- By Dwaipayan, 27 January 2021 | 10 MIN READ
Coding is the new buzzword and so are space tech, machine learning, deep learning, AI, and all of that. Edtech companies are going aggressive with marketing strategies to completely bamboozle parents into thinking that their kids are in the top 20% of the people who cracked the code!
One should not take these certifications seriously! they carry zero value and will not make your kid the next Bill Gates or Elon Musk by just learning how to program pre-built apps in templates borrowed from Scratch and other designed programs.
Marketers make you believe that your child is missing out on visiting Silicon Valley or that he will not be able to work for NASA by not taking up coding classes. The inherent feeling of peer pressure would eventually make the parents spend their hard-earned money in an attempt to stand out.
Try this! login to any social media channels and you’ll find new age ads (pop-ups, teasers) with words like ‘Space Tech’, ‘Google’, ‘CEO’, ‘Entrepreneur’, etc that bombard your screen every time. They just sell parents false hopes that their child will become very successful early in their career if they take up the course.
Don't you think that your child has to get the fundamentals correct before being introduced to space tech gaga? Parents need to be very careful before investing in a million-dollar dream
Do you really believe that a 9-year-old who probably doesn't even have any prior knowledge of algebra, statistics, calculus trigonometry, elementary mathematics can crack a silicon valley coding competition? I leave it to you.
Aspiration is good, when you want your kid to excel in coding then wait for some time till he reaches high school. To pursue coding from an early age, you can go for free sources available on the internet.
Anirudh (Software engineer): I would say just giving knowledge of coding to kids is not enough. A child must acquire the logical ability and data structure solving abilities. A programming language is just a tool to express creativity, and technology that keeps on changing. Parents who have a software or coding background know the reality.
Here is a typical workflow of a software engineer into a project.
1. Conversation with Product Manager or Team Lead or even my partner in cases of personal projects (explaining about the project, the work I’m supposed to do, is it stand alone or is my work to be part of a larger project, the finer details).
2. Read through requirements documentation and temporary ER chart
3. Conversation to clear doubts.
4. Think about the architecture, make changes to ER chart, and think how different entities would interact. Choose a suitable database.
5. Think about micro-decisions (where to make async or sync, composition or inheritance, etc)
After all this (typically takes around 10 days), I begin working on a project. So honestly do you think your child would be able to do all of the above?
Here is a piece of honest advice, I believe children should be introduced to programming, but not the way they’re being right now. Instead, introduce them to programming the way it is supposed to be introduced- as a means for problem-solving. In fact, you have a free repo of courses such as Havard CS50 and MIT OCW’s Introduction to Programming which actually tell you what the essence of computer science and programming is- “using computers to solve problems”. Both of them don’t even introduce” languages” till a certain point in time in the course.
Coding is fun off course when it comes naturally! Basic programming has become an essential skill for grown-ups and children alike, and the internet is full of coding programs for kids. Building simple websites and games helps kids refine their design, logic, and problem-solving abilities, and also allows them to express ideas and creativity in unique ways. Not every child is a prodigy and parents must understand that. Let them grow naturally. Introduce them to the world of coding and see if they belong there?
There are several free and low-cost programs, typically designed as fun games, that teach children how to code. We've rounded up 13 of our favorite affordable learn-to-code games and programs for kids, here.
Free Coding Programs and Websites for Kids
This nonprofit foundation's website is an excellent starting point for coding novices. It shares plenty of useful online resources, apps, and even local schools that teach coding.
Particularly useful to quickly demonstrate the very basic nature of what code is and how it works, Code Monster presents visitors with two adjacent boxes. One displays code, the other shows what the code does.
Designed by MIT students and aimed at children ages 8 to 16, this easy-to-use programming language that is the foundation of many schools' coding programs lets kids build almost anything they can dream.
Based on Scratch and its "building block" approach to code, mBlock offers a step up for older kids who want to learn Python, AI, and other skills, too. For kids who learn best by playing games, the platform is available for free on mobile apps, too.
Designed by Apple for the iPad, Swift Playgrounds is a much more sophisticated-looking (but still simple to learn) version of Code Combat (see below), with the added benefit of being free. Best for ages 4 and up.
Some Low-Cost and Subscription-Based Coding Programs and Websites for Kids
Note that many of these programs have free trials that allow kids to learn the basics of the platform or game before signing on to more substantial programming.
This interactive website is user-friendly and teaches kids basic code through fun, simple exercises that feel like games. To go beyond the basics, you'll need to subscribe.
While Code Avengers lacks the eye-catching graphics of other options, it does offer a series of free intro classes in building web pages, apps, and games.
Best for older kids, Code Combat uses an interactive, competitive gameplay mode for its coding program for kids. The first game is free to try, but after that, parents need to purchase a subscription.
Kids have to move a monkey around to solve problems, and get rewarded with stars as well as funny graphics and images along the way.
Put those ubiquitous emojis to work educationally with this website that eschews complex codes for user-friendly expressions, quite literally: Kids learn to code by using emojis to substitute for HTML or CSS codes, and then can unleash their skills in the "playground" or "workshop" section of the site.
Inspired by Scratch's snapping blocks system, this software allows users to create simple games for mobile or desktop devices.
Like many popular coding programs, Tynker works with interlocking blocks of code, making the language accessible to kids (5 to 17 is the recommended age range).
There are many platforms that provide you with a wholesome and organized routine or plan as far as the coding curriculum for youngsters. Thank you for reading the blog post till the end. Congratulations to you on realizing that you have an interest in coding like a lot of successful people around the globe.
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