Want to Teach Kids How to Code? Here's Where You Start


Want to Teach Kids How to Code? Here's Where You Start

Computer knowledge is a very essential requirement for students even at their early ages. Being good at computers and web applications helps them achieve success in academics as well as in a professional career. Being able to use the Internet and operate

 computers is one thing, but it may be just as valuable to teach students how to code.

Bill Gates once said, “Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches how to think.” The main reason why young students should be encouraged to learn coding is because it’s a basic computer literacy which helps them understand the logic behind this digital world.

Jack Dorsey’s parents bought him a Macintosh Computer  when he was 8 years old, this resulted in the creation of a great social networking site “Twitter”.

Mark Zuckerberg started using a computer when he was in sixth grade, which turned him to be the founder of the revolutionary “Facebook”.

Who knows your child or student may become a creator for the next big tech innovation!!  Everyone has innovative ideas, but those who make them happen become the real heroes. In the 21st century, there is perhaps no skill as important as learning to program. In this article, we provide you with the tools which help teachers as well as parents to teach their children how to program/code.

Code.org:

Code.org is a non-profit foundation that has been set up to bring Computer Science classes to every K-12 school in the United States, especially in urban and rural neighborhoods. It demonstrates the successful use of online curriculum in public school classrooms. It provides an online platform where users can find all the listings of a large number of websites, platforms and resources which deliver computer programming tutorials and training. To know more, you may refer to this detailed review “Code.org - Computer Programming Resource Network”.

Alice:

Alice is an educational software that teaches students computer programming in a 3D environment. It teaches programming to new generation students in a new, innovative & pleasant way. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts. With Alice, students make smaller 3D animated movies & 3D video games by dragging and dropping words in a system where they cannot make a mistake. Alice’s Dragging & dropping interface avoids technical hurdles that people have with programming out of the way. Children are able to watch what the program actually does. 

Scratch:

MIT Media Lab has developed Scratch,  a visual programming language for children of age 6 years and above. The main goal behind creating Scratch is to enhance creativity & collaboration. It allows users to create new types of projects (Programming interactive stories, games, and animations), work together in new ways and learn new things in the process. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century. Over 800,000 users have joined the Scratch website and have shared over 1.7 million projects — from games to animations. It allows users to follow other users, favorite their projects and give them feedbacks. With Scratch’s latest version, you are able to see how the project was made and also experiment with the code. Editing & remixing of projects is easy with Scratch. To know more, you may refer to this detailed review “Scratch- Graphical Programming Tool”.

Hackety Hack:

Hackety Hack teaches children the absolute basics of programming in the popular Ruby language. No previous programming experience is required. As we know Alice & Scratch use a graphical programming language with “word bricks”, Hackety Hack teaches the basics of Ruby syntax. Ruby is used for all kinds of programs, including desktop applications and websites. Hackety Hack uses the Shoes toolkit to make it really easy and fun to build graphical interfaces. Many lessons and example programs are provided, teaching you how to make all kinds of fun things.

MicroWorlds PRO:

MicroWorlds Pro allows students to create dynamic, interactive school and Internet projects using the most powerful Logo ever developed! It helps students become active web designers. Educators and students use MicroWorlds Pro to enhance their understanding of MicroWorlds and to get a real sense of this powerful multimedia programming environment. It improves creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. MicroWorlds Pro is so versatile that it can be used in any subject area. With its web authoring tools, users can create, hyperlinks & manage HTML templates for their interactive projects to be displayed on the Web. In addition to the above features, MWP includes drawing tools, drag & drop interface, animations, etc.

“Here we are in 2013, where  all of us depend on technology to communicate, to bank, and none of us know how to read and write a code. “It's important for these kids, right now, starting at 8 years old, to read and write codes." says Will. I. Am, Musician/The Black Eyed Peas and Entrepreneur.

We hope the above mentioned tools are useful for you to introduce programming to your students or children. We’d like to know a few more tools like these. If you know a few, please share with us in the comment box.

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About the Author
Author: Santosh Bhaskar KWebsite: http://www.twitter.com/SantoshBhaskarK
Devotee of Dr. Abdul Kalam. Following his path of Creating Creative Education in India. Contributing my works in "India Vision 2020". Former EdTech Blogger/Researcher at ETR India

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