Coding is a fantastic skill for life. Coding helps students think logically, visualize, and express themselves or talk about societal issues. It inculcates problem-solving skills – vital in many different areas of life. The best way to learn to code is to just dive in. Here are some good sources kids can use to learn to code:
Code.org has thoughtfully designed a set of free resources for all grade levels that are bound to get students hooked on learning to code. It is easy for students to access on their own. The dashboard of the course shows the number of milestones finished by the student.
The courses use a block-based approach, but students can choose to see the text-based code that is generated. Code.org has an exhaustive curriculum with engaging activities allowing students to work at their own pace and stay challenged. There are many activities designed for kids in the classroom environment too.
- Creative Computing Curriculum (MIT Scratch)
The Creative Computing Curriculum is a collection of ideas, strategies, and activities for an introductory creative computing experience using the Scratch programming language. Scratch is a free block coding website for kids which consists of graphical blocks that snap together. It is being widely used in over 130+ countries. It requires no internet and the coding curriculum is perfect for kids aging 8 to 16. It also has a massive online community for sharing projects and learning from them.
While this application is connected with surroundings and is a stepping stone into the world of coding, it does not offer the next step into text-based coding languages.
CEL provides coding programs to elementary grade children. It also has a separate coding program for teachers where they train and support teachers. Their USP is that anyone without any expertise in coding can take this program. The program is focused on developing 21st-century skills – critical thinking, creativity, perseverance, and collaboration – in students. Their curriculum is well suited for the Indian context.
The computer science (CS) unplugged approach intends to teach CS concepts and computational thinking skills without employing any digital tools. It involves a series of logical exercises using low-cost material like paper, string, balls, etc to teach students the logic behind coding. Their focus is on teaching fundamentals and not particular software or systems.
As you can see, there are many websites and courses. Kids can start with those that suit their age and interests them, and from there the possibilities are endless!