Until a few years ago, coding was the exclusive domain of grown-ups with specialized expertise and skills such as computer scientists and programmers. In recent years, however, coding has been steadily gaining popularity among school children across India.
These days, children are increasingly tech-savvy and many are drawn to coding as it offers them unlimited space to create and experiment. There is also a realization among parents that coding is the literacy of the future and they want to equip their children with all the skills they may need to be successful.
In fact, coding has become so popular that it has been listed as a core skill in the National Education Policy 2020 which proposes teaching programming to children starting from grade six.
As coding for kids remains an emerging trend in India, many parents, teachers and school administrators across the country have questions regarding the best way forward.
In this article, we answer some of the most common concerns and offer actionable tips on kickstarting your child’s coding journey.
Coding is the process of instructing a computer through step-by-step commands to produce a specific output. Every app or website that we use, be it Facebook, Google, and even this webpage, is the result of coding.
Research has consistently shown that teaching kids to code enhances their problem-solving skills and enables them to develop critical thinking from a very young age.
In our technology-driven world, coding has now become an essential skill. The introduction of coding and programming in school curriculum from grade 6 in the NEP 2020 tells us that coding is the new literacy.
Children who learn to code at an early age have a distinct advantage when it comes to their short-term and long-term success.
As the school curriculum catches up with the trend of teaching kids to code, there are many things parents and educators can take to introduce their children to coding.
Here are some simple but effective steps from getting your child interested in coding and then boosting their learning with various online platforms and applications.
Start with developing your child's interest in coding. Encourage them to learn to code, do not force them. Introduce them to coding. Show them how it works, maybe even with the example of their favourite games. Show them how it can help them in various ways, like creating their own games, apps, animations, etc. Let them want to learn to code. Remember, coding is best learned as a hobby rather than as a chore.
We get that the developers and educators are very eager to share their knowledge on complex topics related to coding. This can complicate the learning pattern of students, and even drive away their interest in coding. So, excess of analytic theory is better avoided while dealing with kids. Instead, let the learning be more practical. Show them the source codes of different websites rather than just talking about them.
Children are all unique in their own ways. Even when it comes to learning, children have different learning styles. Some learn when they read out the theory, be it from a book or a screen, whereas others learn better through practical use. For this type of learners, parents can take help of certain coding toys that are available for their child’s use and help them grasp concepts better.
Kids who learn skills like playing the guitar are required to bring in their own instruments. Similarly, allow kids to have individual computers while learning to code. Let them have a hand at the practicality of coding. So, it is always better to allot computers to students for practice. In case of limited resources, set fixed intervals for students to have access to the computer and thus, also avoid conflicts.
When talking about coding for kids, scratch and python are two useful programming tools to help. Scratch is a programming tool that facilitates free online coding for kids that works on a modern web browser that can easily be used by children of 8 to 13 years of age that have just begun learning to code. Once they are thorough with Scratch, kids can proceed to Python - a programming tool known for its easy syntax.
Speaking of teaching kids to code, Codingal is one of the best platforms for online courses on coding for kids. Founded by Vivek Prakash and Satyam Baranwal, Codingal is a rapidly growing community of over 40,000+ young coders and highly trained educators that is enabling budding young coders from across the country to scale new heights.
Codingal has developed a first-of-its-kid coding curriculum based on international pedagogical standards including BIDE, STEAM and Bloom’s Taxonomy. The curriculum is designed to match the needs of school children in India and to effectively nourish their cognitive, logical, sensory and computational skills in children.
The platform offers one-on-one sessions with highly trained computer science professionals who play the roles of guide, mentor and companion in the child’s coding journey.
Codingal prepares a personalized course journey for every child allowing them to choose a customized pace of learning as per their convenience and to obtain maximum value from the course.
Initially developed with a dream to inspire school kids to fall in love with coding, Codingal endeavours to empower every child with the knowledge of coding, letting them be their own masters and build anything they imagine.
After all, the future is digital and coding is the core of it all.