5 Skills Kids Will Attain Through Coding
“I believe that learning how to code — learning how to program a computer — essentially how to create, should be for all kids and not just for some kids,” said Karen Brennan at the Harvard Allston Education Portal.
Karen is one of the developers of Scratch, a popular graphical computer programming language.
This language is featured in many software packages of coding&programming for kids, such as mBlock that allows children to code as simply as using building blocks.
Nowadays, the call for getting kids into coding is getting louder and louder. It is not about wanting every child to become a computer scientist in the future. Instead, helping them explore their potential and developing soft skills.
Here are five essential skills attained through coding & programming for kids.
1. Computational thinking
Coding (Coding Robots) is communicating with a computer in computational language. A computer takes instruction literally. So as to make a computer function correctly, kids have to know how to formulate their thoughts and then code with enough clarity and in a systematic way. To achieve this goal, kids have to know how to break down complex problems into smaller pieces.
Then, identify necessary and relevant details from the “whole,” and look for patterns in the chaos. In other words, they learn to think and practice like a computer system. With computational thinking skills, kids can apply a more logical and analytical approach when planning or tackling a problem.
2. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking requires a person to be open-minded and consider alternative ways of looking at solutions.
Coding actually shares a lot in common with critical thinking. For both coding and critical thinking, there is no only right answer to a question. In the process of coding & programming for kids, they can find multiple feasible methods. Kids will think comprehensively and deeply and try different tactics until they find the ideal one. These prepare them to be flexible and open to new ideas in daily life.
Niether coding nor programming is a one-time job. Both of them need a lot of analysis, testing, and debugging.
To get the ideal result, young coders have to identify the problem and find the best solution. Computational language systems are very modularized and organized.
Therefore, when solving a coding problem, young coders can’t solve without having an organized plan. The plan includes rules and logic behind the coding language, which leads them to divide the big module into smaller pieces.
By doing this, the young coder deconstructs a complicated problem into several simple ones. This process also allows the coder to see a problem from different perspectives. The kids gain confidence when they solve several simple problems and overcome the original one.
Therefore, they follow logical and efficient steps when a problem occurs in either the coding process or daily life.
4. Creative thinking
Since coding for kids is an open-ended process, its flexibility allows kids to practice without limitation. They can find multiple solutions to a problem, and turn their abstract ideas into reality using very structured programming languages.
With the software for coding for kid like mBlock, kids can practice their coding skills. Also, it can apply their aesthetic ability to the design of a project, such as a game or robot. By doing this, the young coders strengthen entire brain, both left and right hemispheres, which contributes to better creativity.
There is a misunderstanding that coding for kids is an isolating process. In fact, a lot of communication between coders and coders is required to complete a program.
Through coding, young people improve their writing skills and verbal expression skills.
On the one hand, the process of coding for kids is communicating with a computer. To make the machine understand the command, they have to write the code accurately, concisely, and logically. They improve their writing skills when composing code chunks.
On the other hand, many targeted programming packages like mBlock have built up a coding community around their product and system. Users worldwide, mainly between the ages of 6 and 18, share their ideas and passion with each other in computational language, which breaks down the barrier of culture and nationality.
In addition, coding for kids are employed in more and more school teaching. So young coders are working in groups and create a joint project.
mBlock is a programming software package designed for STEAM education. It features one of the most popular programming languages for children, Scratch, as well as technologies, such as AI and IoT, helping kids learn coding through games and problem-solving.
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