Your kid is all excited about roblox, scratch and mindcraft…
But what is coding anyways?
We have the ultimate guide to keep you a step ahead of that little coder in your life.
Coding can sometimes be scarier for grown-ups than kids. Just like any language, picking up a new one is easier the younger you start.
Technology is beginning to shape our world. From building a website, to formatting an email… simple code is something everyone should begin to learn. And, just as you don’t need to know all of the words in the dictionary to write a letter to your friend, and you don’t need to know every command in code.
So how does coding work?
Coding tells the computer what to do. A computer can only understand two things: on and off. In fact, a computer is really just a collection of on/off switches or what we call transistors. So when you are programming a computer, you are building a unique combination of on and off transistors to make the computer move (or function) in the way you want.
Everything from your computer screen, to your operating system, to photos you view, to videos you play, the Internet, Facebook, your online bank account, and this website are things your computer ultimately constructs from nothing but 1s and 0s or something called “binary code”. It is sort of funny how 1s and 0s can be so complicated. This is the whole reason that coding languages exist. Coding makes this process simpler for everyone!
This year, almost 200 million students around the world were exposed to coding.
In today’s digital world, coding is a fundamental skill alongside math and reading, but few kids have the opportunity to learn to program because it is rarely taught in school. We can help you get started.
These are a few resources that parents can share with their kids to help them start learning about programming aka coding:
- Programming Tutorials From Made With Code by Google
- Resources for Parents From MIT Media Lab’s Scratch Team aka Scratch
- Tynker’s Hour of Code Free Activities
- Lessons and Tutorials From Code.org
- Best Apps and Websites for Learning Programming and Coding:
- Computing Lessons on Khan Academy
Inspiring Articles About Kids Learning to Code
Still looking for some ideas? Here are a few more sources about the benefits of learning coding skills to help your kids start programming:
- 8 Free Tools That Teach Kids How to Code by Sarah K. White via CIO magazine
- 6 Tips for Teaching Kids to Code by Al Sweigart via OpenSource
- Guide to Teaching Kids to Code via EdSurge
- Free Video Courses for Coding via PluralSight
- 5 Reasons to Teach Kids to Code via Kodable
- The Educator’s Guide to Teaching HTML from Educator Labs
Coding Organizations for Kids
For the non-coding parents, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately, there are a variety of organizations committed to teaching kids programming skills. These organizations offer opportunities and resources for getting your children involved: