How Kids Can Start Programming
Programming is becoming paramount in our world today. With nearly every aspect of our everyday life, like shopping for groceries or driving your car, we can do hands-free with programming technology. Everything has a written program within it, written by programmers. That being said, the future calls for more programmers, which starts with children. Now you may think programming is too intricate and complex for young children, but luckily there are a variety of programming languages that are easy enough for kids to learn, such as Scratch and Python. Websites like Khan Academy introduce these coding languages for kids. It is essential to prepare new generations for the future since they are the future. This paper will teach you how kids can begin programming and which coding languages are best for kids.
Everything inside your computer is made through programs. We use computers to program, but at the same time, we use programming to understand and better communicate with computers. There is a wide variety of programming languages and choosing which one to use depends on the kind of project you are doing. You might want to consider factors of high- and low-level languages. Low-level languages are similar to the code your computer runs on, so it is better for more challenging projects that need access to hardware. High-level programming languages are much easy for humans to understand as it involves more subjects like mathematical functions. Programming is seen exceptionally as complex and challenging, but it is much easier to know if you break up programming into learning categories.
Games and Apps
Instinctively, programming appears complex, but this is not always the case. If you are a parent that is new to programming, when introducing programming to your children, you can start simple and easy with some games or apps such as Code Karts. Here, you put bricks together like a puzzle to achieve a goal. Code Karts allows kids to develop reasoning skills, allowing them to think ahead like a flowchart, which helps programmers create an image of their code before they produce it. Another fun app for kids is Hopscotch, which instructs users through video tutorials on how to code games like Crossy Road or PokemonGo then proceed to play the game they just programmed. If you are a parent experienced with programming, you can start with code examples. Show them codes, programs, and possibly games you have made and walk them through the process.
Teaching teens about programming might be easier as the 21st century is full of new technology. And because of Covid-19 and quarantines, kids are finding new sources of fun, such as building their pc. Understanding programming language might be easier and faster for teens as they have more experience with technology such as downloading apps, games, and websites. Almost 100% of teens today have access to the internet, so learning how to program is at the tip of their fingers, whether it is 10 minutes a day or an hour assignment.
Before learning any programming languages, it is recommended to understand familiar concepts in all coding languages. Flowcharts are a big help when it comes to programming. Creating a flowchart before writing your code can help a programmer see and evaluate any problems that could come up. Flowcharts also help you further understand what you are trying to code and possibly help you find a more straightforward way to code it. Operators like *, /, +, and- are universal among programming languages. This is the same for data types such as strings, letters and numbers, integers, whole numbers, and floats, numbers with decimal points. Every programming language has a different syntax. The syntax is the grammar rules that must be followed for each language. Syntax affects how code is written, so it is impossible to copy a program written in Python and paste it in Java.
Best Coding Languages for Kids
Now, you might start with simple coding games, either on your personal computer or cell phone, for younger children, but soon they will grow out of learning the basics and should move on to learning code languages if they wish to do so. One easy coding language to start with is Scratch. Scratch is meant for kids 8 to 16 but can be used by anyone as it is an excellent starter to begin learning code. It has a simple graphical interface that allows users to create animations, games, and digital stories. Scratch encourages thinking and problem-solving skills involving and relating to computers. Because Scratch is free, it is being used worldwide in schools at all levels from elementary school through college.
A program that teaches kids to use different learning skills is Python. This is due to its focus on reading codes and writing them. Python is remotely easy to learn as its syntax rules are not so strict, making the code readable. When coding with Python, many problems are easily found with research. Though, it is more known as a slow language because of how much testing is required. Python is meant to be readable and can operate with minor levels of error. Its starting use was to make programming easy. Python is an example of how coding can progress from simple programming, as it is used to build websites such as Netflix, Spotify, and Instagram.
Kids must understand what they are learning, so it is best to wait to become older to introduce them to more complex coding languages. Ruby is another simple coding language to learn. Ruby is flexible, as the users can adjust their code to their preferences, not restricting the user. For example, learners maybe use the word “plus” for the traditional symbol, +. Like Python, Ruby has a very readable syntax, and a lot of its code is self-explanatory. When writing code in Ruby, you will find it like reading and writing English. Ruby is a great language to learn because of its ‘write less code’ principle. When compared to Java, programs written in Ruby are four times shorter.
Next Steps to Programming Languages
Once your child has moved on from coding games, apps, and the beginnings of programming language, they might want to move on to more complex learning. This is where languages like Java, C, and C++ come in. Although these languages are not as easy as Python, Scratch, or Ruby, they are the next step when programming and providing more job opportunities. If you or your child plan a career in computer science, these programming languages will help prepare you.
Java is a prevalent, easy-to-learn language and might even be pre-installed on your computer. It is used in over 3 billion devices for mobile, desktop, and web applications. Advantages of Java are that it was made easy to learn, write and debug. Java can move across multiple systems, meaning you can run the same program or project you are working on anywhere. Java has a syntax that is easy to understand as it is similar to the English language. Developers use Java to create Android and desktop applications, big data technologies, AI, and machine learning. Java is an excellent language to learn if you are interested in companies like Google, Netflix, and Spotify.
C is known as a language programmers learn before transitioning to more complex languages. C has an easy-to-learn and understandable syntax with 32 keywords. Keywords in programming languages are reserved words with special meanings such as ’int()’, which converts an input into an integer. C helps learners understand the way the inside of computers work how computers store and retrieve information. C might not be your first choice of a programming language to learn. Once mastering C, learning languages like Python and Java is much easier. Vice versa, having learned Java and Python first, C will be a piece of cake.
C++ is an extension of the programming language C. Although being utilized not so much as Python and Java, there are aspects of C++ that make it an excellent language to learn. You can use C++ for game and web development, GUI-based applications, and code compilers. Mastering C++ grants you the possibility of working at high-end tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. C++ is a fast and efficient language and helps users further understand how computers work. Though with its advanced syntax, C++ is one of the most difficult programming languages to learn.
Overall, programming is a principal in our world today. It is important as adults, parents, and workers to educate our children in what the world is evolving into. Similarly, to teaching children to talk, we can also teach them the programming fundamentals. Start simple and progress to more complex learning as they grow. Coding games and apps like Hopscotch or Code Karts are a great start for younger children. If you want your child to jump right into programming, Scratch, Python, and Ruby have an easy syntax to learn and understand. Languages like Java, C, and C++, although being more rigorous, will help prepare you more if you plan to pursue any programming career. Because of the digital significance coding has on our everyday lives, knowing these skills is valuable, whether or not the learner chooses a line of work that’s significant with coding.