Coding for kids – the new type literacy in the 21st century

Computer programing is often used when we talk about programing, scripting and coding. It’s the process of designing, writing and testing different source codes. The source code is written in one or more computer languages. The aim of programing is to design instructions, which can be used by the computer to preform different operations or to accomplish a certain programing result.

All of us, especially children, spend most of our free time in front of computers, playing games or searching for different information on the internet. Very often, our parents either give us restrictions or warnings that we spend too much time on the computer, that we spend more time playing rather than using the internet to learn something. However, the truth is that we need to be part of these new technologies and we need to learn about them and how to use them.

Because we are younger, we learn more easy and faster through play or through animated videos, audio or different types of presentations that involve the previously mentioned activities. In addition, these days, children can attend different after school clubs or schools where they are thought how to use algorithms, applications or learn how to use the internet.

By doing this, the children can understand that the computers and smart phones are not magical, but that they need to be programed to do the things we want them to do. As it is the case with learning how to ride a bike, how to write and read, learning how to code is easier if it is thought in younger age.

Coding is fun and interesting. It develops children’s self-confidence and it helps them to learn how to express themselves in different ways. In this sense, coding allows them to be creative, to work on interesting projects and spend their time in front of the computers in a smart way. Learning to code develops the following things in children: computer thinking, creative ways of learning, ability to solve problems, working in teams (teamwork), and the sense of successfully completing a task that productively influences them for future challenges in life. 

There are different ways to learn coding. One of them is learning by using online platforms. There are different learning platforms; we will mention some of them:

Code.org – internet website that can be a starting point for beginners. You can find many useful resources, applications even local schools that offer coding lessons to children. 

Code Monstervery useful for children. Code Monster has two boxes. The kid code in one box and the result is displayed in the other box. While you “play” with the code, you can learn how each command functions. 

Scratch– designed by students and aimed for 8-16 years old children, this simple computer language allows children to build anything they ever dreamed of. There aren’t any confusing lines of code. Instead, they need to move and arrange different code blocks like virtual Lego pieces. The platform is more than just a guide for coding, it’s an online community where programmers can exchange ideas and inspirations.   

Swift Playgraunds Designed for Apple for iPad, Swift Playgrounds is a sophisticated platform. The children can solve interactive puzzles in guided “Learn to Code” lessons in order to learn the basics of coding or to experiment with a wide selection of challenges that allow users to explore many unique coding experiences.

For those who are interested to learn more, you can find additional information about other free websites that offer coding lessons on the following link.

Author: K. Todorovski (7-4)

Photos: internet

The original article is published in the school online digital newspaper IN-formator on the following link L.A. IN-formator.

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