How to Educate the Next Generation of Coders?
It is now up to our generation to cultivate kids’ curiosity and encourage them to learn more about coding and programming. Given that technology is now advancing at a rapid pace, it is best to teach kids early so that they can easily adapt to today’s digital world.
So it is no longer surprising why many learning camps and programs geared for kids are popping up like mushrooms these days. Even schools and universities are finding ways to incorporate coding and programming in their curriculum and learning programs.
How to Educate the Next Generation of Coders?
With that, we have created this guide to help you educate the next generation of coders.
Teach the Basics Differently
It is no secret that coding and programming are basically memorizing and testing different lines of codes. For a kid, this can be boring and frustrating in the long run. So to spark these kids’ curiosity and help them learn to love coding, you can instead teach the basics and fundamentals of coding differently.
For instance, rather than read off of a textbook for the definition of programming, you can instead teach them through applications and games. Over the past few years, developers and educators have been collaborating to create software and apps that would make the learning process for kids a lot easier. There is software like Scratch and apps like Swift that can be easily downloaded from the Play Store.
Given that the memorization and trial-and-error phase cannot be avoided once they reached a more advanced level in their learning journey, it might as well let them have fun and explore other areas of the subject whilst they are still learning the basics.
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Keep in mind that learning how to code is a continuous process. If learning the basics is already boring and frustrating to kids, what more if they have to learn specific coding languages and structures. That said, the best thing you can do is to help them overcome each learning phase so that they can continuously learn to love coding and programming.
Explore to knowledge of coders
The best thing about teaching coding and programming for kids is the number of fun projects that they can do. Gone are the days when kids have to create lame calculators and print “Hello! World” through coding.
Today, kids can create modifications to their games and even create their own unique games without being an expert in coding. Apps like Minecraft and Roblox enable kids to learn not just the basics of programming but also learn specific coding languages like Java and Lua. On top of learning how to code, they can also have fun while doing these projects.
So other than having fun while learning how to code, kids now know that the possibilities are endless when it comes to coding. Other than using coding for Minecraft mods and Roblox Studios, they might explore other games and coding languages that pique their interest as well. That alone is enough to keep them motivated and inspired.
Once you open up these learning opportunities and introduce them to these kinds of projects, they would be more curious to learn more about coding and what it has to offer for them.
Build on what they already know
It is not easy to overcome the frustration while learning something new, even adults have a hard time absorbing and learning new information. As for kids, this frustration can double because they only have limited knowledge on the subject and they have nothing to relate it to.
To remedy this, the very first thing that you should do is to understand their interest and gauge their knowledge not just on coding but on other stuff that is related to coding as well.
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Because as we all know, remembering begins with understanding. If kids already have a hard time understanding the language, then it would be much harder for them to progress and remember all the things that they learned.
Provide more learning opportunities
Apart from teaching them or enrolling them in coding classes, these aspiring coders need to have another avenue for learning. They need to learn from experience as well as learn from the people around them. And what better way to start than by letting them meet new friends and letting them find groups of people who share their same interests.
Given that learning how to code is becoming increasingly popular, finding someone who shares that same interest is not that hard these days. There are coding camps and hackathon events where kids can easily sign up and meet kids their same age.
On top of that, kids can meet and learn from other people online as well. Professional coders and developers are often willing to help these aspiring coders with their coding problems. There are tons of online forums and communities wherein coders help each other and freely exchange their ideas.
Keep in mind that peer learning is still one of the most effective ways to teach kids. Besides acquiring new information from other people, kids also learn to better articulate themselves especially when it comes to asking questions and explaining their ideas. Peer learning also pushes them to evaluate what they learned and, at the same time, piece together what they already know from the new information they just acquired.
Because at the end of the day, coding is an evolving field. The learning does not stop after the kid finishes their classes or courses.
So with that in mind, the best way to educate these next generation of coders is to surround them with people who are interested and knowledgeable in the field. This way, they would be able to learn, progress, and even use all the things that they learn in the future.