We all know that coding is an important skill for our children to have and that it will be a very important skill to have in the future. But, when should you start letting your kids learn to code?
The answer is, it depends. 🙂
If your child is below the age of 7, we recommend that they begin with Scratch Jr. (https://www.scratchjr.org/) which is a free tablet app to help children code their own interactive stories and mini-games.
Scratch Jr. is free and available on:
iOS iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scratchjr/id895485086?ls=1&mt=8
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.scratchjr.android
Scratch (by MIT)
Else if your child is between the ages of 7 to 14 (primary school or lower secondary) we recommend the ever popular Scratch by MIT (https://scratch.mit.edu/).
Scratch is widely used by 20 million students all over the world, with over 24 million projects created since it started.
Scratch is good for young learners as it is block-based. i.e. students drag-and-drop blocks (think of it like lego for coding) and join them together to form program logic to make their very own games and animations.
While the child is learning to put blocks together, they are learning basic computing concepts such as loops, conditions and how data variables can be used.
These are real-world concepts that all professional programmers use as part of their daily repertoire of problem-solving skills.
What if your child is 11, and already an expert Scratch Programmer?
Well, firstly, let me congratulate you on your child’s interest in programming :). This skill will definitely be of great help to them in the future. For students age 11 and above, who have had previous programming experience, we recommend learning the Python Programming language.
Python is one of the top programming languages in 2017 (https://spectrum.ieee.org/static/interactive-the-top-programming-languages-2017) and has wide usages in almost every field you can find.
The Python language is beginner friendly and is also being introduced in O’Levels Computing Science (see http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/19-schools-to-offer-programming-at-o-levels)
Now, are your kids ready to learn to code? Do you have any burning questions on coding, and would like to know more? Leave us a message and we’ll write a post on that!
Visit our website at www.computhink.com.sg to find out more!