Modern school curriculums often incorporate computer science classes or coding segments where kids are introduced to programming and other CS-related concepts at an early age. This is a great idea in theory, but the fact remains that many teachers struggle to implement these goals since their kids don't seem interested in coding.
Let's break down how you can get your kids interested in coding through specific methods or teaching techniques.
The Importance of Computer Science in Today's Classrooms
There's no denying the computer science holds a critical place in today's classroom curricula, especially since most careers are affected by or deal with computer programming to some extent these days. More and more schools are opening computer science camps or programs to help their students face modern challenges.
In fact, starting kids early in computer science holds the potential to boost their career prospects and open up new career opportunities as they get older. CS skills are real game-changers.
Still, it's hard for teachers to make computer science and coding fun for kids, especially if they don't have computer science backgrounds themselves. This doesn't diminish the importance of getting kids interested in coding, however.
How to Develop Interest in Coding at Any School
Fortunately, any school can incorporate coding into their curricula, even if they don't have any programming experts on board. Indeed, there are multiple ways you can make coding more interesting for your kids using individual initiatives or certain tools and resources.
Look Into Coding Games
For starters, you can focus on "gamification" and using games designed to teach coding for kids. Children of all ages love games, so this is one of the best ways to get them interested in coding as a recreational activity instead of a chore.
Specifically, look into programs like "Hour of Code", which is an international program designed to stimulate coding interest in kids of all grade levels.
Include Socialization with Coding
We tend to think of computer programming as a relatively solitary activity. But kids often thrive when they are taught things in social groups.
You or your teachers can lean into this truth by making coding a more social activity. Encourage your students to program as a team. This has the added benefit of making coding a friendship-building activity in addition to a useful subject.
Furthermore, coding naturally encourages teamwork and helps your students learn from one another: an invaluable skill for any kids learning to become productive adults.
Let Your Kids Explore/Follow Their Passions
You can also help make coding fun for kids by encouraging exploration. Let kids experiment with different educational coding apps or download different coding games and tools, following their intuitions as they go along.
Different kids will have different passions and be attracted to different coding activities – this is totally normal! You should encourage this as it reinforces the idea that coding is a means of self-expression, not something boring they have to do for school.
Learn to Code Along with Your Kids
If you're not a coding expert but still need to teach subjects to your kids, don't hesitate to learn to code alongside them! Indeed, many of the coding programs and programming tutorials intended for kids are excellent for adults looking to get into the subject themselves.
This can also help your kids feel more interactive with their teacher or classroom overall.
Above All, Remember to Keep Problem Solving Fun
Last but not least, always try to emphasize the fun, problem-solving aspect of coding. Contrary to pop culture's portrayal of the art, coding can be incredibly fun for kids and help them develop their problem-solving skills, and encourage a lifelong creativity streak.
Ultimately, engaging with coding, using coding games and other tools, and encouraging socialization can all go a long way toward getting kids interested in coding in your school or classroom.