Here are the 5 Top Questions Parents Ask about Coding for their kids:
1. Why should my child learn Coding even though he/ she does not wish to work in the IT industry in the future?
Learning to code is not able being software engineers or programmers, it is about developing computational thinking skills. Computational thinking is how software engineers solve problems. It combines mathematics, logic and algorithms, and teaches you a new way to think about the world.
Computational thinking teaches you how to tackle large problems by breaking them down into a sequence of smaller, more manageable problems. It allows you to tackle complex problems in efficient ways that operate at huge scale. It involves creating models of the real world with a suitable level of abstraction, and focus on the most pertinent aspects. It helps you go from specific solutions to general ones.
2. Isn’t programming too complex for kids? I have heard of C, Java – how can young kids learn those?
Traditionally programming required knowledge of syntax, that is, the use of sequences of text including words, numbers, and punctuation. You are right, this is a complexity that children cannot successfully navigate.
But visual-based programming, such as Blockly, that uses blocks like pre-created code, and ensures kids can focus on the fundamental programming logic, rather than syntax.
Children can easily drag and drop to write a program (that is, build a game, a story) that works. Kids don’t get frustrated with a program not working because of a missing semi colon!
3. When should I start my child to learn how to code?
It’s common knowledge that children under the age of 7 acquire foreign languages extremely rapidly. So why not the computer vernacular? Researchers have found that the best age range to begin teaching children a second language is between 2 and
Childhood and early adolescence are the critical age ranges for children to learn anything, including programming, because their brains are still developing and learning how to learn.
4. I don’t know anything about computers or programming. How do I know how he./ she is progressing?
Every member of The Lab is meticulously tracked by our system. From the time taken to finish a challenge, to number of attempts taken, all these are captured and recorded in our cloud database. Parents can log in into our system to see your child’s learning progression. Our curriculum is well-documented and reviewed by Dr. Oka Kurniawan, a professor in SUTD.
5. There are so many programming languages. Which one should my child learn?
The easiest coding language to learn for the first time learners is Python. Python is open source and free to use, even for commercial applications. Thanks to its flexibility, Python is one of the most widely used high-level programming languages today.