming. For instance, when they play Minecraft highlight to them that somebody has programmed/created this game using code (in this case, Java) so in addition to playing games, they can create their own games! Similarly, point them to automated traffic lights, your phone, your car, and pretty much any device nowadays that will have some element of coding in them.

Coding help kids develop 21st century skills

In today's world, computer literacy is becoming more and more important. Many jobs now require at least basic coding knowledge, and that trend is only going to continue in the future. By teaching kids how to code, we can help them develop the 21st century skills they'll need to be successful in school and in their careers. In addition to coding itself, learning how to code can also help kids develop other valuable skills like critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.

Where does my kid start?

Tell them to explore scratch or some programming language with repl, depending on their age. Contact kodeclik.com or explore our website for course offerings and enroll!

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